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Lithics Ireland
Lithic Analysis and Consultancy

Mesolithic flake

Abstract
The first systematic ploughzone survey undertaken in County Galway was instigated in order to place in context a high density of stone axes found in the Tawin/Maree area in the parish of Ballynacourty, Inner Galway Bay. In the early twentieth century the first finds of axes from this area were reported to the National Museum, eventually resulting in 139 axes being recorded from a small area with a complementary concentration of Neolithic and Bronze Age monuments—this area formed part of Mahr’s (1937) thesis on the Riverford Culture. However, while numerous stone axes were noted, no other prehistoric material culture was apparent. This paper presents the systematic ploughzone survey which resulted in the collection of a chert-dominated assemblage of 800 lithics. This assemblage, dating primarily to the Neolithic and Bronze Age but with evidence for Later Mesolithic activity as well, contributes to our understandings of the prehistoric coastal communities in the mid-west of Ireland, highlighting the importance of chert and the bipolar technique in the Irish lithic technological traditions, and reaffirming the pivotal role the coast and its environs played in prehistory.

  • Lithics Ireland Consultancy
  • killian@lithicsireland.ie
  • Galway, Ireland