Cahercommaun

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Cahercommaun
Cathair Chomáin
Cahercommaun is located in Ireland
Cahercommaun
Shown within Ireland
Location Parish of Kilnaboy, The Burren
Region Ireland
Coordinates 53°00′53″N 9°04′14″W / 53.014722°N 9.070556°W / 53.014722; -9.070556
Type Ringfort
History
Material limestone
Periods early Medieval
Site notes
Excavation dates 1934 (Harvard Archaeological Expedition)
2003
Archaeologists Hugh O’Neill Hencken
Ownership Public
Public access Yes
Reference no. 270[1]

Cahercommaun (Irish: Cathair Chomáin)[2] or sometimes Cahercommane is a triple stone ringfort on the south-east edge of the The Burren area, in Kilnaboy which is near the rural village Carran, in County Clare, Ireland. It was built about 800 AD.[3]

Features[edit]

Cahercommaun sits on the edge of an inland cliff facing north overlooking a wooded valley, with three concentric walls reaching to the cliff edge. The inner wall alone used 16,500 tons of stone. The outer wall measures some 350 ft east-west by 245 ft north-south. The inner wall is about 5 ft thick and 4 ft high and rises 12 to 14 feet above the cliff.[3] The innermost wall, which is the thickest, forms an almost complete circle, but the two outer walls (connected with each other by subsidiary walls, like a fan) only form a semicircle. The innermost wall contains three chambers within the wall.[4]

Excavations[edit]

In 1934 it was excavated by the Third Harvard Archaeological Expedition, led by Hugh O’Neill Hencken,[5] which found that the roughly circular enclosure contained at least twelve stone buildings at various times, some of which had souterrains.[3] The archaeologists concluded that Cahercommaun would have been home to a group of at least 40 people, and among the artefacts discovered were wooden spindles used in weaving.[6] A silver brooch found in one of the souterrains indicates that the site was already in existence by the 9th century AD. The brooch is in the National Museum of Ireland in Dublin.[4] As well as the brooch, a padlock was found.[5]

The excavation uncovered one of the most important Iron Age collections found in Ireland. From the collection, a set of sheep shears and a saddle quern are on loan to the Clare Museum from the Irish Antiquities Division of the National Museum of Ireland. Evidence was found of settlement dating back to the 5th century and 6th century, although the fort was built during the 9th century. The saddle quern dates from the Late Neolithic/Early Bronze Age period.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ National Monuments in County Clare
  2. ^ Placenames Database of Ireland
  3. ^ a b c "Cahercommaun Stone Fort". Megalithic Ireland. Retrieved 2008-06-10. 
  4. ^ a b "Cahercommaun". Go Ireland. Retrieved 2008-06-10. 
  5. ^ a b c "Cahercommaun Collection". Clare Museum. Retrieved 2008-06-10. 
  6. ^ "Cahercommaun Stone Fort". Burren Ireland Information. Retrieved 2008-06-10. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 53°00′53″N 9°04′14″W / 53.01472°N 9.07056°W / 53.01472; -9.07056