The dating of food vessels and urns in ireland
As at Fourknocks, many of the unburnt burials were infants or children; however this part of the report is not altogether satisfactory due to the fact that the anatomist was unable to complete it due to ill health.
A number of cremations placed around the perimeter of the mound, were shown by radiocarbon dating to be contemporary with the burials in the tomb.
Book review by Elizabeth Shee Twohig - Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland In 1952, Séan P. In the intervening years, other UCD archaeologists worked on aspects of the material, notably Prof. A long sequence of events is now identifiable as a result of these excavations.
Ó Ríordáin, Professor of Celtic Archaeology at UCD, began excavations at Tara and in 19 he excavated at the most prominent mound on the hilltop, known as the Mound of the Hostages. Michael Herity (Neolithic artefacts) and Dr Rhoda Kavanagh (Bronze Age pottery and knives). Firstly, the area was used to some extent before the construction of the monument, and some Neolithic sherds and radiocarbon dates indicate activity c. A Mesolithic chert flake was also found, though this single item can hardly be used to indicate that the site was a 'sacred place' (page 246) for hunter-gatherers, and it is more mundanely interpreted by lithics specialist Graeme Warren in Appendix 8 as indicating some kind of Mesolithic activity, or the use of a Mesolithic artefact as an heirloom.
Sensibly, O’Sullivan has identified those areas of the archive and record where information is lacking or unclear.
For the most part the report is easy to follow, no small achievement under the circumstances.
The main report uses the older term ' Food Vessel', while the appendix employs the more recent nomenclature, such as bowls, vases, vase urns, and encrusted urns.
Surrounding the cairn and sometimes located beneath the earthen mantle, the excavators recorded a ring of seventeen bone deposits that, like the earliest dated burials in the tomb, have produced radiocarbon determinations focusing in the period 3350-3100 (cal.) BC.
A ring of fire pits coinciding spatially with the ring of burials has been radiocarbon dated to more than a millennium later.
The tomb consists of three successive compartments separated by low sill stones, the roof stones surviving over the two inner compartments.
Noteworthy features of the tomb include the occurrence of megalithic art on two of the orthostats, the presence of three cist-like structures against the outer faces of the orthostats, and most remarkably the collection of burnt and unburnt human bone representing hundreds of individuals distributed throughout the tomb and cists, accompanied by a rich array of artefacts, some of which are decorated.