IAC undertook test trenching and excavations along the 14.9km route corridor of the M3 Clonee to North of Kells Motorway Scheme (Contract 4 & 5) in Co. Meath

During Phase 1 of the project 160,000sqm of test trenches were excavated within the footprint of the motorway which resulted in the identification of 44 archaeological sites. These sites, excavated over a 32 week period with a team of 150 archaeologists, revealed a significant, previously unidentified, prehistoric landscape in the Kells hinterland. Given the wealth of archaeology in the region it was not surprising that a wide range of settlement, funerary and industrial sites dating from the Mesolithic through to the post-medieval period were identified.

Highlights of the project included Phoenixtown 3, a middle Bronze Age structure, medieval/post-medieval pits & linear ditches, and Grange 3, a complex of houses, ringditch, metalworking and cereal processing dating from the Bronze Age, Iron Age and early medieval periods. An extensive complex of settlement and ritual sites was identified at Kilmainham which dated from the early Neolithic through to the post-medieval period. Most significantly the features recorded at Kilmainham 1C revealed notable structures from the Neolithic and Bronze Age, burials and a possible sanctuary from the Iron Age/ early medieval period and an extensive complex of cereal-drying kilns.