While we hope to get back to excavating the cursus at Newgrange farm in the future, this summer (July 2019) Geraldine and Matthew Stout are exploring the remains of the thirteenth century Cistercian grange of Beaubec. Visitors and volunteers are all welcome.
Go to the Beaubec Excavation Blog site by following this link:
Soon after the end of the excavation in July, Peter Connell, the editor of Riocht na Mide, contacted us about publishing our results in this prestigious journal. The report was duly published early in 2019 and you can read it by clicking on the link below:
News just in! Stephen Hoper of the C14 lab in Belfast has just sent us the incredible news that a charcoal sample from the base of the outermost ditch of the ‘cursus’ dates to the Neolithic, most likely between 2632BC and 2472BC. The detailed report can be found at the end of this post.
Sample no.: UBA-38707
Radiocarbon Age BP 4034 +/- 33
% area enclosed cal AD age ranges relative area under probability distribution
Now that the excavation is over, have a look-out for important future postings; a final environmental report, a full analysis of the flint from the site, the finished drawings and preliminary reports. In about six weeks we will have a C14 date that will confirm, once and for all, the date of this monumental structure.
The team has turned its focus to final recording of the pits and ditches exposed during the last few weeks. This is an extremely important phase of the excavation and will form part of the final report that will be produced on the results of the excavation. Once this section of the monument is back-filled this will form the main record of this portion of the site. Matt welcomed colleagues from his college, DCU who interviewed and recorded work at the site. The research excavation at Newgrange Farm provides an insight into the kind of research which members of the DCU academic staff undertake over the summer. Lise Hand, journalist with the London Times (Irish edition) came on site to interview Matt about the excavation. Visitors to the site included Peter Dooner (OPW) and Sarah Cummins with her husband Shane who generously spent most of the day sieving on site. We were also delighted to also see Clare Tuffy and Leonsha Lenihan of the Brú na Bóinne Visitors Centre who took time out from their crazy schedule to call in.
That evening, many on the excavation gathered at Tara for the last of this July’s Tara Lectures. The audience were treated to a novel and highly enjoyable analysis of the iconography of the Crosses at Monasterboice by Peter Harbison. Peter and all assembled thanked Clare Tuffy and her staff for organising and hosting the Tara Lecture Series.
We have reached the bottom of the outer ditch and so the crew is dry sieving the last of the feature fill and sorting all the tools and equipment to return to the OPW. Our environmental archaeologist has processed all the environmental samples and is now doing painstaking microscopic examination for seeds and charcoal. The remaining finds have been catalogued and the drawing of sections and planning of the pits and ditches is in full swing. Jo Leigh, who discovered this great monument, kindly came back from her holidays to help us with the survey work. It was great to see so many colleagues from the National Monuments Service visiting the site as well as our friend Kate Sweetman with three of her French guests. There is a great sense of relief on the site that we achieved our goal for this season and should have all our work done before the site is back-filled at the end of the week.