Now showing 1 - 7 of 7
  • Publication
    Early Medieval Dwellings and Settlements in Ireland, AD 400-1100: Vol. 1 Text.
    (The Early Medieval Archaeology Project (EMAP), 2010-12-01) ; ; ;
    Early medieval settlement archaeology utterly dominates the record of excavations in Ireland, including settlement enclosures, complexes, landscapes and ecclesiastical sites (O'Sullivan, McCormick, Kerr & Harney 2009). For this reason, the INSTAR-funded Early Medieval Archaeology Project (EMAP) focused its research in 2009-2010, on dwellings and settlements (having previously provided a review of all early medieval archaeological excavations in Ireland). In 2009, EMAP first prepared a gazetteer of what we would regard as Ireland’s key early medieval settlements and dwelling excavations, largely based on a detailed review of the original EMAP database, 1930-2004; amounting to a final gazetteer (see Vol II) of 241 early medieval settlements revealed through archaeological excavation, 1930-2009. The first draft of the Vol. II gazetteer was first completed in a five-month period between July and December 2009 (Kerr et. al 2009) and was edited and expanded in 2010. In 2010, EMAP built further on this achievement, to research and complete a vol. I interpretative text that would precede the Vol II gazetteer, thus providing a reflection and analysis of such themes as houses and buildings, the organisation of settlement enclosures, agricultural activity and crafts and industry. This two volume report, completed in December 2010, arguably represents the first compilation, analysis and discussion of early medieval settlement archaeology in Ireland, as revealed through excavations, 1930-2009.
      1709
  • Publication
    The Archaeology of Livestock and Cereal Production in Early Medieval Ireland, AD 400-1100
    (Early Medieval Archaeology Project, 2011-12-01) ; ; ;
    Early medieval Ireland was an overwhelmingly rural landscape, with individual farmsteads (raths and crannogs), fields, and route-ways set in a highly managed agricultural landscape. In this rural landscape farming was the constant in people’s daily lives. The majority of the community, especially the ordinary and un-free members of society, such as the low-status commoners, hereditary serfs and slaves, would have spent most of their lives at work in the fields - herding cattle, sheep and pigs, ploughing, sowing and harvesting crops, or building and repairing field-walls. In the home, the daily lives of men and women would have been dominated by domestic activities relating to agriculture, whether this was in terms of preparing milk and cheeses, grinding grain for flour, salting meats for winter storage, or spinning and weaving wool.
      807
  • Publication
    Early Medieval Ireland: Archaeological Excavations 1930-2009 - Text for Royal Irish Academy
    (Early Medieval Archaeology Project (EMAP), UCD School of Archaeology, and School of Geography Archaeology and Palalaeoecology, Queens University Belfast, 2010-12-31) ; ; ;
    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.
      1464
  • Publication
    Industrial Activity on Rural Secular Sites in Ireland, A.D. 400-1100
    (Early Medieval Archaeology Project (EMAP), 2012-12-01) ; ; ; ;
    EMAP Report 6.1 deals with the archaeological evidence for industrial activity on secular sites in early medieval Ireland. It is comprised of four main sections. The first section provides a general overview of the creation of the report, including general distribution maps and histograms. The archaeological evidence for industrial activity is covered in fuller detail in sections two and three. Section 2, prepared by Matt Seaver, examines the evidence in greater depth for specific industrial activity, namely iron-working, non-ferrous metal-working, glassworking, and antler/ bone-working. This is accompanied by comprehensive tables outlining the site evidence for the major industrial activities. Section 3, prepared by Maureen Doyle, looks at the production of items of personal ornamentation and decoration. Rather than adopting a single-material approach, this section examines the production of different types of artefact. Thus ‘pins’ are discussed together, whether they were made of bone, antler, bronze or iron, since they performed a similar function. The final section consists of a site gazetteer of industrial activity in early medieval Ireland. This includes over 300 secular sites, and contains substantial tables outlining the evidence for craft activity, as well as the types of artefacts recovered from the site. Much of the evidence for industrial activity in the gazetteer is derived from reports which have not been fully published, i.e. the large body of ‘grey literature’ that has emerged during the last two decades.
      964
  • Publication
    Early Medieval Dwellings and Settlements in Ireland, AD 400-1100: Vol. 2 Gazetteer of Site Descriptions
    (The Early Medieval Archaeology Project (EMAP), 2010-01-01) ; ; ; ;
    EMAP initially worked on the first draft of the Settlement Gazetteer (Vol. II) between July and December 2009. Between July and November in 2010, EMAP has written its preceding report (Vol. I), which is a thematic appraisal of the rural, ecclesiastical and urban settlement evidence from early medieval Ireland and explores the types of dwellings, enclosures, unenclosed settlements and related agricultural, industrial and craft activities. EMAP has also added additional site summaries to Vol. II although the time constraints of our research meant it was again impossible to include all significant settlement excavations. We have also updated or re-written certain site summaries based on newly published information or on feedback and comments from site directors.
      1467
  • Publication
    The Economy of Early Medieval Ireland
    (Early Medieval Archaeology Project (EMAP), UCD School of Archaeology, and School of Geography, Archaeology and Palaeoecology, Queens University Belfast., 2013-12-31) ; ;
    The excavation boom in the early twenty-first century has created a substantial archaeological database for early medieval Ireland. The Early Medieval Archaeology Project (EMAP) was established to synthesise and publicise the results of these excavation. Funded under the Irish National Strategic Archaeological Research programme (INSTAR) of the Heritage Council, RoI, EMAP has produced a broad overview of the subject area (O’Sullivan et al. 2013), as well as specific monographs on the agricultural and industrial economies (EMAP 2011; EMAP 2012). This current work represents an attempt to pull together the various strands of the early medieval Irish economy and to create a synthesis of current understanding of economic activity during this period. As such this work is divided into five chapters. Chapter 1 examines the documentary evidence for economic activity in Ireland. This is largely found in the, mainly eighth-century law tracts, which are predominantly preoccupied with the farming economy, especially pastoral farming and its relationships with the wider social structure. These works have had a major impact on the later interpretations of archaeological sites. Chapter 2 looks at the archaeological record for productive activity in Ireland. Unlike most other studies, this chapter combines both farming activity and industrial, or craft- working, activity, since it is clear that there was a substantial amount of inter- relations between these sectors during the early medieval period. Chapter 3 provides a summary of the competing economic theories for primitive commerce, and also examines the applications of these theories to the specific examples of ‘Dark Age’ Europe. Chapter 4 then considers the archaeological and documentary evidence for trade in early medieval Ireland. This is divided into imports and exports, but also considers the probable internal trade in utilitarian objects such as grindstones and iron ore. The final chapter, Chapter 5, attempts to pull together the various strands of evidence presented in the preceding chapters and to present a coherent and viable model for the early medieval Irish economy. The contemporary written sources and the various theoretical frameworks, combined with a substantial database of archaeological evidence, has allowed for a reinterpretation of the way in which the economy of early medieval Ireland functioned. Future research in this area must continue to reconcile these three sources of evidence.
      1013
  • Publication
    The Archaeology of Industrial Activity on Secular Sites in Early Medieval Ireland, AD 400-1100. Site Gazetteer H-Z (see A-G for author details)
    (Early Medieval Archaeology Project (EMAP), UCD School of Archaeology and School of Geography Archaeology and Palaeoecology, Queens University Belfast, 2012-12-31) ; ; ; ;
    EMAP Report 6.1 deals with the archaeological evidence for industrial activity on secular sites in early medieval Ireland. It is comprised of four main sections. The first section provides a general overview of the creation of the report, including general distribution maps and histograms. The archaeological evidence for industrial activity is covered in fuller detail in sections two and three. Section 2, prepared by Matt Seaver, examines the evidence in greater depth for specific industrial activity, namely iron-working, non-ferrous metal-working, glass- working, and antler/bone-working. This is accompanied by comprehensive tables outlining the site evidence for the major industrial activities. Section 3, prepared by Maureen Doyle, looks at the production of items of personal ornamentation and decoration. Rather than adopting a single-material approach, this section examines the production of different types of artefact. Thus ‘pins’ are discussed together, whether they were made of bone, antler, bronze or iron, since they performed a similar function. The final section consists of a site gazetteer of industrial activity in early medieval Ireland. This includes over 300 secular sites, and contains substantial tables outlining the evidence for craft activity, as well as the types of artefacts recovered from the site. Much of the evidence for industrial activity in the gazetteer is derived from reports which have not been fully published, i.e. the large body of ‘grey literature’ that has emerged during the last two decades. The investigation of industrial activity shows that certain early medieval secular site-types produced more evidence than others. It also suggests that there was a hierarchy of industrial activity, with perceived high status sites producing more prestigious materials – such as non- ferrous metals or glass. There is also a suggestion of a degree of regional patterning, most clearly indicated by the distribution of shale-working sites, but also possibly influential in the location of iron-working sites. The findings indicate that secular sites played a substantial role in early medieval craft and industry, a fact that is often overlooked due to a focus on the production-levels of ‘monastic towns’, and latterly, Hiberno-Norse settlements.
      371