Sunday 27 May 2007

Bronze Age burial urn unearthed in test dig

A BURIAL urn dating back to 1700 B.C. and containing the cremated remains of at least an adult and one young person, has been recovered during archaeological test excavations at the Airport Road Realignment at Monamintra crossroads a short distance from the city.
The early Bronze Age collared urn was uncovered on Wednesday last by archaeologist Orla Scully as she carried out archaeological test excavations on behalf of Waterford Co. Council.
The area of the find was highlighted by previous non-intrusive archaeological investigations as a location of archaeological potential.
The burial consists of a circular bowl shaped pit approximately 85cm in diameter and 45cm in depth, the bottom of which was lined with stones. The collared urn, approximately 35cm in height and 34cm in maximum width, contained the cremated remains of at least two individuals.
Originally the urn would have been slightly taller but the base has been damaged. Its collar is decorated by two bands of criss-cross motifs separated by a series of lines encir-cling the entire circumference of the urn.
The urn was inverted with the remains inside and placed on a stone lining within the pit. A layer of charcoal rich soil, possibly pyre material, was placed around the urn to a depth of approximately 10-15cm and then the remaining burial pit was filled with redeposited subsoil.
The urn is now with an archaeological conservator. As a result of the find, additional test trenches will be dug by Orla Scully to establish the extent of the site.
A full topsoil strip will be carried out at the location prior to the construction of the airport road.
Marion O’Mara
© Waterford News and Star

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