An area of 0.26ha was subject to licensed archaeological investigations (12E0431) at a sand and gravel quarry in November 2012. The remains of eight individuals were recorded in-situ. The burials were confined to the 30m x 15m area identified for archaeological investigation, and no further burials were subsequently encountered. The in-situ remains were notably dispersed across the site and none of the internments were intercutting. All were aligned east-west with the head to the west which is a general, though not exclusive, indication of a Christian burial rite. They were poorly to moderately preserved, with no fully complete individuals: all were buried in simple dug graves. Additional disarticulated remains (including one pre-term foetus) were also recovered at the site, indicating a minimum number of nine individuals.
The recorded burial rites are not limited to a particular period and while their location (i.e. on a drumlin), orientation and lack of grave goods initially suggested this could be a secular cemetery (i.e. not affiliated to a church) dating to the early medieval period, three radiocarbon dates indicate that the burial site was in use in the period AD 1440 – 1670.
An irregular cut for a curvilinear fosse-like feature was uncovered but its full extent and orientation could not be determined due to later truncation. It was unclear whether the quarrying operations had caused this truncation, or whether previous land use had disturbed the site. Within the investigated area the fosse was traced for c. 28m in a roughly north-south line and was 1.3m wide by 0.18-0.43m deep. The profile was somewhat different in each of the four excavated sections but could be said to have had a generally concave/sloped side and a flat base. It post-dated one of the burials which has been dated to the late medieval or post medieval period indicating that it is later than some burial activity on-site. The fill consisted of a brownish black sandy clay with poorly sorted sand and gravel inclusions. Flecks of bone were noted on the surface but these were absent from excavated sections. No datable material was recovered from this fosse. (O’Connell 2013; O'Connell et al. 2015)
O’Connell, A. 2013 ME041-023; Moyfin Td, Co. Meath. Archaeological excavation. Unpublished excavation report (license number 12E0431). National Monuments Service.
Compiled by: Paul Walsh
Date of upload: 1 April 2014
Description Source: Department of Housing, Local Government & Heritage