Fulachtaí Fia (Burnt Mounds)

Reconstruction image by John Hodgson.

Burnt mounds, or fulachtaí fia, are one of the most common types of sites found by archaeologists working on projects in Ireland. Rocks were heated on a fire and then placed into pits or troughs full of water. The hot stones heated the water in the troughs which was then used for cooking or washing. Mounds of waste stone mixed with charcoal formed around the trough with repeated use over time. These sites mostly date to the Bronze Age.

Archaeologists working on the N5 Ballaghaderreen to Scramoge Road Project have found lots of these. This picture is of a burnt mound in Tullyloyd townland and is of a very big burnt mound that people must have returned to many times, perhaps for big feasts or communal saunas.