Archaeology Research Collection
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- PublicationAfter the 'Big Bang' - What? Or Minioan Symbols and Shrines Beyond Palatial Collapse(Oxford University Press, 1994)
- PublicationFulacht fiadh in Bofeenaun Townland, Lough More, Co. Mayo(Department of Archaeology, University College Dublin., 1995)
- PublicationA paved way in Bloomhill Bog, Counties Westmeath and Offaly(Department of Archaeology, University College Dublin, 1995)
- PublicationThe insect fauna (Coleoptera) from the Neolithic trackways Corlea 9 and 10: the environmental implications(Irish Archaeological Wetland Unit, 1996)
- PublicationMicromorphological study of ridge-and-furrow remains at Watson's Lane, Little Thetford, Cambridgeshire(1999-03)The Watson’s Lane site included part of a relatively well-preserved ridge-and-furrow field from the Medieval and post-Medieval periods (SMR 09873). The ridge-and-furrow area investigated included 12 ridges spaced c. 4 m apart, and standing up to 1 m (Gdaniec and Butler 1994, 6). Trial trenching of the area was carried out by the Cambridge Archaeological Unit in 1995. Trench 10 (see Figure 1) cut across the line of the ridge and furrow system, exposing Ridges 3-10 in section (see Figure 2 - ridges are numbered from north to south). This trench was opened to allow detailed study of the field system, with the ultimate aim being reconstruction of the processes involved in its development. In addition to field description, the system was studied through soil micromorphology as forms part of doctoral research on the characterisation of ancient tillage practices through field and soil micromorphological analyses (Lewis 1998).
- PublicationA decorated megalith from Knowlton Henges, Dorset, England(The Prehistoric Society. University College London. Institute of Archaeology., 2000-07)
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- PublicationDistributions of Cretan Aqueducts; a window onto Romanisation(Society of Cretan Historical Studies, 2001)Images of the magnificent and solid Pont du Gard, the grandeur of the Segovian aqueduct juxtaposed against its modern urban setting, or the mirage-like aqueduct approaching Carthage are usually invoked when one thinks of a Roman aqueduct. Unfortunately, and somewhat surprisingly, the Roman aqueducts of Crete are rarely evoked in such terms, if ever evoked at all.
- PublicationTreckers through time: recent archaeological survey results from Co. Offaly, Ireland(University College Dublin. Department of Archaeology, 2001-08)The work of the Irish Archaeological Wetland Unit (IAWU) is primarily focused on surveying the raised bogs of the Irish midlands. In this region the State peat company, Bord na Móna, industrially exploits 85,000ha of peat for energy, horticulture and domestic fuel (Fig. 1). The main brief of the archaeological survey is to fieldwalk this area, to identify archaeological sites and to facilitate their protection under National Monuments legislation. Given the nature of industrial peatlands it is also important that the sites identified be recorded in sufficient detail to gain some understanding of the structures in the event they are destroyed before protection or preservation.
- PublicationSoil micromorphology and geoarchaeology at Parknabinnia Court Tomb (Clare Megalith 153), Co. Clare, Ireland(2003)This report describes soil micromorphological and field characteristics of profiles from the Parknabinnia Neolithic court tomb, County Clare, Ireland, and discusses how they relate to the history of the monument, its locality and the region. The tomb is located on a junction of two soil profile types, both overlying the Lower Carboniferous limestone pavement of the Burren. Despite the presence of a thick covering of soil inside the tomb before excavation, a rendzina on limestone, the typical modern soil profile for the area, is present under much of the tomb. Where the site overlies a slight hollow, however, a red clay-rich deposit is found overlain by a clayey brown earth profile. The latter appears to have derived from a localised occurrence or survival of more shale-rich or mixed limestone/shale breccia, as described for soils immediately to the south of the area (Moles & Moles 2002), although its relationship to those soils cannot be verified without further study. The hollow profile shows a change in chemistry and/or aeration with depth, with mollusc-rich and slightly calcareous organic topsoil overlying a moist parent material rich in oxidised iron and clay.
- PublicationThe contribution of insect remains to an understanding of the environment of Viking-age and medieval Dublin(Four Courts Press, 2003)This paper examines the important contribution that sub-fossil insect remains can make to an understanding of the environment of Viking-age and medieval Dublin. The study of insect remains is one aspect of the increasingly important area of environmental archaeology and can contribute to a more holistic understanding of archaeological contexts. Environmental archaeology seeks to use other scientific disciplines to answer classic archaeological questions of the 'why, how and what' of prehistoric and historic human activity. Environmental archaeology has a particularly significant role to play in the interpretations of urban sites because the matrix of these sites is made up primarily of organic remains – plants, wood, insects, animal bone, shell. So what of insects in particular? What can they tell us about the prevailing micro- and macro-level environmental conditions in Dublin during the Viking and medieval periods? About the use of structures at a macro-level? About the use of domestic space within structures? About the use of hinterland resources? About the seasonality of that use? And about the hinterland itself and the nature of the landscape around the town? The study of insects can contribute to the answer to all of these questions, particularly as part of an integrated environmental/archaeological strategy, and a number of case studies will be presented in this paper to illustrate this. However, it is important to start with a brief introduction to the subject as a whole and its development and subsequent contribution to urban archaeological research.
- PublicationThe Roman Baths of Mylopotamos: a distribution study.(Historical and Folklore Society of Rethymno, 2003-10-30)The eparchy of Mylopotamos is home to a cluster of Roman baths including examples at Eleutherna, Stavromenos, Chamalevri, Alpha and Plaka Kalis. Furthermore, Roman baths have also been identified at Sybritos and Vizari located south of the modern boundaries of the province, but are best understood as part of this larger regional concentration. This article examines this notable concentration of Roman baths through an appraisal of their common heating system. This heating system is characterised by the application of clay spacer pins to the main architectural walls of the bathhouse. These spacer pins secure a parallel screen wall, composed of a series of large flat tiles, which creates a cavity allowing for the circulation of hot air generated in the hypocaust of the bath. This heating system, incorporating the use of spacer pins, is not exclusively restricted to the Mylopotamos region but represents the characteristic Roman bathhouse heating system of the island of Crete. In the wider empire, spacer pins have been found in baths in North Africa, Israel, Cyprus, Rhodes, and Asia Minor, but not elsewhere. The dense distribution of this heating system across Crete contrasts starkly with its apparent rarity on mainland Greece (where a preference for spacer tubes and tubuli / box tiles is demonstrable). Wider imperial distribution of spacer pins supports direct connections and influence between Crete and Asia Minor (particularly in Lycia), and to a lesser extent, North Africa. There are clear economic benefits to the use of spacer pins in bathhouse heating systems as they could be produced quickly, efficiently and economically on a large scale in Crete. Their production is confirmed in many of the major sites of production of amphorae on the island, being securely identified at Chersonisos, Tsoutsouros, Dermatos and Gortyna.This coupling of the manufacture of spacer pins with amphora production sites establishes their manufacture on an intense island-wide scale during the 2nd and 3rd century BC, which also corresponds to a period of extensive construction of public baths across the island. The grouping in Mylopotamos represents the densest inland bathhouse concentration on the island, and, since a public bath, no matter how small, was necessary for civic esteem in the Roman period, as it was in such visible terms that rival cities measured their status, their presence intimates that this inland area was particularly attractive for urban development. By the 3rd century AD these major sites had grown to such a size whereby they could generate small satellite settlements within their hinterlands (as possibly represented by the baths of Vizari and Alpha). This dynamic is a testimony to the success of the Roman urban pattern in Crete, which not only created urban structures but also transformed rural life, and establishes Eleutherna as one of the most dominant cities in Crete during the imperial period.
- PublicationDendrokronologisk undersøgelse af skibsvrag fra Spodsbjerg Drej, Svendborg amt.(dendro.dk, 2004-08)Dendrochronological dating and timber provenance of a boat found at Spodsbjerg Drej, Svendborg amt, Denmark. Result: after AD 1775.
- PublicationColeoptera(Wordwell Ltd., 2005)This chapter looks at samples taken for insect analysis at various sites throughout Derryville Bog. The analysis of insect remains, particularly Coleoptera (beetles) which will be the main focus of this chapter, and their use in environmental reconstruction is relatively new in Ireland but has had a long and distinguished history in Britain and parts of Europe.
- PublicationA cross-population analysis of the growth of long bones and the os coxae of three Early Medieval Austrian populations(Wiley, 2005-08)
; ; ;Inter-population variability in long-bone and pelvic-bone growth during the Early Medieval period is examined. The materials comprise four archaeological populations: two Slavonic (Gars–Thunau, Zwentendorf, Austria, 10th-century ad), one Avar (Zwölfaxing, Austria, 8th-century ad), and one Anglo-Saxon (Raunds, England, 10th-century ad). Bone measurements are analyzed against dental age estimates in order to assess inter-population differences in growth rates for long-bone and os coxae bone dimensions. Growth curves of the upper and lower extremities of additional archaeological populations and a modern North-American population are also assessed. The expectation was that the greatest differences in growth patterns would be found between the Anglo-Saxon and the Austrian samples, due to their distinct genetic and biocultural background. Minimal differences were expected between the two Slavonic populations, as these were approximately contemporaneous, recovered from geographically close locations, and shared relatively similar archaeological contexts. Growth curves were estimated for each bone dimension by fitting least-squares fourth-order polynomials (which allowed testing of population differences by analysis of covariance), and iteratively estimating Gompertz growth curves. The results showed differences between bones in the extent of inter-population variability, with diaphyseal long-bone growth showing equivalent patterns across the four populations, but significant differences between populations in the growth patterns of distal diaphyseal dimensions of the femur and humerus and the dimensions of the ilium. Varying growth patterns are therefore associated with inter-population differences in absolute dimensions in relation to age as well as variations in growth velocities. Inter-population variability in growth curves in the case of femoral and humeral dimensions were most pronounced during infancy (0–2 years). The most consistent differences in bone growth and related dimensions are between Zwölfaxing and the other samples. No significant differences in growth were detected between the Anglo-Saxon and the Austrian populations. 314Scopus© Citations 23
- PublicationThe insects, the body and the bog(Wordwell Ltd., 2005-12)The discovery of a bog body at Tumbeagh Bog, Lemanaghan, Co. Offaly, afforded a rare opportunity to examine well-preserved human remains and the environment in which they were found. Samples for insect remains and pollen were taken from close to the body. A column of insect samples from a peat section face near the body was taken, after consultation with Dr Wil Casparie, in order to provide close correlation between environmental proxies. Insects are useful environmental indicators. The habitat-specific nature of many species of beetles (Coleoptera), in particular, can help to determine the environmental conditions pertaining at the time of their deposition. From the results outlined below, it is clear that their real value to this study lies in their ability to provide a detailed picture of environmental change up to and including the time of deposition of the body
- PublicationEarly occupation at Ille Cave, New Ibajay, El Nido, Palawan, Philippines: Report on the 2005 excavation season(2006-01)
; ; ;Excavations were carried out at the East and West Mouths of the rockshelter at Ille Cave, New Ibajay, Palawan, a site comprising a later prehistoric/palaeohistoric cemetery overlying a midden of shell and animal bones, and lower levels with Palaeolithic occupation materials. The 2005 project extend ed the previously investigated trenches (Szabó et al. 2004; Paz & Ronquill o 2004; Paz 2004), with the aims of: 1) exploring the extent and nature of the later prehistoric cemetery and underlying shell midden horizons , 2) exposing deep burning deposits discovered during 2004 recording of a looter’s pit, and 3) collecting further samples for dating and palaeoenvironmental analyses from all horizons to characterise use of the cave and the nature of the surrounding landscape from historic times back into the earl y Holocene. Additional test trenches were investigated to the south of t he cave platform and within the East Mouth chamber, to explor e platform history and a gradient exposed in rock shelter deposits during the 2004 excavations. The East Mouth chamber trench also provided an ‘in - cave’ setting, which was anticipated to reveal d ifferent remains and/or preservation environments to the rock shelter are 879
- PublicationInscribed landscapes: contextualising prehistoric rock art in Ireland(University College Dublin, 2006-02)
; ;This study addresses the landscape context of Atlantic rock art, comparing three study areas in Ireland; the Inishowen Peninsula, Donegal, the Louth/Monaghan area, and the Dingle Peninsula,Kerry. Recent dating evidence is reassessed, suggesting a Late Neolithic terminus ante quem for the practice and a potentially earlier origin, with related traditions continuing into the Bronze Age. A combination of field observations and GIS analyses reveals that a complex range of landscape features, as well as taphonomic and survey biases, have influenced the known rock art distribution. At the regional level geological formations, topography, wetlands and soil types played a role in structuring general distribution. Within these areas, rock art appears to cluster on particular topographical features, outcrop formations, distinctive soil zones, and specific viewpoints or ‘hidden’ parts of the landscape. This echoes recent landscape theory that such distinctive places were actively used to enhance certain experiences and activities. A pilot study into motif analysis is conducted using an innovative recording method combining photogrammetry and epigraphic survey, and three new approaches to classification. By linking these classifications to the GIS, subtle variations across the landscape are also investigated. The collation of survey and excavation evidence indicates that in these areas rock art was located in relative proximity to prehistoric settlement, yet frequently removed from contemporary monument complexes. This suggests that many panels may have formed foci for ‘everyday’ ritual activity by broad and unrestricted social groups, contrasting with the proposed specialist nature of megalithic art. Within each study area a distinction between dispersed panels and regional clusters is identified, the latter situated in removed locales, demonstrating that different panels played different roles. One of the regional clusters formed the focus for further field investigations. By employing a high-resolution data collection method, a geophysical survey identified a wide range of low visibility archaeological features across the site. Following this, excavation (the first at an in situ rock art site in Ireland)demonstrated that the features dated to the Early and Middle Neolithic, as well as later periods. The various contextual studies presented here suggest that rock art research can be approached as a way of accessing the complexities of different social relationships and identities in the past, and that the practice of carving may have played a key role in the maintenance of social memory. (Thesis submitted to University College Dublin for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the College of Arts and Celtic Studies) 1543
- PublicationDendrokronologisk undersøgelse af træ fra skibsvrag, Knudedyb, Ribe Havn(dendro.dk, 2006-08)Dendrochronological dating and timber provenance of a boat found at Knudedyb, Ribe Harbour, Denmark. Result: summer 1264.
- PublicationGeo-archaeological and environmental survey. In Durham, B., Briscoe, R. & McKewan, C. 'The Binsey Boat: a post-medieval story of the Thames at Port Meadow, Oxford'(Oxfordshire Architectural and Historical Society, 2006-12)
; ; ;This report describes a small scale rescue of part of a boat subject to river erosion, with quite unexpected implications for three areas of enquiry: the evolution of the Oxford Thames from commercial waterway to leisure activities; the challenge of reconstructing a possibly unique river craft from small areas of its inner hull; and reflections on the geomorphology of one of the most closely studies flood plains in England. The story started in 2003 when cabling works on the east bank f the Thames at Medley exposed a boat eroding from the bank, notified to Oxford City Council's archaeologist. The boat was of clench bolt construction and its exposed remains presented a risk to bathers, stock and navigation. In the context of Port Meadow's protected status and the uncertain age of the vessel it was clear that any investigation would have to be carefully designed so as not to compromise the vessel or its surroundings. With the aid of the English Heritage Maritime Team and students of the OUDCE MSc in Landscape Archaeology course, the boat was investigated in early June 2004 along with a topographical, geophysical and environmental survey of the surrounding area. The boat was tentatively established as a punt-like vessel approximately 20.6m. long by 2m. wide. Its hull construction had similarities to a canal narrow boat, but the exposed end, whether bow or stern, was squared. No tree0ring date could be recovered from the fast-grown timbers, but the historical evidence would support a late 18th or 19th-century date for its abandonment. Auger survey of the river bank suggests it was abandoned in riverside reed beds rather than in a separate channel. Its form is such that is may have been used for transporting loose, heavy cargo, such as sand or gravel along the Thames and would have been robust enough to navigate flash locks like the one that functioned at Medley from 1790 to 1926. This report draws on archaeological, historical and ecological research to better understand the remains of the boat in context of the protected meadow, and so promotes a strategy for its conservation and any further investigation. 271