ME00957 - KNOWTH - Burial ground

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Comprises a circular area defined by a bank (diam. 89m) with external bank and interveening fosse (max. ext. diam. 105m). The outer bank is 0.65m high and 5.50m wide. The inner bank which contains a large quantity of loose stone is 0.80m high and 6m wide. The interveening ditch is 0.90m deep and 5m wide. There are a number of gaps in the banks; the largest is the 11m wide gap in the SSE. Within enclosure is slight concentric silted ditch (diam. 67m). Traces of a third inner enclosure are apparent from aerial photographs but cannot be discerned at ground level.The interior is uneven and is raised in the centre. Field system (ME019-027----) appears to be contemporary (Stout 2005, 383-92). Archaeological excavations between 2002-2004 revealed that the site is a burial ground enclosed by two sub-circular ditches of 6th-10th century date and an external earthwork also constructed in the Early Medieval period (Stout & Stout 2008). A total of 52 graves were exposed in the central and southern portions of the innermost enclosure. All but three were orientated approximately East/West. They were mainly shallow , unmarked , unprotected , extended inhumations. In the SE there were 10 slab-lined graves. A bronze baluster-headed , ring-headed pin was found in the topsoil that covered the slab-lined grave. Radiocarbon dates suggest a gradual expansion of the site outwards from c.600AD for the innermost ditch to c. 700 AD for the middle ditch . The outer ditches appear to have been constructed between the 9th and 10th centuries. The site produced a fine assemblage of early medieval material. The most exceptional pieces from the site were a gilt bronze Anglo-Saxon mount, a sperm whale's tooth and a Hiberno-Norse strap end. The above description is derived from the published 'Archaeological Inventory of County Meath' (Dublin: Stationery Office, 1987), no. 1311. In this instance the entry has been revised and updated in the light of recent research. Revised by: Caimin O'Brien Date of upload: 11 November 2013

Description Source: National Monuments Service, Department of Arts, Heritage Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs.

Monument Details

53.7048, -6.48802

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