Early Medieval Ireland: Archaeological Excavations 1930-2009 - Text for Royal Irish Academy

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Title: Early Medieval Ireland: Archaeological Excavations 1930-2009 - Text for Royal Irish Academy
Authors: O'Sullivan, AidanMcCormick, FinbarKerr, ThomasHarney, Lorcan
Permanent link: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/10936
Date: 31-Dec-2010
Online since: 2019-07-22T09:48:53Z
Abstract: Excavation on early medieval sites in Ireland has a long history, incorporating the many and various changes in techniques and theories that have emerged over the past two centuries. While the discipline has developed and grown across time, it is apparent that particular monument types – notably raths/ringforts – have tended to be the main focus of archaeological excavations. The progress of Irish archaeology itself can be traced through early medieval excavations projects – from the earliest antiquarian explorations, through the investigations of the Harvard Archaeological Expedition, to professional, pre-development archaeological excavations of recent decades. It is also true that the methodologies of archaeological excavations themselves have changed radically, thus impacting upon the understanding and interpretation of the excavated site. This can be seen in comparing the 1930s university excavations at Garranes, Co. Cork (where trenches aimed to investigate enclosing ramparts and only small areas of internal occupation (Ó Ríordáin 1942a)), with the large-scale, open-area, commercial sector type excavations carried out in recent years of the early medieval settlement/cemetery at Raystown, Co. Meath (Seaver 2006; 2010). These changes reflect the ‘professionalization’ of archaeology in Ireland – a scholarly overview of which can be found in ‘Foundation Myths’ (Waddell 2005) – but are also the product of changing political, historical and regional imperatives which were influential in framing research agendas and ultimately in the selection of sites for excavation. In particular, European Union legislative change and major national economic growth have played the dominant role in directing archaeological excavation in recent decades with an almost seismic effect on early medieval archaeological and historical studies in Ireland.
Type of material: Technical Report
Publisher: Early Medieval Archaeology Project (EMAP), UCD School of Archaeology, and School of Geography Archaeology and Palalaeoecology, Queens University Belfast
Series/Report no.: Early Medieval Archaeology Project (EMAP) Report 4.5
Keywords: Medieval sitesIrelandArchaeological excavations
Language: en
Status of Item: Not peer reviewed
Appears in Collections:Archaeology Research Collection

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