IAC carried out archaeological testing and excavation within the 30.5km route corridor of the N6 Kilbeggan to Athlone Road Scheme in Co. Westmeath.
A substantial phase of testing, comprising 260,000sqm of test trenches, identified 56 archaeological sites. These sites were subsequently excavated over a 28 week period with a team of 100 archaeologists. Over half of the sites represented the remains of burnt mounds (fulachta fiadh) and/or shallow burnt spreads dating to the Bronze Age. The remaining sites dated to the Bronze Age, Iron Age, early medieval, medieval and post-medieval periods. The middle-late Bronze Age settlement site at Tober constituted a well-defined circular house structure with associated ancillary structures and a surrounding fence line. The significant multi-phase enclosure at Cappydonnell Big was a focus for burial and settlement throughout the Bronze Age (cist burial, ringditch) and Iron Age (re-cut of ringditch). Later settlement at Cappydonnell included a large early medieval plectrum-shaped enclosure ditch with internal bank and flat platform, a later medieval large furnace/cereal drying kiln and post medieval clearance and levelling deposits.
A Built Heritage survey was also undertaken of 10 structures including vernacular structures, county boundaries, demesne walls, vernacular houses and a railway line.