The Tullaheady Project

Tullahedy mound: South-facing side with former lake and site of Neolithic houses (middle ground)

Tullahedy mound: Quarried mound and surrounding extant archaeological features

The site at Tullahedy is located on a prominent esker in a flat, boggy landscape. The centre of the mound was quarried, and archaeological features survived mainly on the slopes. A palisade fence enclosed the north-west and west side of the mound and a lake on the south and south-east side, coeval with the Neolithic settlement, formed a natural enclosing feature on that side.  Neolithic houses were recorded adjacent to the lake.

The entire site was utilized simultaneously and archaeological features were present on all sides of the mound slope. The activity is divided in five phases, extending throughout the Neolithic. The earliest phase includes two Neolithic houses contemporary with the palisade fence on north-west side. Subsequent to this activity, over 1m of glacial till was introduced onto the lower slopes, significantly altering the ground contours of the mound. Several pits were recorded both under the introduced layers and cutting into the infill.  Some of these may have been dug to extract cobbles for axe-head manufacture. High quality artefacts were retrieved from nearly all the features.

Tullahedy and Neolithic settlement in North Munster

Project leaders: Hilary Kelleher and Rose Cleary
Funded by Limerick County Council through the NRA.

The Department is undertaking the investigation of a large Neolithic enclosure and settlement at Tullahedy, Co. Tipperary. This important site was discovered in the course of NRA road development and was excavated by UCC in 2005–6. The results of this excavation are presently being analysed as part of a broader study of the Neolithic landscape in north Munster.

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