Lios-na-gCon is a Ringfort in Darrara, Clonakilty, West
Cork, Ireland. It has been reconstructed on its original site.
The Excavation of Lios-na-gCon - sometimes anglicised to Lis-na-gun/Lisnagun - the Ringfort of the Hound, extended over 13 months between August
1987 and August 1989. The excavation was organised by Clonakilty
Macra na Feirme as the first phase in the investigation and
reconstruction of the site. The aims of the project were to
exhibit the reconstructed ringfort for amenity and educational
purposes, and to promote the preservation of other
archaeological earthworks amongst young farmers. The site of
Lios-na-gCon is on the property of Teagasc Clonakilty Agricultural College.
The Ringfort is
situated on a gentle slope of south-eastern aspect in a
landscape of undulated pastoral farm land. On a clear day the
mouth of Clonakilty Bay can be seen from the site. It is one of
three circular earthworks in the townland known as Darrara and
one of 48 circular earthworks or possible ringforts sites
recorded by the Cork Archaeological Survey in the Clonakilty
excavation, the site was moderately well preserved. The bank was
upstanding on all sides and the ditch, though partly in-filled,
survived to 1.5m in depth on the east or downslope side.
Local knowledge reported at least one souterrain in the
interior, although the location of this was not precisely known.
The excavation was preceded by a
series of scientific surveys, conducted by Mr Martin Doody for
the Department of Archaeology, University College, Cork.
investigation of Lios-na-gCon found that the earthworks once
formed a substantial defensive enclosure. The original entrance
was identified as an earthen causeway in the SE, which gave
access to a gravel paved interior, dominated by a central wooden
round house. Several small outhouses and animal pens stood
against the stone reveffment wall of the banks inner face.
Underground, the site was honeycombed by three earth-cut souterrains
- tunnels for storage and defence.
Finds included iron slag and tool
fragments, quernstones, a blue glass bead and crude bone stones
and hammer stones.
Evidence of economic activity
took the form of charred remains of the bones of cattle, sheep,
pig, and red deer, as well as of wheat, rye, barley, flax,
radish and hazel nut.
about the farm settlement at Lios-na-gCon was recovered by
systematic and detailed excavation of the site by a group of
local young people, supervised by trained archaeological
supervisors, and by subsequent laboratory analysis of samples
from the site.
built and occupied between c.400 AD and c.1200 AD, in the Early
Christian and Viking periods. Like stone cashels and some lake
land crannogs, they were the defended farmsteads of the native
Irish Celts. These settlements were centres of mixed farming
economy, and were largely self-sufficient in the production of
tools, textiles, and household goods. About 35,000 ringfort
sites are identifiable in the Irish landscape today - they are
clearly marked on Ordnance Survey 6" maps of which a small
sample has been archeologically investigated.