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- PublicationTemple-na-Skellig and St Kevin's Bed, Glendalough(Archaeology Ireland, Dublin, 2021-09-01)Glendalough sees almost a million visitors each year, and many of the key archaeological sites are heavily visited, but two important locations are very difficult to access. These are the artificial cave of “Saint Kevin’s Bed” and the Church and settlement evidence at Temple-na-Skellig found in a remote location on south of the Upper Lake, surrounded by steep cliffs.
- PublicationPalawan Island Palaeohistory Research Project Report 2018(University of the Philippines Archaeological Studies Program, 2021-12-25)In this document we share the 2018 results and related data in the annual workings of the Palawan Island Palaeohistory Research Project. At the Ille site we continued to excavate at the East West Connecting and the West Mouth West Extension trenches, as well as the newest trench, called Balete. At Pasimbahan-Magsanib we continued to excavate, with the focus on totally exposing a partially-exposed cremation along the east wall of Trench B, hypothesized to possibly belong to a cluster of cremation burials similar to that exposed at Ille (see previous reports. We also wanted to complete the excavation at Makangit-Maliit-na–Bato, and continue excavating Makangit-Pabintana, and Pacaldero cave sites. The exploration of the landscape for new archaeological sites also continued in 2018. Regarding our heritage initiative, we aimed to improve the contents of the Archaeology and Natural History Exhibit Hall, as well as continue with our community heritage engagement and education initiatives. There was also the matter of how to ethically solve the problem of surrendered human remains to the project that were collected during the 2010-2011 frenzy surrounding the purchase of human remains by unscrupulous individuals, who then passed them as the remains of World War Two Japanese missing-in-action casualties. These bones were surrendered to the project at the tail-end of the 2017 field season at the Dewil Valley. Specific objectives, however, were not all achieved. We did not manage to excavate the West Mouth West Extension Trench beyond the shell layers; the exposure of complex features, such as pits, slowed down the excavation process. The excavation of Trench B East extension at Pasimbahan is still far from achieving its main purpose: to properly expose the cremation context at the bottom of the east wall of Trench B. While Makangit-Maliit-na-Bato excavation was completed as planned, and we have located a new archaeological site (Maulohin Itaas) in Imorigue, the excavation of Makangit-Pabintana did not happen because the archaeologist who was suppose to lead the excavation did not manage to join the field season. We are general satisfied with the results of our latest revision of the exhibit inside the Natural History and Archaeology Exhibit Hall in the Dewil Valley. We still await the full blooming of consciousness within the New Ibajay community that will allow for the full implementation of a ecomuseum approach, a bottom-up, approach to the curation of the space. We are also satisfied with the way the modern human remains surrendered to the project was ethically resolved - through reburial - involving the municipal government, the barangay leadership and members of the New Ibajay community.
- PublicationRewild your inner hunter-gatherer: how an idea about our ancestral condition is recruited into popular debate in Britain and Ireland(University of Chicago Press, 2023-11-01)We examine how hunter-gatherers are imagined in popular debate in Britain and Ireland, demonstrating that aspects of hunter-gatherer lifestyles are presented as both the antithesis and antidote to perceived crises in contemporary society. We apply an anthropological lens to four areas of popular discourse: physical health, mental health, bush-craft and survivalism. We identify how the imagined hunter-gatherer in these debates is constructed through processes of commodification, which often reveal nostalgic colonial values regarding ‘human nature’. This repeats and sustains damaging perceptions of hunter-gatherer lifeways. It also highlights how archaeological, anthropological and other academic research on hunter-gatherers is manifest in popular debates that reinforce assumptions about human nature and the significance of our evolutionary past within a neoliberal, colonialist context.
- PublicationGeoarchaeology: driving heritage policy or sitting in the backseat? Traditions, politics and 'best practice' variation between states(2017-03-05)Ireland has a culture of internationally-recognised expertise in archaeological science, and very high standards of practice in cultural resources management (CRM) archaeology. The Republic of Ireland is, however, one of several EU states with little research in geoarchaeology, and almost no CRM applications of this beyond geophysical survey. This is despite the state seeing the Celtic Tiger building boom in 1998-2007, with so much CRM work that archaeologists were imported from all over the EU, and despite the fact that neighbouring states have been applying geoarchaeological assessment as part of standard best practice in CRM for almost two decades. One of these states has produced freely-available online guidelines on geoarchaeology for CRM (e.g. English Heritage 2007), but there are still no guidelines for the application of geoarchaeological approaches beyond geophysical survey for Irish archaeology.. This study investigates the issue of variation in so-called ‘best practice’ in CRM archaeology, in particular trying to understand how geoarchaeology - except geophysical survey - was essentially omitted from Irish CRM practice. Through interviews with stakeholders in four US states, and comparing these with four EU ‘states’, I hope to better understand the traditions of practice and the politics of definition of my own field of expertise, and to develop a set of internationally-agreed expert fundamental guidelines to reduce local prejudices in scientific standards of practice.
- PublicationExploring traditions of professional practice in CRM geoarchaeology: home and away(2017-09-28)Geoarchaeology comprises a group of approaches used to interpret and predict the archaeological record. Despite a very high level of best practice during Celtic Tiger CRM, for some reason geoarchaeology – a standard practice in CRM in France, UK, Switzerland etc. – was not carried out by Irish contract archaeology.