N22 Tralee Bypass Templeoran Road Improvement Scheme: An Early Medieval Enclosure in Ballinorig West, Co. Kerry
This complex, multi-period site was excavated on behalf of the National Roads Authority (now TII) and Kerry County Council. The proposed road scheme had two main components, the N22 Tralee Bypass and the N22 Tralee to Bealagrellagh Road. The site at Ballinorig West was situated on a small rise, in the corner of a large pasture field that sloped gently from north to south. The most substantial element of the archaeological remains was an early medieval bivallate enclosure. It was defined by a pair of roughly concentric ditches covering an area 40m in diameter, with the inner and outer ditches each measuring over 3m wide. A sample of alder charcoal from the inner ditch returned a date of AD 655–77. Both enclosure ditches were re-cut during a later phase of occupation. Hazel charcoal from the recut of the inner ditch returned a date of AD 893–1019, displaying clear evidence for early medieval settlement and use between the 7th and 11th centuries. Geophysical survey in the unexcavated portion of the enclosure did identify continuations of the ditches, but they were poorly defined and no entrances could be discerned.