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Seen & Found

  • #2
    Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,189 ✭✭✭ slowburner


    Here's a place to post and discuss pictures of sites or artifacts of general archaeological interest.
    If you are not sure where to post up material you have seen or found, post here.

    Please note that all archaeological objects must be reported to the National Museum of Ireland. See the stickies on the landing page.


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Comments

  • #2


    I'll start the ball rolling with this.
    These stones protruding through the dense carpet of pine needles are grave markers - all that is left of a cemetery which fell into disuse in 1130.
    attachment.php?attachmentid=198511&stc=1&d=1333234832


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    Great Slowburner, I'll get clicking on my lime kilns and might call to the field where the old barracks walls stand.


  • #2


    slowburner wrote: »
    I'll start the ball rolling with this.
    These stones protruding through the dense carpet of pine needles are grave markers - all that is left of a cemetery which fell into disuse in 1130.
    Interestingly, the SMR states that these markers were not visible when the site was visited in 1997.


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    The stone on the right is a confirmed neolithic, cup marked stone, which may have been reused as a grave marker in a later period.
    Whoever reused the stone, must have felt that the crude resemblance to a face gave it a certain significance.
    The stone on the left is an in situ grave marker - probably medieval.



    attachment.php?attachmentid=199514&stc=1&d=1333882928


  • #2


    Interesting stuff.
    I pass my old barracks walls every day and still haven't stopped to take pics, will do it some time soon.


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    1,790 feet above sea level is this curious circle of stones.
    attachment.php?attachmentid=200403&stc=1&d=1334394240

    The cairn (?) is situated in an early ditch, visible from the air, but not clear on the ground.

    attachment.php?attachmentid=200404&stc=1&d=1334394582

    It's an intriguing area, stuffed with history and prehistory, but a gruelling two hour climb. Much more to be seen and found!


  • #2


    Pictures from yesterday 13th April 2012, I was very surprised on what I found (after a bit of research).

    Motte and Bailey at St Helens (Malahide/Portmarnock) Predecessor to Malahide Castle

    the Talbot family resided in Malahide for the next eight centuries. Their first stronghold was possibly a motte and bailey castle, the earthwork remains of a motte survive at Wheatfields southeast of Malahide, before a stone castle was built on the site of the current Malahide Castle.


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    item labelled ad "Patricks Well" on OSi map.

    located near Paddy's Hill between Malahide and Portmarnock


  • #2


    No shortage of St.Patrick's wells on this island of ours.
    It is an odd looking stone - there seems to be a fair bit of quartz in it.
    Has the well dried up?


  • #2


    Hi Slowburner, just wondering if you think this stone is an odd shape too ? It is quite small, guessing approx. 60cm tall. There are some more stones lying around, which I suspect were once part of a stone wall now deconstructed. This is very near me, but I had the kids in the car and could only shoot it from the fence, poor quality pics, will walk to it when I get a chance and take better pics.
    This is not listed on my Waterford Arch. Survey book, as far as I remember.
    7119288251_5365a4fbb8_z.jpg
    interesting stone crop by mountainsandheather, on Flickr

    6973207592_e1764d5381_z.jpg
    interesting stone by mountainsandheather, on Flickr

    more context
    6973306520_5acffb122d_z.jpg
    interesting stone more context bis by mountainsandheather, on Flickr


  • #2


    I'm only an amateur in these matters, so hopefully someone who is professional, will drop by with a more educated opinion.

    I do think it's a curious stone, all the same. It is a big stone for a field wall - perhaps it was there beforehand, and was later incorporated into the field wall.
    It is very unlikely that the stone ended up that way naturally.
    It's a bit difficult to see any remains of the wall - it looks more like a scattered selection of stones. If it is close to a field boundary, it could be the result of field stone clearance.
    Maybe you could take a picture or two of the wider context. This would help to see if the associated stones are part of a wall or something else.
    More often than not, stones cleared from a field will have plough marks - these can easily be misinterpreted as I should know

    I'm sure it would be worthwhile to have a closer look to see if there is any sign of the hand of man, especially signs of shaping or boring - these might not be immediately obvious, and could need a bit of close scrutiny.

    You have an eye for more than the 2 dimensional landscape now, I'll bet ;)
    Looking forward to more pictures.


  • #2


    Thanks for that, I'll go back and take more pics allright, and will take plenty of the context. I have been looking at this ever since we moved here, and although there is nothing on the survey book, it's just so distinctive seen from the road (as in the pic) that it has kept me intrigued nevertheless.

    Looking at the maps on OSI, yes, it's a wall, or the remnants of. There are some marks, hard to tell, either square or circular, and very very slight, could be anything really, around that spot. If the 6" maps showed a dwelling, it could have been a corner stone I suppose, but there is nothing there. Here is a collage of Bing and OSI aerial views. It could simply have been a big stone damaged while being moved.
    6973620550_0236bd1f7d_b.jpg
    stone by mountainsandheather, on Flickr

    And yes, I am looking at the landscape a lot, and differently, but have been for quite a while, it's just now I'm attempting to learn a bit about it. I look at every ditch and mound with a suspicious eye, and my ramblings keep Mr Mountains highly entertained (ehhh...not) on our campervan journeys (great for spotting features, the view from the camper :D).


  • #2


    It's a gate post, more than likely.
    In the Bing image, you can see the line of a pathway which leads from the gate at the road, and you can see the gateway through the field wall quite clearly in the OSI (2000) image. In the same image, you can also see the darker area of the path from gate to gate.
    The OSI 2000 orthophotographic is a great source of information because the survey was carried out in a really dry period. Underground features with a lot of stone, or those that are compacted, tend to hold more water than open soil. So, in a prolonged dry period, these areas show up as being greener than the surrounding areas. The compacted soil and/or stone of the path is very clear in that image.
    There seems to be a lot of loose stone in the fields. That could indicate habitation at some time, or it could just be a stony upland field.

    You need to identify a really interesting feature, one that you are certain about from your research. Then suggest a picnic in that spot. Gently allow Mr.MS to notice the features, all by himself - you never know, he might get hooked. Alternatively, you drive and let him do the spotting ;)


  • #2


    7154188861_b7aa6f10f1_z.jpg
    Lefanta by mountainsandheather, on Flickr

    Not much to see, but such a great spot I had to keep a record for myself, and thought I'd share. Nice layby and informative panel on the spot too.


  • #2


    A Mesolithic site?
    There's not much about it online, apart from a reference to an excavation in the '80s.


  • #2


    Don't mind me, just being over enthusiastic again I'm afraid... :o
    It is just a mesolithic site, where a few bits were recovered, but to me it seems really important because I'm in the middle of reading about these things.
    I was reading about the potential for more discoveries down here since this area escaped the ice, and of hope some day mesolithic human bones could finally be found.
    I only found out recently about the "Dungarvan valley" caves, where bones of wooly mammoth, wolf, giant Irish deer and bear were found. Some of these caves are still there, and have not been fully excavated, some have been destroyed. Some human bones were found, not mesolithic though.
    From what I gather more excavations/investigations were planned, but I doubt they ever took place, and that they will happen in the near future.
    The Waterford County Museum site is a brilliant site, full of information and brilliant collections of old photographs too.
    http://www.waterfordcountymuseum.org/exhibit/web/Display/article/5/

    a bit in p.26 there : http://www.epa.ie/licences/lic_eDMS/090151b280294c64.pdf
    lots more interesting in that report too about other time periods.

    this too : http://www.waterfordcoco.ie/en/services/conservationandheritage/archaeology/firstirishpeopleindungarvanvalley/

    Co Waterford is not exactly hectic as regards neolithic heritage, so it is nice to find excitement in other respects. :)


  • #2


    That's what it's all about really - the physical connection to the past, particularly when it's so far beyond written history.
    It seems to be a remarkable place. Any idea what finds turned up and dates?


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    Yes, it's listed in the pdf above, which was an application to do work on a nearby factory or something.
    The proposed development site is situated within a wider archaeological landscape that features a diverse range of sites from prehistoric through to post-medieval times. Several early Mesolithic sites,dating to c.6000BC, were identified by Prof. Peter Woodman in the nearby Blackwater valley in the 1980's, including one at Lefanta, near Cappoquin. Among the scatter of artefacts found at Lefanta
    were bladelets, scrapers and a flint core (O'Sullivan & McCarthy 1999, 9-11). The higher slopes of the Blackwater valley remained unglaciated during the last lee Age, preserving such sites. During the Neolithic period, c.3500-2000BC,farmers expressed a preference for lighter, easier to till soils in upland areas, and it has been suggested that the rich heavy soils of the Blackwater area were sparsely
    populated at this time. Kilgreaney Cave, a Neolithic site near Cappoquin, revealed evidence of activity at the cave from the Neolithic onwards (ibid. 12). There is a surprising sparsity of Bronze Age remains in Co. Waterford, given the presence of copper ores around Ballymacarbary and Bunmahon, and the same applies to the Iron Age.


  • #2


    I also found a pdf listing all the caves in the area with photographs and diagrams, and analysing them one at a time in great precision, if that's of interest to anyone lurking or yourself.
    http://www.gsi.ie/NR/rdonlyres/80C42EE2-C9D1-4888-9628-5AD3A09C8A93/0/Waterford_section2_site_reports_part1.pdf


  • #2


    The caves listed in that pdf are fascinating. It's surprising though, that the authors say so little about the archaeology when they were trying to make the case for the conservation of the caves.
    This remark seems somewhat cursory -
    The cave was excavated in 1879 and as well as human remains of various types, animal bones recovered included bear, Giant Irish Deer and reindeer. In 1928 arctic fox remains were added to the list. Collections from the cave are housed in the National Museum of Ireland (human remains in Antiquities Division, animal bones in Natural History Division) but all could benefit from a modern reassessment.
    (Re. Ballynamintra p.9 in the pdf above)
    The NLI lists a reference to Ballynamintra in its holdings:
    Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. Series II, Vol. II. 1879 - 88. Pp. 73 - 78
    I searched here but couldn't find it.


  • #2


    slowburner wrote: »
    I'll start the ball rolling with this.
    These stones protruding through the dense carpet of pine needles are grave markers - all that is left of a cemetery which fell into disuse in 1130.
    attachment.php?attachmentid=198511&stc=1&d=1333234832
    really? where in wicklow is this? It looks like the type of stuff you see all over the place in North wicklow. pretty cool if that's what it is.

    'found' the remains of a house (probably not a home) up at the top of powerscourt waterfall the other day.


  • #2


    slowburner wrote: »
    This remark seems somewhat cursory -
    QUOTE]

    Ah ! I thought the same of the same remark... what bones ? how old ? I have never been to the National Museum, so thought I will just look out for "some bones/remains" some day if I go up there.
    And what about the "modern reassessment" remarks ???
    Could there be something of importance there that was just brushed aside and boxed up at the time ? like : "ah sure they're just old bones, not going to spend the money on dating them...".

    Slowburner would you believe I have been living here 15 years, and never, NEVER have I heard anyone mention the Dungarvan caves, and the discovery of Mammoths' bones in a cave in Dungarvan itself (Shandon). The caves were dismantled after excavation as they were part of a quarry I think, and the land was used to build the Cork Marts.
    That's baffling. A lot of people here don't seem to know about it, and/or care.


  • #2


    BFDCH. wrote: »
    really? where in wicklow is this? It looks like the type of stuff you see all over the place in North wicklow. pretty cool if that's what it is.

    'found' the remains of a house (probably not a home) up at the top of powerscourt waterfall the other day.
    I'm not sure how true the story is, but it goes along the lines of; a dam was built above the falls, and a viewing platform was built beneath. This was so that a substantial cascade could be created on demand for the visit of Queen Victoria.
    When they gave it a go, it washed away the platform and with it went the gentlemen viewing the spectacle.
    They obviously abandoned the plan, and what you saw might be the remains of the dam/reservoir.

    Plenty of upright lumps of stone in N.Wicklow alright. They'd really need to be in a context or some sort of order though, if they were to be grave markers.


  • #2


    slowburner wrote: »
    This remark seems somewhat cursory -
    QUOTE]

    Ah ! I thought the same of the same remark... what bones ? how old ? I have never been to the National Museum, so thought I will just look out for "some bones/remains" some day if I go up there.
    And what about the "modern reassessment" remarks ???
    Could there be something of importance there that was just brushed aside and boxed up at the time ? like : "ah sure they're just old bones, not going to spend the money on dating them...".

    Slowburner would you believe I have been living here 15 years, and never, NEVER have I heard anyone mention the Dungarvan caves, and the discovery of Mammoths' bones in a cave in Dungarvan itself (Shandon). The caves were dismantled after excavation as they were part of a quarry I think, and the land was used to build the Cork Marts.
    That's baffling. A lot of people here don't seem to know about it, and/or care.
    It would be easy to think that people don't care, but I find it's just that people usually don't know. I also find that when people become aware of what's under their noses, that they are positive about it 99% of the time. Unless they have a specific reason for not wanting it known about.

    Now you have a job to do.


  • #2


    7191159964_e6a9e7fbf7_z.jpg
    Untitled by mountainsandheather, on Flickr
    more close ups on my flickr.
    Didn't take any more as my memory card was full (sigh), and the inquisitive herd of cows there was staring at me (think "the birds" except they were cows :)). I'm not very brave when it comes to cows. :o
    So I'll return when they're gone from there.

    Beside the stone, there are 2 big boulders, one of them an obvious conglomerate sort of stone, with this big layer of what looks like lime to me (there are loads of lime kilns around). It is solid, and white, like whitewash, but hard. I thought the big splat of this on the boulder and the patterns on it were ... interesting ? :confused:
    7191204576_58514665bf_z.jpg
    COLAISTE FILM-29 by mountainsandheather, on Flickr
    I don't think that boulder is man made, but it could be I suppose if it was part of a wall/gate post.

    edit : the boulder close up is seen on this pic in the background, the one to the left.
    7191120064_1850601c5e_z.jpg
    Untitled by mountainsandheather, on Flickr
    edit bis : oh, and I checked, there was never any habitation on this spot.


  • #2


    They're big lumps of stone for a wall.
    It'll be interesting to see them in a wider, cow free context.


  • #2




    Beside the stone, there are 2 big boulders, one of them an obvious conglomerate sort of stone, with this big layer of what looks like lime to me (there are loads of lime kilns around). It is solid, and white, like whitewash, but hard. I thought the big splat of this on the boulder and the patterns on it were ... interesting ? :confused:
    7191204576_58514665bf_z.jpg
    I'm a bit puzzled by this. It looks very much like a clay which has been sun baked.
    I can see that the stone is a conglomerate, but my gut says it's natural. But then the clay like cake seems to form part of the stone - as if it was a mortar which was exposed to the sun before it was dry, and which then cracked.
    It could be that the stone was sitting in a clay or marl and at some point it was moved. The clay stuck to it and cracked as it dried out. It is very likely that there is a heavy clay or marl around the boulders - the rushes indicate persistent wet and marl is frequently associated with rushes in this sort of situation.
    When you get complex patterns like this, it easy to 'read' things into it. I think all the fissures are natural, but I certainly see how the curved marks stand out.

    Here's an example of the way we can superimpose meaning or symbolism. It's actually an appropriate interpretation for this particular field and its residents.;) (Forgive my lack of graphic skills)
    attachment.php?attachmentid=205328&stc=1&d=1337253329


    Is there any local knowledge about the site?
    In the wine trade, they say one look at the label on the bottle, is worth twenty years experience.
    Local knowledge has a similar effect ;)


  • #2


    I find it strange too, but the white colour is what is most striking to me. Yes the area is wet, and in the same field a distance away, there is a spring I think. But the clay around here is brown, and often with that yellow clay they have a name for, the bad one. (excuse my ignorance)

    I thought maybe what might explain the curvy shapes could be pebbles embedded underneath ?

    There's no local story I can think of, most of the farmers are friendly and local, but this farmer lives away and really only comes around to tend to the cattle. I will ask the farmer who sold us our house and land, he's young but there is a standing stone in his field at the back of our house, and his family have a lot of land around, so he might be interested and might know something.

    One of our friends is older, and knows a good few stories, although they're often hazy in his memory since they're things he heard or witnessed as a child. He says that one local fellow carved some stones somewhere near me (but not in that spot), I think he carved faces maybe of the Virgin, or something. Some male faces too. People knew for a while where the stones were (in the forest-ry), then forgot, then someone came across them, then as far as I recall, it was forgotten again. I wonder would the same fellow have practised on any local stones that were soft enough to be carved ?


  • #2


    I hadn't seen the cow by the way... but now I see it, it's more the straight lines I'm looking at ... I know it's all imagination really, but look at this design, if we did indulge in a bit of imagining...:D
    http://www.irishmegaliths.org.uk/poitiers.jpg


  • #2


    It's a cow looking at a massive clover leaf. :D

    The Poitiers carving looks like a medieval mason's mark - something like the carver's signature?
    The tooling marks look medieval, I'll guess C.11th/12th?

    There was an episode of Time Team on a few weeks back where they were excavating a Viking burial site on the Isle of Man.
    On one stone, there was an Ogham inscription. The script couldn't have been any more than 8-9 mm high, and it was incredibly faint. They were little more than scratches.
    There were considerable doubts that it was Ogham at all, but it was confirmed and translated by an expert.
    How on earth they spotted it, I don't know.
    It made me wonder if similar inscriptions were, or are present in this country, and if they are, how many might have slipped under the radar in past excavations.

    Somewhere else on this forum, I posted a pic of a Wicklow Ogham stone inscribed with the word 'Votus' or 'Voti' (I think).
    For the life of me, I could not see the script, when I was there, or in any of my pics - but they are there and documented.
    So it just goes to show, we might superimpose our imaginings on things that aren't really there, and we might completely miss things that really are there.


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