Eachtra Journal

ISSN 2009-2237

A burnt mound at Caherweelder 2, Co. Galway (E3890)

October, 2010 · Written by: Eachtra Print This Page This entry is part 5 of 23 in the Issue 08

Archaeological Excavation Report

Burnt mound

This report constitutes the final excavation report of a burnt mound in the townland of Caherweelder, Co. Galway. The site was excavated as part of the archaeological excavation programme in advance of construction for N18 Gort to Oranmore Road scheme. The site was found within the lands acquired for the scheme during Phase 1 archaeological testing. The site consisted of a small layer of burnt mound material, a large trough and two interconnecting pits located just to the north of the mound, which may also have served as troughs.

A small burnt mound was located at the intersection of three field boundaries. The excavation revealed a central trough and two interconnecting pits which lay just to the north of the mound. Whilst shallow, the interconnecting pits may have served as troughs too. Both the mound material and the fill of one of the pits contained animal bone fragments. Two Middle Bronze Age radiocarbon dates were acquired from two samples: one from the burnt mound material and one from the lower fill of the trough. No artefacts were found.

The burnt mound site known as Caherweelder 2 is located on low reclaimed ground on the western edge of an area of rough pasture. The surrounding area is prone to flooding and a turlough lies just to the north-east. A preference for wetland margins has been consistently noted by other commentators (Gowen et al 2005 and Grogan 2007). Grogan (2007) states that in the ‘Mooghaun area of south-east Clare the majority of fulachta fiadh occur along the margins of turloughs, bogs and marshy areas’. The burnt mound sites at Moyveela (to the north) which were excavated as part of the same programme of excavations as the present site had a similar location on slightly raised ground on the edge of a turlough.

Authors: Enda O’Mahony & Finn Delaney

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