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New site at Raughley

We were delighted to have a site we recently discovered at Raughley Point, Sligo added to the Archaeological Survey of Ireland.

The mound (SL007-051) is a low grass covered platform likely to be a barrow. The southern edge has been badly eroded by the sea, exposing the mound in section. The damage is the result of storm action and high seas causing the mound to be D shaped in plan, when it would have been originally circular in plan. This site illustrates the need to monitor the coastline for damage to archaeological sites.

Archaeological Survey of Ireland description: In pasture, located at Raghly Point on the SE tip of Raghly peninsula, utilising a low, natural elevation rising above the rocky shore. There are panoramic views over Sligo Bay, with Ben Bulben and the Dartry Mountains to E, Knocknarae to SSE, the Ox Mountains on the S–SW horizon, and distant views of the Donegal Mountains to N.

This mound (overall diam. c. 15m E–W) is evident as a low, D-shaped grass-covered platform. It appears to have been circular in plan originally but the S–SSW side, where it borders the shore, has been eroded by the sea to create a straight edge, which drops vertically c. 3.5-4m to the cobble beach below. The flat top of the mound (7m NW–SE; 7m NE–SW) is defined on its perimeter at SW–SE by a low scarp which is highest and most broadly slumped on the W (H 0.75-0.8m; Wth slope 3m) and E (H 0.9m; Wth slope 4.5-5m) where it merges with the slope of the natural rise which the mound overlies.

The scarp is lower (H 0.5-0.6m) at NNW-NNE. Stones, which barely protrude from the sod, are evident in parts along the top edge of the scarp at W-NW and at NE, and a few stones break the surface on the top of the platform. In the exposed section face on the S side of the mound, a thin covering of humic soil and sod overlies a layer of relatively stone-free, orange-brown boulder clay (D c. 0.4m). This appears to represent the body of the mound.

The boulder clay layer overlies a natural concentration of gravel, rounded stones and boulders, probably a glacial or alluvial deposit, which drops c. 3m to the base of the section face. Though the mound is low profile and not sharply defined when viewed in close proximity, it is clearly visible, silhouetted against the backdrop of the mountains that border Sligo Bay, as one approaches Raghly point from the landward side to N.

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