Monthly Archives: September 2013

Phase II Excavations

Phase II of the Grassroots Excavations have been progressing well over the last few weeks. We would like to thank all of the local people who have been down to see us and to learn about the project. Thanks also to the pupils from St. Laurence O’Toole’s and the first year students from Pobalscoil Nessan who came down for a site visit last week. Here are some photos of the Phase II activity to date.


Mick and Paul working on Test Trench 3


Paul, James, Brendan and Mick working on Test Trench 4


Pupils from St. Laurence O’Toole Primary School doing their daily rounds


Rectangular feature in Test Trench 4


First Year students from St Nessan’s visit the site


Excavation underway in Test Trench 3


Mick taking levels


James excavating Test Trench 4


Gill processing some soil sampes


James and Paul try out some small bore coring


Tashi processing some of the animal bone


Local Historian Michael Hurley visiting the site


Brendan drawing a section


Excavation Update – Phase 1 Preliminary Results

Phase 1 of the Grassroots Excavations took place in private gardens in Seagrange over the last month and have yielded excellent results.


Test Trench 2 under excavation

The core question of the Grassroots Project, namely – “Does anything survive of the Seagrange Monument after the construction of the Housing Estate?” – would seem to have been answered. A mere 40cm below the current ground-level, careful excavation has revealed intact archaeological deposits.


Paul drawing a mid-excavation plan of Test Trench 2

A fascinating array of artefacts were recovered from the topsoil in Test Trench 2 including 18th – 20th century ceramic, a fragment of molten glass, a sherd of potentially medieval pottery and several struck flint artefacts.


Late 18th to 20th century ceramic


Fragment of unglazed, hand built ceramic (probable medieval)


(from left to right) Tertiary flint flake, split flint pebble and secondary flake

The most exciting development however, was the retrieval of objects from secure archaeological contexts. This will allow us to accurately date the features we have found and will enable us to expand our knowledge of past activity in the area. A shallow, linear feature, possibly a drainage ditch, was excavated as well as a shallow pit and a portion of a metaled surface.


Mid-excavation shot of Test Trench 1 (left) and Test Trench 2 (right) showing linear feature and small patch of metaling in bottom right hand corner

The shallow ditch and pit were both filled with a well sorted, loose dark fill which contained large amounts of cockle shell and animal bone. A small secondary flint flake was retrieved from this fill.


Secondary flint flake

The most exciting find to date was also retrieved from this fill, a very well preserved bone pin fragment with a beautiful carved point surviving on its distal end.


Fragment of bone pin

All of the artefacts will receive specialist attention before a comprehensive statement as to their type and possible age will be made. So far Phase 1 of the Grassroots excavation has exceeded all expectation. With Phase 2 well underway, we hope to have more results soon.