M3 Motorway Archaeological Contract


Archaeological Consultancy Services project managed four out of the five advance archaeological contracts for the M3 Clonee to North of Kells Motorway Scheme. The scheme included 60km in length of mainline and an additional 50km of ancillary and access roads and covered in excess of 700 hectares of land. The project involved initial testing of the route, followed by full archaeological excavation of the sites uncovered. A total of 126 sites were excavated between 2005 and 2007 using a field staff of over 300 archaeologists.The excavated sites ranged in date from the mesolithic right down to the twentieth century and included numerous enclosures, burial grounds, settlement and ritual sites. The post-excavation phase was completed by the middle of 2009 and final reports have been submitted for all the excavated sites. 

A number of publications have since appeared including an account of some of the bigger sites, Places along the way, edited by Mary Deevy & Donald Murphy and Harvesting the stars by Aidan O Connell. Another paper by Donald Murphy & Victoria Ginn on the M3 Motorway Excavations and Tara was published in Tara from the past to the future edited by Muiris O Sullivan, Chris Scarre and Maureen Doyle in September 2013 and concentrates on the area around the Hill of Tara. 


Archaeologist Ireland