Heritage Discoveries: The Roman Burial from Stoneyford, Co. Kilkenny





In 1852 a Roman burial was found in Ireland in a field near Stoneyford, Co. Kilkenny.

In 1852 a Roman burial was found in a field near Stoneyford, Co. Kilkenny in a rath, possibly a burial mound, protected by stones. The burial consists of a cremation in a Roman green glass jar which was sealed with a bronze disc mirror and accompanied by a Lachrymatory or unguent or ointment container. The burial is of a type commonly found in the Romam Empire in the first century AD when household jars were commonly used as cremation urns. The presence of an ointment jar and mirror suggests that the person buried was probably a woman. The burial indicates that there were Romans present in Ireland in the first century who had brought a range of glass and bronze household vessels with them. Perhaps the woman was part of a trading expedition that had sailed up the River Nore, or was part of a more permanent settlement in the area. In any case the importance of the burial is that it indicates direct contact between Ireland and the Roman Empire in the first century AD. It also indicates that the Romans were not just able to land on the coast of Ireland but could travel into the interior of the island.

The Stoneyford finds are in the National Museum of Ireland.

Further Reading
Edward Bourke 1989. Stoneyford: A First-Century Roman Burial from Ireland Archaeology Ireland 3,2, 56-7.

 
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