Steeped in Sligo’s Past,      Actively Securing Sligo’s Future
    2017 Programme of Lectures Venue for all lectures :    8pm Sligo Institute of Technology Education Centre, IT Sligo Campus Jan 27 Dr Noel Kissane   St Brigid : Life, Legend, Cult Feb 24 Seosamh O'Cuaig  From the shores of Connemara to the Prairies of Minnesota Mar 31 Dr Wes Forsythe The Archaeology of Salt Production in Ireland         Apr 28 Claire Foley Archaeological Survey of County Fermanagh May 17 Sam Moore Outing : Highwood Ramble                            May 26 Dr Laurence Geary Sir William Wilde (1815-1876): A Nineteenth-Century Irish Polymath Jun 17 Sean McLoughlin Outing : Cavan Burren Jul 5 Martin Wilson Outing : Streamstown, Ballysodare Walk                           Sep 29 Coilin O'Drisceoil The Black Pigs Dyke                    Oct 27 Nicola Gordon Bowe A Host of Shining Saints: the Stained Glass Revival in Ireland's Celtic Revival 1900-1930 Oct 7th – 8th SFC Conference The Rise and Fall of Landed Estates in the Northwest Nov 24  Shane Delaney The Roscommon Burials         Dec 15 Wendy Lyons Markree Castle Observatory
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Date : 8pm Friday Nov 24th  Lecturer : Shane Delaney Title : The Roscommon Burials
Venue for all lectures :    8pm Sligo Institute of Technology Education Centre, IT Sligo Campus All are welcome - Non-members €5 donation entry
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Ranelagh, County Roscommon. Preliminary observations. Irish   Archaeological   Consultancy   Ltd   carried   out   an   excavation   in   Ranelagh   townland,   to the   north   of   Roscommon   town,   as   part   of   a   road   realignment   project   along   the   N61   from October   2015   to   October   2016.   The   archaeological   site   was   located   in   pastureland   on   a noticeable   rise   with   good   views   across   the   surrounding   landscape.   Previous   geophysical survey   and   test   excavations   identified   and   confirmed   the   presence   of   a   large   enclosure complex.   Excavation   at   the   site   at   Ranelagh   1   revealed   a   multivallate   enclosure   with   an   associated burial   ground,   a   series   of   internal   ditches,   two   small   souterrains,   pits,   kilns,   hearths,   a   well and   linear   features.   A   linear   field   ditch/boundary   which   extended   east   to   west   at   the   south of   the   site   may   be   contemporaneous   with   the   enclosure.   Two   linear   ditches   extended northwest   and   northeast   from   the   enclosure   at   the   north   of   the   site.   These   may   be   the remnants    of    an    early    medieval    or    medieval    field    system    that    respected    the,    by    then upstanding but likely abandoned, enclosure. The   area   of   the   site   within   the   footprint   of   the   road   was   7,687   m2.   The   burial   ground   was used   over   an   extended   period   and   appeared   to   expand   from   a   western   point   of   origin, suggesting   continuous   or   multiple   phases   of   activity.   It   contained   551   articulated   burials   as well   as   242   disarticulated   deposits   of   human   bone.   A   large   number   of   infant   and   child burials   were   recovered   from   the   upper   deposits   of   the   burial   ground   and   may   indicate   later use as a Cillín or children’s burial ground. Artefacts   were   recovered   from   features   across   the   site   and   included   iron   knives,   iron shears,   iron   ladles,   fragments   of   glass,   amber   and   jet   beads,   fragments   of   rotary   querns, stick   pins,   ring   pins,   bone   pins,   fragments   of   lignite   bracelet,   fragments   of   bone/antler comb,   spindle   whorls,   sharpening   stones,   hammerstones,   hone   stones,   a   fragment   of   a probable   brooch   panel   with   enamel   stud,   fragment   of   a   decorated   copper   alloy   bracelet terminal   with   decoration   dated   to   c.   350–550   AD   and   various   copper   alloy,   iron   and worked   stone   fragments.   One   of   the   burials   produced   a   copper   alloy   toe‐ring   which   may indicate high status burial. A   substantial   animal   bone   assemblage   was   also   retrieved   from   many   of   the   features   across the   site. There   was   strong   evidence   through   the   faunal   assemblage   for   butchering   at   the   site and   the   presence   of   multiple   cereal-drying   kilns   and   quern   stone   fragments   indicated   food production   on   site.   Evidence   for   small-scale   fine   metalworking   in   the   form   of   mould fragments, crucible fragments and a small quantity of slag was also recovered. The   lack   of   structural   evidence   for   settlement   and   the   presence   of   such   a   large   burial ground   combined   with   the   artefact   and   faunal   assemblage   may   indicate   a   site   that   had   more of   an   administrative/distribution   hub   role,   perhaps   for   the   community   in   the   surrounding area.   Based   on   the   range   and   style   of   artefacts   recovered   from   the   site   it   is   reasonable   to suggest a 6th–11th century AD date range for primary activity at Ranelagh .
( above ) Ranelagh 1 looking north (Photo: Ian Kerr/IAC) ( below )Ranelagh 1 looking west (Photo: Ian Kerr/IAC)
Shane   Delaney   is   a   freelance   archaeologist   and   project   manager.      He   is   a   graduate   of   UCC   where   he   achieved   his   BA   (Hons)   and MA   in   archaeology.   Shane   has   been   working   in   field   archaeology   since   1995   and   has   worked   throughout   the   country.   He   has directed   sites   from   most   periods   and   has   managed   many   largescale   archaeological   projects   over   the   years.   He   carried   out   the excavation   in   Ranelagh   for   Irish   Archaeological   Consultancy   Ltd   on   behalf   of   Roscommon   County   Council   and   Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII).
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8pm Friday 24th Nov