Full details here.
The Institute of Archaeologists of Ireland has announced a photography competition open to both members and non-members. They are looking for photographs that best capture "Ireland's Archaeology" and will be giving Heritage Cards, which allow free admission to OPW-run heritage sites in Ireland for a year, to two winners, as well as featuring twelve photographs on their website.
Full details here.
Even in the Early Medieval period dentists were sadists.
The Early Medieval Archaeology Project is a collaborative research initiative that has been running for a number of years based out of UCD and QUB and funded by the Heritage Council's superb, and endangered, INSTAR research grants. It has just announced the publication of its latest round of reports on settlements in Early Medieval Ireland as well as a revision of its intimidating Bibliography of Early Medieval Archaeology in Ireland. These are massively important pieces of work, particularly for researchers, and there are few parallels for this kind of work outside of Ireland.
The project has been releasing reports on its work annually for the last couple of years and their work has involved the (figurative) surveying of pretty much every site ever excavated dating to the Early Medieval period in Ireland, particularly settlement sites. All of this will be drawn together in a forthcoming monograph to be published by the Royal Irish Academy. You can read more about it on the EMAP website, Facebook page and blog.
This kind of synthetic and exhaustive consideration of the archaeological evidence from Ireland is one of the massively positive results of the Celtic Tiger boom and developer-funded archaeology. It, and other projects like it, have already begun, based on the abundance of sites excavated in the last two decades, to transform the way we understand periods like the Iron Age and Early Medieval period in Ireland. Hopefully the minuscule amount of money required to undertake more such research isn't withdrawn by the government in the coming years, thus squandering the massive amount of money, sweat and back-problems put into generating so much of the grey literature that makes this kind of research possible.
Prof. Steven Mithen gave a seminar recently at the Humanities Institute of Ireland in UCD. It was entitled 'Communal and monumental architecture at the origin of the Neolithic in the Near East: new evidence from Wadi Faynan, Southern Jordan'.
The lecture is now online as a podcast and can be downloaded from iTunes or listened to on the HII website.
For anyone able to make the trip, I would highly recommend making the trip to Annagassan for a lecture tomorrow by Eamonn Kelly of the National Museum of Ireland on the recently discovered longphort. I saw him talk about the site before Christmas and it is truly astounding, especially in the context of other longphort sites known around the country.
Full details are after the break and you can add the event to your calendar by clicking the button below. Apparently a website on the site will also be launched tomorrow which I look forward to seeing. In the meantime there are a few sneak peak photos of the excavation above to whet your appetite. Many thanks to Brian Walsh of the Dundalk Museum for providing the photos!
UPDATE: The website has launched and is available at www.linnduachaill.ie
I am very happy to announce the launch of the definitive SMELT 2010 documentary (although I can't guarantee a Christmas special or director's cut won't appear. Depends how much money I make from this...).
SMELT 2010 was an experimental archaeology weekend held in the National Heritage Park, Ferrycarrig, Co. Wexford with the primary aim of smelting Irish bog ore in a reconstructed bloomery furnace. We had some success, producing iron, but no usable bloom. Still, it was very successful for a first smelt. You can read more in previous blog posts, or soon on the project website, which I am in the process of updating.
The full-length video is up on Vimeo and embedded above but, due to space restrictions, it is fairly low quality. The video is also available on the Seandálaíocht YouTube channel in super high quality HD, but split in two (length restrictions!). They are embedded after the break (click "Read More" below).
You can also download the full video in HD for your own use here (right-click the link and click save as) but be warned that the file is very large (1.2GB) so it will take a long time to download if you have a slow connection. You can download a much smaller (320MB), lower quality, version here if needed.
EDIT: New links and embedded videos have been added to rectify a problem with the audio levels in the original video. Please download again if you have an old version!
The Tales of Medieval Dublin lecture series continues next Tuesday in the Wood Quay offices of Dublin City Council. I haven't managed to get to any which is why I was delighted to find that the lectures are being published online.
The next event is 'The Wife's Tale' and is given by Dr. Gillian Kenny, an expert on medieval women. Click the button below to add it to your Google Calendar.
The Royal Irish Academy is holding a one day seminar on Friday 8th October called Revealing the Past: Archaeological Excavations in Ireland. It will showcase some of the excavations they have funded in recent years through their archaeology grants scheme, for a long time the only scheme available in Ireland to fund research excavations.
I thought I'd plug it seeing as how I worked as both a student and a supervisor on two of the digs that will be featured: Templeteenaun, Co. Wicklow and Belderrig, Co. Mayo. Holding the event on a Friday makes it a little difficult for most people to get to but if you're lucky (or unlucky) enough to have nothing else on, it is free. You can book tickets here and view the full programme here.
Readers might be interested in DIG, an exhibition showing photos and drawings from archaeological excavations in Smithfield, Dublin. Its showing at The Complex, 18-21 Smithfield Square. Its an interesting idea and I'll definitely be popping in. I might include it in my Culture Night itinerary when the exhibition stays open until 10pm.
The first extract below comes from an article published this morning in the Irish Times but the paragraph that follows comes from a small website describing excavations at Lisnagun Ringfort, Co. Cork in the 1980s.
Is it just me or is there a striking similarity?
Irish Times, Aug 10th 2010
"Ring forts were built and occupied between circa AD 400 and circa AD 1200, in the Early Christian and Viking periods. Like stone cashels and some lakeland crannógs, 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 ring fort sites are currently identifiable in the Irish landscape – they are clearly marked on Ordnance Survey 6“ maps".
Lios na gCon Website
Ringforts were 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 (sic) investigated.
The sad thing is, this kind of lazy journalism takes away from the point of the article, which is an important one about the apparent illegal destruction of archaeological monuments.
Thanks to Terry O'Hagan, a colleague of mine in UCD whose well-honed plagiarism detector, developed over long years of first-year essay correction, picked this up.
I'm presenting at a very interesting and unique conference next month in Dundalk. Its not your average archaeology conference, in fact I'm probably the only archaeologist speaking at it but it will be exploring some interesting ideas about approaching the future through the lens of the past.
See below for the official blurb.
The County Museum, Dundalk, is hosting a one-day conference, Reach the Future through the Past, on Wednesday 25 August 2010. The conference will explore the use of innovation in a heritage setting, and will examine new ways of promoting concepts of heritage and identity through the use of new technologies. The conference title is inspired by a line in Paul Brady’s The Island, and the purpose of the conference is to apply new ways of cultural and commercial thinking to Irish identity and to the historic Irish experience.
Conference organiser, Brian Walsh:
“Last year, the Global Irish Conference held at Farmleigh attracted representatives of the Irish diaspora and the CEOs of several multinational companies. One of the remarkable features of the conference was that the large number of CEOs who chose to attend the cultural – rather than the business - workshops. This is what gave me the idea that we should explore this theme further. The purpose of our conference here in Dundalk is to find ways of seeking inspiration from the past, and to find new ways of applying and presenting this.”
One of the main themes of the day will be how to innovatively promote and popularize history, identity, archaeology and culture to wider audiences.
The international panel of speakers is drawn from a diverse range of backgrounds: academia, archaeology, animation, broadcasting and business. Speakers include Mary Hawkes-Green (founder, Burren College Art and Design); Brian Dolan (founder, seandalaiocht.com); Ciaran McGuinness (Archer Heritage Planning); Paul Young (co-founder Cartoon Saloon and producer of The Secret of Kells); and Yanky Fachler (historian, business trainer, and author of 6 Officers, 2 Lions, and 750 Mules).
Admission to the conference is free, but prior booking is essential.
For all enquiries, please contact Brian Walsh at the County Museum, Dundalk,+353 42-9327056, Brian.Walsh@dundalktown.ie.