Monday night saw the official launch of Cois tSiúire: 9000 years of human settlement in the Lower Suir Valley, the 8thScheme Monograph to be published by the National Roads Authority (NRA).
The joint BBC/RTE production Story of Ireland presented by Fergal Keane has been nominated for an Irish Film and Television Academy award in the ‘Factual Programme’ Category.
As the excavation at Caherduggan Castle winds down we are now concentrating on post-excavation works and trying to find out more about the people who occupied the site.
The ‘musketball’ was for many decades one of the most neglected of archaeological finds.
They often went virtually unanalysed, tucked away at the back of a finds report and warranting only a fleeting mention. However, the growth of battlefield and conflict archaeology has led to a wave of new research that is rapidly changing our view of these little objects, and what they can tell us about momentous events in the past.
Some months ago we brought you the intrepid adventures of some of our office-based archaeologists, who struggled with the reality of suddenly being thrust back into the field for excavation duties.
Yesterday we brought you news of a leather belt that emerged from the excavation of a well at Caherduggan Castle. As the day wore on this phenomenal feature continued to give up its secrets, producing another find of extraordinary quality. It was so good we decided to break our ‘Find of the Week’ policy and bring you another object which provides us with a glimpse of life in medieval Ireland. Yesterday afternoon was the first time it was touched by human hands in hundreds of years, and we just couldn’t let the week pass without giving you an opportunity to see it!
During the excavation process we identified a big dark area behind the moat. Through careful excavation we realized this originally served as a well and was excavated down below the water table.
Our third week in Caherduggan was spent excavating sections across a large ditch or moat which surrounded the tower described in last weeks post. We could see this once we removed the topsoil as a dark line of soil which stretched across the site.
The castle that once stood on our site was demolished around the middle of the 19th century. When this big stone tower was knocked down we believe that most of the shaped or carved stone was taken away to be re-used in other buildings in the locality.
Our second week in Caherduggan was spent cleaning and recording a number of very large foundations which we believe are part of a castle or tower house that stood on the site during the medieval period around 500 years ago. Our first job was to clean back the walls using trowels and brushes.
One of the many great things about digging a moat is that the lower levels tend to be waterlogged. When soil is waterlogged it allows materials such as wood and leather to be preserved because there is very little air in the soil. This is known as an anaerobic environment which your teacher will tell you more about!
The following blog is the first in a series we are preparing on our excavations of the Castle and Moat at Caherduggan near Doneraile in County Cork. These are being prepared at the request of Cork County Council (our client) and will be targeted at school children in county Cork. We hope that everyone else will enjoy the series too!
Leading on from Cooking a Pig Bronze Age Style Parts 1 and 2 we have stepped up a gear and moved onto pork. Our previous attempt (Part 2) had involved a quarter of a lamb which had been slightly over-cooked. In Part 3 we intended to attempt to reduce the intensity of heat and the cooking time in order to achieve pig-cooking perfection!
Leading on from Cooking a pig, Bronze Age Style Part 1, which set out the theory of cooking a pit using Bronze Age technology, Rubicon’s intrepid MD Colm Moloney undertook Part 2 of the experiment; all that was needed was a shoulder of a lamb, a hole in his garden, and enforced child labour. He describes the results in this photo essay…
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