ME02933 - JOHNSTOWN - Children's burial ground

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Situated on a low rise in a fairly level landscape with lower ground to the W and S. It was identified in the course of preparations for the M4 motorway when it was apparent as a slightly raised subcircular area known locally as Scaruppa that was thought to be a childrens’ burial ground. There was a straight bank (Wth 3m; L 30m) on the E side. A geophysical survey identified a large double-ditched enclosure (ext. diam. c. 60m) and other features. Archaeological testing (02E0100) confirmed the results of the geophysical report and demonstrated the presence of archaeological features inside and outside the enclosure. It recovered a furnace bottom and three inhumations as well as identifying the major enclosing features. As the enclosure lay at a crucial junction of the motorway route total excavation under another licence (02E0462) was necessary and was conducted between April and October 2002. (Clarke 2004; 2004a; Clarke 2008) The mill-race (ME048-031005-) had an upcast bank on its E side N of the millhouse, which became the focus of burial for infants through the post-medieval and early modern periods with about half the burials in the silted mill-race. An animal bone from the upper levels of the mill-race produced a date of Cal. AD 1420-1640. The 61 infants and juveniles were not placed in any order or orientation, and there were two double burials in the late pre-natal stage. Shroud pins were present in 21 cases, and nails were recovered in 16 instances. Other small finds included two mother-of-pearl buttons and three beads. Two adults were among the infants, one male producing a radiocarbon date of Cal. AD 1650-1960. (Clarke and Carlin 2008, 62-6) Compiled by: Michael Moore Date of upload: 14 August 2019

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

Monument Details

Address:
JOHNSTOWN, Meath
GPS:
53.4084, -6.84424
SMRS:
ME048-031003-
what3words:
bulb.warm.fatherland

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