Headland Archaeology (Ireland) Ltd. awarded Archaeological Excavations contract on the N22 Tralee Bypass/Tralee to Bealagrellagh road scheme

Headland Archaeology (Ireland) Ltd. awarded Archaeological Excavations contract on the N22 Tralee Bypass/Tralee to Bealagrellagh road scheme

10 January 2011

Headland Archaeology (Ireland) Ltd, Ireland's largest commercial archaeology firm has been awarded the contract for archaeological excavations on the route of the N22 Tralee Bypass/ Tralee to Bealagrellagh road scheme with Kerry County Council and the Kerry National Roads Design office. This follows on from recent test trenching earlier this year where a number of archaeological sites were discovered. The company assessed and reported on all the findings and it was recommended that many of the sites be fully excavated and recorded in advance of the proposed construction works related to the road. Following a tender process Headland Archaeology were awarded the contract for these excavations and have already commenced preparatory work.

Patricia Long, a Senior Archaeologist with Headland Archaeology (Ireland) Ltd.oversaw the testing phase of work and will also act as Project Manager for archaeological excavations. She says "We are delighted to be back in Tralee to further investigate the interesting discoveries we have made. The company has extensive experience in large scale excavation projects such as this, and we are confident we can provide a very efficient service while at the same time producing high quality records of the sites which will be invaluable to the people of Tralee, and indeed further afield".Patricia is also pleased to be able to offer employment to up to 100 people on the project and make use of many local resources. She says "The archaeological industry is suffering badly from the recession as well as recent cuts. This project will offer welcome opportunities to many highly skilled archaeologists".

The work is due to commence before the end of January and is likely to continue for a maximum of three months. The project will involve the excavation of 36 sites along the length of the scheme that range from prehistoric to post-medieval in date. A range of settlement sites were identified including three possible prehistoric house sites and two post-medieval structures. Possible early medieval enclosures were found at two sites and a possible third enclosure was also identified. A further 11 sites contained features typical of settlement and domestic activity but are as yet undated, and some may be multi-period.

A small amount of evidence for burial and ritual was apparent in the form of prehistoric cremation burials at three sites, two of which also contain ring-ditches. Industrial activity comprising metalworking and/or cereal drying was found on five sites. Activity within the waterlogged floodplain of the River Lerr was also noted and a small number of sites contain miscellaneous pits of uncertain date or function. Established in 1996, Headland Archaeology specialises in projects such as the large scale Archaeological Test Trenching of the N22 Tralee Bypass/Tralee to Bealagrellagh scheme.

The company recently opened a new office in Dublin and hired skilled staff including surveyors and geophysicists. The establishment of the Dublin office is part of a growth strategy that will see the development of regional centres of excellence tasked with developing products for the global heritage market. This office will complement the main offices in Cork, Galway, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Hereford and London with new offices planned for Belfast and continental Europe in early 2011. For more information please see www.headlandarchaeology.com or follow them on twitter with @headlandarch, their blog is regularly updated see http://headlandarchaeology.wordpress.com/ or call (021)4520286.