An Equivocal Presence

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Title: An Equivocal Presence
Authors: Shotton, Elizabeth
Permanent link: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/4945
Date: Nov-2006
Abstract: Littered in the tens of thousands across the Irish landscape, seemingly abandoned at random in farmer’s fields, are overgrown partially built figures of widely varying dimension known as faerie forts, or raths as the Irish would have it, which are compelling despite their ubiquity and obvious state of neglect. Now understood as defensive fortifications dating from 400-1000 AD, at least by academics, this very ordinary construction acquired an affiliation with the faeries, more properly referred to in Irish as the Tuatha dé Danaan, the people of the other world, in the medieval period. An association so enduring that it survives in contemporary Irish culture and compelling enough to ensure the continued presence of these artifacts. For though a handful of these structures have been excavated, rebuilt and preserved to be represented to the public, most tellingly the tourist population, the vast majority remain irrevocably entangled in the fabric of the common landscape pushing aside field boundaries, cultivation patterns and even road systems with their defiant presence.
Type of material: Journal Article
Publisher: Architectural Fieldwork
Keywords: Faerie Forts;Raths;Fortifications;Tuatha dé Danaan;Artifacts
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
Appears in Collections:Architecture, Planning and Environmental Policy Research Collection

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