Sunday, April 12, 2015

Excavating the Cromlech Tumulus on Slievemore: The story so far

Looking south across the western part of the site. The enclosure wall can be seen on the right of the picture whilst the western end of the ovoid building can be seen at the left. 
Image: Achill Archaeological Field School

Last year (2014), Achill Archaeological Field School detailed the background to an exciting excavationthat was about to begin on Slievemore Mountain, on Achill, the largest island in Ireland, located off the north west coast of County Mayo.

The site was first noted on the 1838 edition of the Ordnance Survey map where the labels ‘Cromlech’ and ‘Tumulus’ are used, apparently relating to two separate but adjacent sites a little to the west of a well known Neolithic court tomb. On later editions of the Ordnance Survey map and in most subsequent discussions the two terms are conflated and used to describe all of the visible archaeology in that location. Serious archaeological discussion of the site began in the 1890’s when Col. W.G. Wood Martin described the various elements as a ‘sepulchral complex’. Subsequent opinions have been divided over how the site should be categorised.

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