TipperaryFrom excavations write up.
A large earthwork crowns the hill at Longstone, Cullen, Co. Tipperary. The earthwork consists of a central two-tiered mound with a standing stone sited at the centre. A shallow fosse surrounds the mound and a sloping berm extends outwards to a wide, shallow fosse and outer bank. There is an entrance with a causeway across the fosse, in the outer bank at the east. The overall diameter of the earthwork measures 65 metres.
The standing stone was broken in two during a storm some years ago. Subsequently the monument was taken into guardianship by the Commissioners of Public Works to enable the standing stone to be repaired. In 1973 an excavation was commenced at Longstone.
The outer bank is composed of earth and shale; both fosses are shallow since very little effort was made to cut into the underlying shale which rises towards the surface of the summit of the hill; the central mound consists of two parts, the lower tier not yet excavated and the upper tier which is composed of a clay core with a rough stone setting at the perimeter. The centre of the upper tier was dug away in relatively modern times, thus weakening the foundations of the standing stone which caused it to slant before it finally broke in two.
Some signs of burning under the bank and a few flint artefacts found outside the bank possibly exist from the period of the building of the monument. The excavated segments of both fosses did not produce any finds. The berm has produced the most interesting of the features so far uncovered. The south-east segment had one cremated burial in a small pit, several pockets of cremated bone and charcoal, a post-hone and an overall scatter of cremated bone and charcoal. A second cremated burial, also in a small pit, was discovered in the north-west segment of the berm.
Artefacts acts found during the 1973 season were two flint scrapers from outside the bank, a chert dart head and spindle whorl from the surface of the lower tier of the central mound and two coins of C.1500 from the edge of the upper clay tier. As one of these coins came from the disturbed portion it possibly denotes the date approximately at which the mound was first dug into
Peter Danaher, National Parks and Monuments Branch, Office of Public Works.
Posted by bawn79
3rd November 2005ce
Edited 4th November 2005ce