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Ex., A001 08, K2 K, Kiltotan Collinstown 13, Co. Westmeath Eap Journal

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Ex., A001 08, K2 K, Kiltotan Collinstown 13, Co. Westmeath Eap Journal

  1. 1. Eachtra Journal Issue 3 [ISSN 2009-2237] Archaeological Excavation Report E2769 - Kiltotan Collinstown 13, Co. Westmeath Large Bronze Age pit and post-medieval ditches
  2. 2. Final Archaeological Excavation Report, Kiltotan Collinstown 13 N6 Kinnegad to Kilbeggan Co. Westmeath Large Bronze Age pit and post-medieval ditches August 2009 Client: Westmeath County Council Culleen Beg Mullingar Co. Westmeath E. Number: E2769 Ministerial Order: A001/08 Licensee: Áine Richardson Contact details: The Forge, Innishannon, Co. Cork. Written by: Áine Richardson and Penny Johnston Tel.: 021 470 16 16 Fax: 021 470 16 28 E-mail: info@eachtra.ie Web Site: www.eachtra.ie
  3. 3. E2769 | A001/08 Kiltotan Collinstown 13, Co. Westmeath ISSUE 3: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 Table of Contents i Acknowledgements ............................................................................................ iv 1 Non-Technical Summary ....................................................................................1 2 Scope of the Project ............................................................................................1 3 Receiving Environment ......................................................................................2 3.1 Geology........................................................................................................2 3.2 Soils and their uses .......................................................................................2 3.3 Topography ..................................................................................................2 3.4 Archaeological and Historical Background ...................................................3 3.5 Bronze Age c. 2500-500 BC .........................................................................3 3.6 Iron Age c. 500 BC-500 AD ........................................................................3 3.7 Early Historic c. 500-1100 AD .....................................................................3 3.8 Medieval c. 1100-1650 AD ...........................................................................4 3.9 Post-medieval c.1650-20th century ...............................................................5 3.10 Placenames and Townlands ..........................................................................5 4 Site Location and Topography ............................................................................6 5 Excavation Results ..............................................................................................6 5.1 Area A ..........................................................................................................6 5.2 Area B ..........................................................................................................7 6 Discussion ..........................................................................................................8 7 Conclusion ..........................................................................................................8 8 Bibliography .......................................................................................................9 9 Figures ............................................................................................................... 10 10 Plates ................................................................................................................. 17 11 Appendices ........................................................................................................ 22 11.1 Appendix 1: Context Register .....................................................................22 11.2 Appendix 2: Stratigraphic Matrix ...............................................................23 11.3 Appendix 3: Charred plant remains from Kiltotan and Collinstown 13 (A001/008) ................................................................................................................24 11.4 Appendix 4: Radiocarbon Results from Kiltotan Collinstown 13, Co. Westmeath (A001/008) ................................................................................................................25 11.5 Appendix 5: Animal bone report from Kiltotan Collinstown Site 13, Co. West- meath (A001/008) .....................................................................................................25 Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e2769-kiltotan-collinstown-13-co-westmeath/ iii
  4. 4. E2769 | A001/08 Kiltotan Collinstown 13, Co. Westmeath ISSUE 3: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 List of Figures Figure 1: Extract from Discovery Map showing route of the N6 realignment .......................................10 Figure 2: Portion of the new N6 Kinnegad to Kilbeggan road showing the excavated sites near Kiltotan Collinstown 12 and the outline trenches opened during centreline testing ..........................................11 Figure 3: Ordnance Survey RMP map showing the location of the new route in respect of known ar- chaeological sites ...................................................................................................................................12 Figure 4: Kiltotan Collinstown showing field systems and excavated sites in the area ..........................13 Figure 5: Pre-excavation plan of Area A ...............................................................................................14 Figure 6: Post-excavation of burnt pit in Area A (C.12) ........................................................................15 Figure 7: Section through ditches C.6 and C9 ....................................................................................16 Figure 8: Post-excavation of pit in Are B (C.7) ......................................................................................16 List of Plates Plate 1: Aerial view of ringfort Wm033-061, located near the excavated sites at Kiltotan Collinstown 12, 13 and 14 ..............................................................................................................................................17 Plate 2: Aerial view of excavations at Kiltotan Collinstown Sites 12, 13 and 14 ....................................17 Plate 3: Pit filled with burnt clay (C.12) in Area A (deposits C.3 and C.4) ............................................18 Plate 4: Pit filled with burnt clay (C.12) in Area A (deposit C.11) ..........................................................18 Plate 5: Section through upper deposits of C. 12, the burnt pit in Area A .............................................19 Plate 6: Mid-excavation of C. 12, the large pit in Area A ......................................................................19 Plate 7: Section through ditch C.2 in Area A ....................................................................................... 20 Plate 8: Post-excavation shot of pit (C.7) from Area B .......................................................................... 20 Plate 9: Pre-excavation shot showing parallel ditches (C.2 and C.6) in Area A ......................................21 Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e2769-kiltotan-collinstown-13-co-westmeath/ iv
  5. 5. E2769 | A001/08 Kiltotan Collinstown 13, Co. Westmeath ISSUE 3: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 i Acknowledgements Senior Archaeologist: John Tierney Licensee: Áine Richardson Field staff: Ray Riordan, Caroline Healy, Helen Butler, Julian Stroud, Deidre Gleeson, Christina Murphy Additional Post-Excavation Work: Antonia Doolan, Sara Camplese, Illustrations: Enda O’Mahony, Deidre Gleeson Text: Áine Richardson, Antonia Doolan, Penny Johnston Specialists: Penny Johnston, Queen’s University Belfast 14Chrono Centre, Mags McCarthy Works were carried out on behalf of Westmeath County Council and were funded by the National Roads Authority under the National Development Plan 2000 - 2006. Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e2769-kiltotan-collinstown-13-co-westmeath/ v
  6. 6. E2769 | A001/08 Kiltotan Collinstown 13, Co. Westmeath ISSUE 3: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 1 Non-Technical Summary Archaeological test excavations were carried out for the proposed N6 realignment between Kinnegad and Tyrrellspass in counties Meath and Westmeath (Figure 1). This site was discovered during archae- ological testing carried out during the summer of 2004. Site 13 was uncovered within test trenches in Field 9 at National Grid Reference 245009 238675. Two main areas of archaeological potential were uncovered; the first, Area A, consisted of a large pit filled with burnt clay and charcoal and a number of ditches, probably post-medieval in origin. The second area, Area B, was defined by one irregular disturbed pit with burning. It may be related to archaeological material located to the south, beyond the limits of the roadtake. 2 Scope of the Project This archaeolgical services project was carried out on behalf of Westmeath County Council, County Buildings, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath. The project was funded by the National Roads Authority under the National Development Plan 2000-2006. The purpose of the project was to conduct archaeological site investigations within the lands made available for the scheme and to assess the nature and extent of any new or potential archaeological sites uncovered. There were two contracts; Contract 1 (Kinnegad to Tyrellspass) undertaken by Eachtra Archaeological Projects and Contract 2 (Tyrellspass to Kilbeg- gan) carried out by Valerie J. Keeley Ltd. and Cultural Resource Development Services Ltd. This report covers results from Contract 1, Kinnegad to Tyrellspass. Phase 1 of the project (archaeo- logical centreline testing of the route) was carried out in June and July 2004 under licence (04E0908) issued by the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government (DoEHLG). The principal aim of this phase of the Project was to investigate known and possible sites of archaeological interest along the route of the proposed road scheme and to investigate the remainder of the route. This was done by a programme of centreline and offset testing (Figure 2). In addition Phase 2 included the resolution of identified sites which were excavated in the townlands of Monganstown, Farthingstown, Kiltotan Collinstown and Rattin. This phase of the project was carried out between January and March 2005 and excavations were carried out by two licensed directors under the direction of a senior archaeologist. In total fourteen sites were excavated during this phase of works and were carried out under Ministerial Order. The sites were situated near the western end of the scheme, in County West- meath, and were found in the townlands of Farthingstown and Kiltotan Collinstown (in the Barony of Fartullagh) and Monganstown and Rattin (in the Barony of Farbill). Kiltotan Collinstown 13, Co. Westmeath was excavated in January and February 2005. Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e2769-kiltotan-collinstown-13-co-westmeath/ 1
  7. 7. E2769 | A001/08 Kiltotan Collinstown 13, Co. Westmeath ISSUE 3: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 3 Receiving Environment 3.1 Geology The bedrock geology is mostly comprised of Lower Carboniferous rocks, mainly limestone, which overlies Devonian Old Red Sandstone (Holland 1981; Riada Consult 2003, 58). Some sills of Carbon- iferous volcanic rocks also pass through the bedrock sequences. The dominant topographical feature of Croghan Hill, 7 km southeast of Tyrrellspass, is comprised of shallow intrusive basaltic and dolamitic rocks formed by volcanic activity (Riada Consult 2003, 59). Superficial drift deposits overly the bedrock, varying from impermeable clay to permeable gravel (Ria- da Consult 2003). Glacial features such as eskers and kames dominate an otherwise flat landscape; the eskers are punctuated by sand and gravel quarries that provide good quality building materials (Casey 2002). 3.2 Soils and their uses The soil type encountered in the area (Grey-Brown Podzolic) covers 3.43 % of Ireland, on the southern limit of the north to west Drumlin belt across the northern half of the country (Gardiner and Radford 1980, 91). The lighter Grey Brown Podzolics are ‘good all-purpose soils’ and the heavier Grey Brown Podzolics are better for pasture production (Ibid., 27). Although the soil is technically a fertile type, it has a high clay content which results in poor drainage and peat accumulation in the area is widespread. This is particularly the case along the western portion of the road route, (where the sites from this project were found), which has been covered by the growth of fens and raised bog. These peat lands have generally been worked and, while residual peats are often present, they do not tend to exceed 1 m thickness (Riada Consult 2003, 61). 3.3 Topography The landscape followed by the route of the new road from Kinnegad to Athlone is generally lowlying, ranging from the low undulating drift cover east of Athlone to the flat plains of the central boglands and moraine near Kinnegad. Only a 4 km stretch of the corridor east of Tyrellspass rises above 100 m in height, most of the land undulating gently along the northern extremities of the Bog of Allen. Outside the area of bogland the landscape is typified by regular enclosed fields, bordered by densely overgrown banks with mature hedgerows of ash, elder and hawthorn. This uniform landscape is bro- ken up by streams, eskers and rivers; the River Brosna and its tributaries drain the western part of the study area, while the land east of Rochfortbridge is drained by the Yellow River and other smaller tributaries of the River Boyne (Casey 2002). The moist climate combined with the low-lying condition of much of the area ensures seasonal flood- ing, limiting the land-use capability to livestock grazing punctuated by infrequent tillage. In areas of marginal land close to the edges of the raised bogs the pasture is criss-crossed by drainage ditches without the usual accompanying enclosing bank (Casey 2002). Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e2769-kiltotan-collinstown-13-co-westmeath/ 2
  8. 8. E2769 | A001/08 Kiltotan Collinstown 13, Co. Westmeath ISSUE 3: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 3.4 Archaeological and Historical Background (based on an Archaeological and Histroical Background by Orlaith Egan) The sites within this study area are located in a rich multi-period archaeological landscape (Figure 3) and several monuments have already been assessed in the original EIS report (Riada Consult 2003). Recent excavations along the routes of new roads have added significantly to the list of known sites and the newly discovered sites from this part of the N6 road will add further knowledge to the overall understanding of the area. The area is associated with ancient routeways of unknown date; a large togher discovered by R.A. S Macalister in the nearby townland of Baltigeer in the 1930s may possibly have linked up with the Slighe Dala or Slí Asail, two ancient routeways which led to Tara and Connacht. One of the five great ancient roads of Ireland, the Slí Mór, is also thought to have passed through the area. The earliest indication of archaeological activity within the area was the recovery of a stray Mesolithic Bann flake (IAWU 2002) and a stone axe (SA 1989:17), potentially of Neolithic date (c. 4000-2500 BC), found in the townland of Rattin (IAWU 2001). However, all the archaeological sites excavated in the area have been identified as of Bronze Age date or later. 3.5 Bronze Age c. 2500-500 BC The earliest known evidence of settlement is represented by an Early Bronze Age (c. 2500-1500 BC) togher discovered by the Irish Archaeological Wetland Unit in the townland of Rattin (IAWU 2001). Finds from the area include a socketed bronze axe head from the Late Bronze Age (1936:1873 NMI) which was recovered near Kinnegad townland (exact location unknown). Bronze Age burnt mounds are also reasonably common; one definite example (CHS 20) and several potential sites were discovered during fieldwalking of the proposed route (Riada Consult 2003, 247). A burnt mound was excavated at Kiltotan Collinstown 12 and at Kiltotan Collinstown 13 an anomalous pit produced a Middle-Late Bronze Age radiocarbon date. 3.6 Iron Age c. 500 BC-500 AD There is a general dearth of evidence from this period in the Irish archaeological record. However, a site excavated as part of this project at Monganstown 1 produced two Iron Age radiocarbon dates from metalworking contexts. 3.7 Early Historic c. 500-1100 AD The record of Early Historic activity in the study area and the surrounding countryside is rich. An ancient monastic site founded at Clonfad (WM27: 067, WM27: 066) to north of the townland of Rattin, consisted of a possible church site, a rectangular enclosure, a graveyard, crosses, and Bishop’s grave. St. Etchen was bishop of Clonfad or Cluain-fota-Baethain in the sixth century and the annals of Ulster record his death between 578-84 AD. He is reputed to have ordained St. Columcille and St. Colmáin mac Lúacháin of Lynn and many others. The monastery survived into the eight century AD as Blahmac, an abbott of Clonfad was killed in 799 AD (Gwynn & Hadcock 1970). Sites with evidence for craft/industry from this period include charcoal/metalworking pits at Monganstown 1, Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e2769-kiltotan-collinstown-13-co-westmeath/ 3
  9. 9. E2769 | A001/08 Kiltotan Collinstown 13, Co. Westmeath ISSUE 3: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 which produced two Early Historic radiocarbon dates, and material from a small metalworking pit at Kiltotan Collinstown 14, which also returned an Early Historic date. The most common settlement monuments of this period are ringforts (also known as rath or lios). These are interpreted as enclosed farmsteads and they generally consist of a circular ditch outside an earthen bank (constructed with the upcast from the excavation of the ditch). Larger examples may have more than one ditch and a bank forming the enclosure. Several ringforts are known from the study area and in Farthingstown (WM033-069) and Kiltotan Collinstown (WM033-066) there were two ringforts located within 300 m of the roadtake. These sites are situated on the higher, drier ground at the edge of the bog, to the north and northwest of the site excavated at Kiltotan Collinstown 13. At Kiltotan Collinstown 14 there are four ringforts located within 1 km of the site. The nearest, WM033- 061 (Plate 1), is situated just 350 m to the north. East of the site are WM033-065 and WM033-066, at distances of 700 m and 400 m respectively. The fourth ringfort, WM033-062, is about 840 m north-northeast of the site. Also within 1 km of the site is a fifth recorded monument, WM033-068, listed as an earthwork. At Monganstown 1 a further two ringforts (WM 027:069 and WM 027:070) are located in the area between the site and the town of Kinnegad, with one just 500 m from the site. The evidence suggests that the area was quite intensely settled during the Early Historic period. 3.8 Medieval c. 1100-1650 AD The villages of Tyrrellspass and Rochfortbridge both date from the medieval period and are located near the sites examined in this project. Rochfortbridge is located 11 km southwest of Kinnegad within the Barony of Fartullagh. The village is named after the Rochforts, a French family who settled in Ireland in 1243. Before the Rochforts established themselves in the area the Tyrrells, a powerful An- glo-Norman family, held the Barony of Fartullagh. This included the lands around Rochfortbridge and the parish of Castlelost. In the 13th century (c. 1411) the Tyrrells built a castle that consisted of a motte and bailey (a stone castle came later) in Tyrrellspass, to the northwest of the town. It guarded the western entrance to the Barony of Fartullagh and it remained the centre of power for the Tyrrells until the Cromwellian Invasions (1650). They also built a semi-fortified manorial church on the castle lands which contained an effigy of armoured Knight John Tyrell dating to 1607. The site of another castle (WM 027: 071) and a bridge (WM 028: 003), reflecting further settlement in the later medieval period, are located in the townland of Kinnegad. A defensive castle was also constructed in Rattin (WM34: 008), built to defend extensive Anglo-Nor- man territories in the midlands. The lands were owned by Hugh de Lacy but passed into the possession of Sir John Darcy and his descendents when he became Chamberlain and Steward of the household of King Edward ΙΙΙ, Chief justice of England and Peer of the realm. In the Insurrection of 1641 Nicholas Darcy forfeited Rattin and the greater part of his estates (Bardon 1913). The remains of a sixteenth century towerhouse (called Rattin Castle) are found in the townland today. Test trenches c. 1500 m to the northwest of the castle failed to produce any archaeological remains (Conway 1999, 298). There is also a recorded earthwork site (WM 34:007) located to the west of the castle but its function and date are unknown. The only excavated site from this project that dated to the Medieval period was a small furnace at Kil- Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e2769-kiltotan-collinstown-13-co-westmeath/ 4
  10. 10. E2769 | A001/08 Kiltotan Collinstown 13, Co. Westmeath ISSUE 3: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 totan Collinstown 14 which produced a fifteenth century radiocarbon date. 3.9 Post-medieval c.1650-20th century The post-medieval archaeology examined during the project included the remains of field systems and vernacular architecture. Post-medieval field boundaries and ditches were excavated at Farthingstown 009, Farthingstown 011, Monganstown 2, Kiltotan Collinstown 12, Kiltotan Collinstown 13 and Kil- totan Collinstown 14. The field systems at Kiltotan Collinstown are probably related to a nineteenth century farmstead pictured on the 1st Edition OS map and located immediately adjacent to the site at Kiltotan Collinstown 12. Vernacular architecture was also examined at the site of Rattin 4, where a nineteenth century farmhouse was tested and recorded prior to road construction. In addition there are two demesnes located within the study area (Farthingstown House and Side- brook House), both found in the townland of Farthingstown. The term ‘demesne’ originates from Norman French and indicates the portion of an estate retained by a feudal lord for his own use. Most Irish examples typically consist of a big house with associated buildings, ornamental and recreational grounds, and perhaps the remains of an elaborate boundary wall (Riada Consult 2003, 249). 3.10 Placenames and Townlands The sites were excavated in the townlands of Farthingstown, Kiltotan Collinstown, Rattin and Mon- ganstown. The townland of Farthingstown lies in the parish of Castlelost in the barony of Fartullagh. It covers a substantial area containing c. 1802 acres. It is known in Irish as Baile na Feóirlinge meaning ‘town of the farthing’ (Walsh 1957). It was known as ‘Ballyneforlin alias Fardingston’ in the inquisi- tions of the seventeenth century (Inq. Car. Ι no. 129). The townland of Kiltotan and Collinstown is also located within the parish of Castlelost and the Barony of Fartullagh. It lies south and southeast of the old mail coach road from Tyrrellspass to Dublin and borders part of the County of Offaly. In 1837 it consisted of c. 320 acres, which was mainly of arable and pastureland but included a narrow stretch of bog, which bordered the parish of Newtown. Kiltotan is known in Irish as Cill Toiteáin meaning ‘the church of the conflagration’. Collinstown is known as Baile Choileáin translated as ‘the town of Collins’. (OS Namebooks). The townland of Rattin is located in the west of the parish of Killucan within the barony of Farbill. It is known in Irish as Rath Aitinne meaning ‘Rath of the furze’. The lands of Rattin were formerly part of the lands of Clonfad, situated to the west. The name Mongan- stown is derived from ‘the town of the Mongans’ and the townland covers an area of 483 acres. Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e2769-kiltotan-collinstown-13-co-westmeath/ 5
  11. 11. E2769 | A001/08 Kiltotan Collinstown 13, Co. Westmeath ISSUE 3: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 4 Site Location and Topography Kiltotan and Collinstown Site 13 was located on arable land (100 m OD), that slopes gradually up- wards to the north-west. A ringfort (RMP WM33-065) (Figure 3) is located about 700 m to the north and an old stable and road are also located to the north. Access to the site was through Collinstown farm, the entrance of which was located circa 1 mile west of Rochfortbridge and circa 3 miles east of Tyrrellspass, on the N6 Dublin-Galway road. Part of this access road was originally an old mail coach road from Dublin to Tyrrellspass, this was out of use by 1837. The site was located 300 m north of Kiltotan Collinstown Site 12 and 400 m south of Kiltotan Collinstown 14 (Figure 4, Plate 2). 5 Excavation Results The excavation was divided into two areas; at Area A ditches, tree root holes and a large pit with burning were excavated, while at Area B a disturbed pit was found. The results of the excavation are described below, with full contextual details presented in the Context Register (Appendix 1) and the Stratigraphic Matrix (Appendix 2). Specialist analysis of the material from this site included the ex- amination of charred plant remains (Appendix 3), radiocarbon dating (Appendix 4) and identification of one piece of bone from the site (Appendix 5). 5.1 Area A A series of diagonal ditches, possible pits and a large pit were identified in the course of test excava- tions in the summer of 2004. These features were subsequently excavated in January/February 2005. A number of the features were identified as being natural in provenance (the possible pits in particular) but a large enigmatic area of burning was found and the presence of a series of field boundaries was confirmed. 5.1.1 Large Pit A large spread of red burnt clay with charcoal patches (C.12) was found during the course of test ex- cavations (Figure 5, Plates 3 -6). It measured 5.20 m x 3.86 m x 0.85 m in depth and had four fills (C.3, C.4, C.10 and C.11). Three of the fills (C.4, C.10 and C.11) contained evidence for burning, in particular evidence for charcoal flecking. A radiocarbon date of cal BC 1116-919 (UB-6932) from one of the fills (C.11) indicated activity dating to the Middle-Late Bronze Age (Appendix 4). Originally there were two hypotheses offered for the interpretation of this feature. It was thought possible that it could have been a crudely fashioned corn drying kiln but examination of a sample from one of the deposits within the pit (C.4) recovered no charred seeds. The second hypothesis was that it was a tree root bowl and many of the charcoal fragments in the sample resembled material from roots or a tree stump (Appendix 3), suggesting that this interpretation may be correct. However, the presence of lay- ers of burning within the pit or tree bowl suggests human agency in the formation of these deposits. A final hypothesis developed in post-excavation is that the pit was the location of one very large fire or repeated episodes of burning. Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e2769-kiltotan-collinstown-13-co-westmeath/ 6
  12. 12. E2769 | A001/08 Kiltotan Collinstown 13, Co. Westmeath ISSUE 3: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 5.1.2 Field Boundaries Running northwest-southeast across the site was a ditch (C.2) with one brown silty clay fill (C.1, Plate 7). It measured 1.5 m in width and was 0.5 m deep. It was exposed for a length of 19 m and it extended outside of the limits of excavation. The base of the ditch contained a large amount of stones which may have been laid down deliberately, suggesting that the ditch was used for drainage. As an alternative suggestion they may represent an episode of field clearance whereby the stones from the field surface were thrown into the boundary ditch. An adjacent shallow ditch (C.6) ran northwest-southeast across the area of excavation. It measured 0.90 m in width and was 0.25 m deep, while the full length of the feature was not ascertained. It con- tained one clay fill (C.5) that had a concentration of stones at the base, similar to the material observed in the fill of the other ditch (C.2). These two ditches (C.2 and C.6) were close together (being less than 1 m apart) and it is probable that they were located on either side of a field boundary bank, and that they therefore represent the same phase of field enclosure. A third shallow ditch (C.9) also ran parallel to the other two ditches (C.2 and C.6). This was aligned northwest-southeast, it ran across the site and it measured 0.1 m in width and was 0.25 m deep. This feature extended outside the area of excavation. There were two fills (C.7 and C.8), but there was very little difference in their composition, with C.8 being only slightly lighter in colour. C.8 was only vis- ible in a small area of the ditch and it has been interpreted as slump into the ditch. Unlike the other two ditches (C.2 and C.6) there were no stones found in the base of this ditch (Figure 6). This is the westernmost ditch on the site and it was truncated by the same test trench that cut the ditch C.6. 5.1.3 Irregular Features A number of irregular shaped features with no defining cuts and undulating bases were investigated. They had soft fills and the features were interpreted as tree root holes. Although their date is not known they indicate that this area was at some stage covered in overgrowth. 5.2 Area B A number of potential archaeological features were identified in the course of test excavations includ- ing one area of burnt clay and charcoal which appeared to be an archaeological feature disturbed by later bioturbation. 5.2.1 Disturbed Pit The disturbed pit (C.7, Figure 7/Plate 8) contained four deposits (C.1, C.2, C.3 and C.4). The upper fill (C.1) was a reddish brown burnt clay fill that overlay a charcoal rich layer (C.2). Beneath these there was a layer of re-deposited natural/topsoil (C.4) that slumped into the pit over the basal fill (C.3), which was slightly organic in composition and ran under the subsoil at irregular places. The irregular nature of the layers, combined with the fact that some fills ran under the natural, indicates a high de- gree of disturbance and suggest that this may have been a tree bowl where burning took place. Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e2769-kiltotan-collinstown-13-co-westmeath/ 7
  13. 13. E2769 | A001/08 Kiltotan Collinstown 13, Co. Westmeath ISSUE 3: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 5.2.2 Aretfacts No artefacts were retrieved from this site. 5.2.3 Environmental Remains Soil samples from the site were examined for charred seeds and charcoal remains by Penny Johnston and Mary Dillon (Appendix 3). No charred seeds were found, and only ring-porous wood types were discovered amongst the charcoal, most of it was probably from oak. One fragment of animal bone from the site was examined by Margaret McCarthy (Appendix 5). The bone was identified as the mid- shaft portion of cow’s femur but it appeared to be from a disturbed context. 6 Discussion The Middle-Late Bronze Age radiocarbon date from the large pit indicates that this site is roughly contemporary with the burnt mound excavated nearby at Kiltotan Collinstown Site 12. It may have been a burnt out tree-bowl or a very large hearth pit. There were no indications of date associated with the ditches but they have the appearance of post-me- dieval field boundaries and drainage features associated with agriculture (Plate 9). They therefore have no relationship with the area of burning excavated at the same site. The ditches at this site ran along a northwest-southeast alignment and are therefore comparable to post-medieval ditches excavated at Kiltotan Collinstown Site 14 (A001/009) and Farthingstown Site 9 (A001/083) and 11 (A001/085). All of the excavated field systems probably represent a combination of boundary and drainage features. They are evidence of an evolving sequence of land-use within this agricultural landscape. 7 Conclusion The archaeological features excavated at Kiltotan Collinstown 13 comprised a large pit with burning that produced a Middle-Late Bronze Age date, and an un-related series of ditches probably dating to the post-medieval period. The early pit with burnt fills may be contemporaneous with a burnt mound site excavated at the nearby site of Kiltotan Collinstown 12. The post-medieval ditches were probably associated with a field system, including drainage features and agricultural enclosures. They lie on roughly the same alignment (northwest-southeast) as many of the other field systems of post-medieval date that have been excavated in the same area. Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e2769-kiltotan-collinstown-13-co-westmeath/ 8
  14. 14. E2769 | A001/08 Kiltotan Collinstown 13, Co. Westmeath ISSUE 3: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237 8 Bibliography Bardon, P. 1913. ‘Fairbill Topography’, Typed manuscript in Westmeath County Council Library. Casey M. 2002. ‘N6 Kinnegad to Athlone Aerial Survey’, Section of the N6 Environmental Impact Statement: Unpublished report for Westmeath County Council. Conway, M. 1999. ‘Rattin’, In Bennett, I. (ed.) Excavations 1999: Summary account of archaeological excavations in Ireland. Bray, Wordwell. Gardiner, M.J. and Radford, T. 1980. Soil Associations of Ireland and Their Land Use Potential. Soil Survey Bulletin No.36. Dublin, An Foras Talúntais. Gwynn, A. and Hadcock, R.N. 1970. Medieval Religious HousesIreland. London. Holland, C.H. (ed.) 1981. A Geology of Ireland. Edinburgh, Scottish Academic Press. Irish Archaeological Wetland Unit. 2001. ‘Cavemount, Esker & Derryhinch Bogs, Cos Meath, Offaly & Westmeath’, Peatland Survey Report 2001. Irish Archaeological Wetland Unit. 2002. ‘Fieldwork 2000, Counties Westmeath and Offaly’, In Bennett, I. (ed.) Excavations 2000: Summary account of archaeological excavations in Ireland. Bray, Wordwell. Ordnance Survey field name Books of the County of Westmeath, 1837. Riada Consult. 2003. ‘N6 Kinnegad to Athlone Dual Carriageway Environmental Impact Statement’, Unpublished report for Westmeath County Council. Tierney, J., McKinstry, L. and Moore, E. 2005. ‘N6 Kinnegad to Kilbeggan Contract 1 Archaeological Testing Report’, Unpublished report for Eachtra Archaeological Projects. Walsh, Rev. P. 1957. The Placenames of Westmeath. Dublin Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e2769-kiltotan-collinstown-13-co-westmeath/ 9
  15. 15. 9 Monganstown Monganstown E2769 | A001/08 Clonfad Mill 2 1 Rattin 3 Rattin 5 Figures Rattin 4 Kiltotan Collinstown 13, Co. Westmeath Farthingstown 6 Farthingstown Farthingstown 10 11 Farthingstown Kiltotan and Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e2769-kiltotan-collinstown-13-co-westmeath/ Kiltotan and 8 Collinstown Collinstown Site 12 Site 14 Farthingstown 9 0m 2000m Kiltotan and Collinstown Site 13 Figure 1: Extract from Discovery Map showing route of the N6 realignment 10 ISSUE 3: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237
  16. 16. N E2769 | A001/08 47 50 0.0 00 47 00 0.0 00 46 50 0. 00 0 46 00 0. 00 0 Farthingstown 006- Possible Brushwood Trackway Kiltotan Collinstown 13, Co. Westmeath 45 50 0.0 00 Farthingstown 008- Linear feature Field#36 Field#37 Field#40 45 00 Field#33 Field#35 0.0 00 Field#30 Field#29 Field#23 Field#28 44 Field#26 Field#32 50 Farthingstown 009- Field#24 Ditches 0.0 Field#22 Farthingstown 007- Field#31 00 Field#21 Field#27 Possible Hearth Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e2769-kiltotan-collinstown-13-co-westmeath/ Field#25 Field#19 440 Field#20 Field#18 Farthingstown 010- 00.0 Field#17 Possible Hearth 00 Farthingstown 011- Ditch Kiltotan and Collinstown 012 Field#16 4350 Prehistoric sites and Field#13 medieval system 0.00 0 Field#12a Field#12 Field#15 Field#11 Field#14 4300 Field#10 0.00 Field#7a 0 Kiltotan and Collinstown 4250 Field#9 013- Poss.Prehistoric site Field#7 Kiltotan and Collinstown Field#6a 014- Ironworking site 0.000 Field#8 42000.0 00 4150 0.00 0 Field#6 410 Field#3 Field#5 00.0 Field#2 Field#1 00 Legend: 40 Archaeological sites 50 0.0 C.P.O. outline 00 Test Trenchs 0m 1 Km Figure 2: Portion of the new N6 Kinnegad to Kilbeggan road showing the excavated sites near Kiltotan Collinstown 12 and the outline trenches opened during centreline testing 11 ISSUE 3: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237
  17. 17. E2769 | A001/08 Clonfad Mill Monganstown Monganstown Rattin 3 2 1 Rattin 5 Rattin 4 Kiltotan Collinstown 13, Co. Westmeath Farthingstown 6 Farthingstown Permalink: http://eachtra.ie/index.php/journal/e2769-kiltotan-collinstown-13-co-westmeath/ Kiltotan and 7 Farthingstown Collinstown 10 Site 12 Farthingstown Kiltotan and 11 Collinstown Farthingstown Site 14 8 Farthingstown 9 Kiltotan and Collinstown Site 13 Earthwork Ecclesiastical Site N 0km 2km Castle Potential Site Ringfort Rectangular enclosure Motte Barrow Figure 3: Ordnance Survey RMP map showing the location of the new route in respect of known archaeological sites 12 ISSUE 3: Eachtra Journal - ISSN 2009-2237

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