Welcome to the Mapping Death: People, Boundaries & Territories in Ireland database. The following are explanations of the different fields in the database.
The name by which the site is commonly known in any literature and would be most easily recognised by most people. A fairly unique, short name is preferable for the database. Differentiation between areas on a large site may be advisable. This is the primary method of identification.
Section 26 of the National Monuments Act 1930 (amended 1994) makes it unlawful for any person without an excavation licence to excavate land for the purposes of discovering archaeology. Therefore all excavations in the Irish Republic are licenced and an awarded licence will control the manner in which the excavation is carried out and recorded and the future conservation of the archaeology. The licence number is only available in one format and can only be held by a licence-eligible person. Licence number formats will be a two digit year followed by the letter 'E' and then a four digit number which is assigned sequentially with three digit numbers from earlier in the year often prefixed by '0'. Excavations covered by Ministerial Directions or Consents, and those undertaken in Northern Ireland, may not have a licence number. Also, some excavations (early 20th century and before) may not have a licence number. Further information on licencing is available at www.archaeology.ie.
The name of excavation licence holder. The licence holder is the person who is responsible under the terms of their excavation licence (see excavation licence number above) for the completion of any post-excavation works. Licence eligibility is initially assessed through means of interview panel. An excavation licence may be transferred to another licence-eligible person. Excavations covered by Ministerial Directions or Consents will have been directed by a licence-eligible person but they may have not been named. The Project Archaeologist has overall responsibility for carrying out the terms of a Ministerial Direction including overseeing the post-excavation work. Further information on licencing is available at www.archaeology.ie.
The name of the archaeological company, companies or freelance archaeologists or specialists who excavated the site and/or processed the post-excavation material for the site.
The approximate start and end dates during which the excavation took place.
Name of Mapping Death team or member who synthesised the original excavation reports.
The national and global location of the excavation site (Irish National Grid Reference and Latitude/Longitude system). NGR E/NGR N: The Irish national grid reference system is a system of geographic grid references commonly used in Ireland but which differ from latitude and longitude. Latitude and longitude: usually denoted by the Greek letter phi (f) and lambda (λ) respectively, these give the location of a place on Earth north or south of the equator, and global navigation for east-west measurement.
The name by which the site is geographically known, if this varies from the site name or townland. For example, a topographical feature which is not recorded in the general toponymy around the site and therefore not a townland, site name or locally known name.
The name by which the site is locally known, if this varies from the site name or townland. For example, the name of the bog which may encompass several townlands while the site name specifies the area/feature within a townland; or a placename which was not referenced in the site name.
A National Monument is defined and protected under the National Monuments Act 1930 (amended 1994). They are registered by county on the Record of Monuments and Places (RMP), an updated version of the Sites and Monuments Record (SMR), legislated by the 1994 amendment, which includes later places of interest and delists sites considered no longer worthy of National Monument status. A National Monument number is only available in one format: a two letter code indicates the county, followed by a three digit number relating to the map sheet, a hyphen, and then a three digit number related to the Monument. Some Monuments may then have a further three numbers if later discoveries have increased the number of Monuments in that area. Relatively few archaeological sites will be National Monuments. This field links to the Sites and Monuments Database compiled by the Archaeological Survey of Ireland.
A townland is the smallest administrative division in the Irish landscape, although their size range is immense and average size is often dependent on the landscape. There are over 64,000 townlands and townland boundaries often have ancient parallels. This field links to the Placenames Database of Ireland. For more information, see www.logainm.ie.
Ordnance Survey of Ireland six inch mapsheet(s) number on which the site is located.
Ordnance Survey of Ireland Discovery Series mapsheet(s) number on which the site is located.
The basic classification of burials found on the site (inhumation, cremation or both).
A basic summary of the archaeology site that includes pertinent summary information regarding the site and excavation, such as relevant road schemes, other monuments in the immediate area, etc.
Any interpretation of the cultural identity of those burying their dead on the site, recognised from analysis of the given information and other historical and documentary evidence. This may include supposition on behalf on individual contributors, primarily the Mapping Death team.
The era to which burials may be attributed, such as Later Iron Age, Early Medieval or both.
Further chronological information on the burials.
A basic description of the cemetery, i.e. the date of commencement (if relevant), if it is beneath a mound, within an enclosure, on high ground or part of a settlement, types of graves, and any other relevant information.
A description of the physical location of the site and its surrounding topography. For example, its Ordnance Datum (OD), if it is on a ridge, overlooking a valley or expanse of countryside, beside a river, a bog, etc.
Any evidence for an outer enclosure encompassing the total site - not just the burials.
Any evidence for settlement (perhaps kilns, mills, hearths, post holes, house foundations, etc.) associated with the site.
Any evidence that there was an ecclesiastical foundation on the site.
Any evidence for a ferta, or an ancestral burial site. These are often located at boundaries and can act as territorial or familiar markers in the landscape.
Any interpretation of the site or burials recognised from analysis of the given information. This may include interpretation by individual contributors or by members of the Mapping Death team.
The location of cremations associated with the site.
The relative location of cremations with regard to the surrounding site and features.
This category identifies the phasing of the cremation burials on the site. They can be primary, secondary or unknown.
Further numerical clarification of the cremation burials on the site.
Any evidence for a grave of increased significance or special status. This could be the first cremation burial deposited or a cremation burial of apparent significance on the site.
The type of cremations found on the site (pit, spread or both). Pit cremations are those deposited in small pits, and spread cremations are those spread or scattered over the ground surface.
Evidence of any unusual features in the cremation burials.
Details of any cremations accompanied by animal bone.
Any grave goods (those directly associated with the graves) or other relevant objects found on the site.
The location of inhumations associated with site.
The relative location of inhumations with regard to surrounding site and features.
This category identifies the phasing of the inhumation burials on the site. They can be primary, secondary or unknown.
Further numerical clarification of the inhumation burials on the site.
Any evidence for a grave of increased significance or special status. This could be the first inhumation burial deposited or an inhumation burial of apparent significance on the site.
Any information available regarding the osteology of remains. This includes any unusual information as well as referencing available osteology reports.
The orientation of the inhumation burials, with the placement of the head noted first (i.e. head at west = w-e).
The interred position of the inhumation burials on the site, including supine (on its back), prone (face-down in the grave), left side, right side, extended, crouched and flexed.
The grave structure of the inhumation burials on the site. The grave types are as follows: unprotected (shallow dug grave without stone settings), stone-lined (shallow dug grave outlined/or lined with stones, with no covering slabs), slab-lined cist (well dug grave, lined with stone slabs, sometimes with slab flooring, and covered by long slabs), lintel (shallow slab-lined grave with a series of small covering lintel slabs resting on side slabs). Also included is information about plank lining, ear muff stones, and pillow stones.
Any evidence of trauma found on the inhumation burials, including weapons trauma.
Any evidence of decapitation found on the inhumation burials.
Any evidence of multiple inhumation burials found in the same grave.
Any evidence of shroud wrapping found on the inhumation burials.
Any evidence of antler found in the grave.
Any evidence of charcoal or burnt grain found in the grave.
Any evidence of quartz pebbles found in the grave.
Any evidence of a knife or buckle found in the grave.
Any evidence of animal bone found in the grave.
Any evidence of a toe ring found in the grave.
Any evidence of a neck ring found in the grave.
A description of any other grave goods found with the inhumation burials on the site.
The author of the relevant article, book, website, report, etc.
The year of publication of the relevant article, book, website, report, etc.
The full title of the relevant article, book, website, report, etc.
TThe full reference for the relevant article, book, website, report, etc.
The number allocated by the radiocarbon dating laboratory to the specific sample.
The description of the contents of the dated sample.
The radiocarbon date provided by the lab.
The radiocarbon date, calibrated through OxCal 4.1 at both 1 and 2 sigma.
The number allocated by the laboratory to the specific sample.
More information regarding the findings of the stable isotope analysis.
As referred to on the Home Page, any additional media (such as published and unpublished reports, site plans, photographs, etc.) relating to the site is stored in this section of the database. Some documents are accessible by the general public; others require the permission of the relevant authors. To view locked media, please contact the Mapping Death team at firstname.lastname@example.org , and we will attempt to gain permission from the authors for you.