Caraun Point Excavations

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Caraun Point Excavations. [Image: Achill Archaeological Field School]

The machair-covered promontory of Caraun Point is the setting of a dense multi-period archaeological complex extending over an area of c.180m by 100m east/west, and comprising fifteen monuments that include a robbed-out stone fort, a children’s burial ground or cillín, six middens, several dry-stone buildings, a potential ringfort and a relict field boundary.

Prehistoric activity at the site is indicated by the adjacent unclassified cairn and the recovery of a number of stray finds of prehistoric date. A nearby stretch of rocky coastline contains two coastal promontory forts and the site of a cist. A significant early–high medieval horizon of activity is represented by the caher. A number of stray finds from the site, including a silver penny of Edward I (c.1280–1302), and a ‘BIRD shaped piece of iron’ may belong to this phase. Some of the middens may also date to this phase. The site possesses a significant late medieval–early modern phase of settlement represented by a series of dry-stone structures eroding out of the sand. A stretch of drystone wall recorded as a field boundary is also associated with this phase of settlement. The children’s burial ground located at the site of the relict caher is likely to also date to this period. Today the site comprises a cluster of quartz-marked graves in the north-west part of the peninsula.

The ringfort, houses and some shell middens will be the focus of our excavations in 2020.

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