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Job Vacancy at 'Farming Rathcroghan'
Farming Rathcroghan Scheme CLG – European Innovation Partnership (EIP) Project Manager
Full Job Title:
Project Manager for the Farming Rathcroghan (EIP): Sustainable Farming in the Rathcroghan Archaeological Landscape.
Farming Rathcroghan Scheme CLG, on behalf of the Rathcroghan Resource Community Operational Group (OG), the members of which are: Rathcroghan Farmers; Rathcroghan Visitor Centre; Roscommon County Council – Heritage Office; University of Galway, Archaeology; Teagasc; and the National Monuments Service, Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, in an advisory capacity.
1 st November 2022 – 30th May 2024, Full time.
For details of Manager duties, desired qualificatons and experience, salary, job location etc. please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications:
To apply, please send a cover letter together with a Curriculum Vitae to the Farming Rathcroghan Scheme CLG, C/O Rathcroghan Visitor Centre, Tulsk, Castlerea, Co. Roscommon or via email at email@example.com. The cover letter should set out your motivation and what you will bring to the post. Please mark your applications: EIP Project Manager. The closing date for applications is 17:00hrs, Wednesday 12th October. A shortlist of suitable candidates will be made, and it is anticipated that shortlisted candidates will be invited for interview in the Rathcroghan Visitor Centre, Tulsk in the second half of the week of the 17th October 2022. The Farming Rathcroghan Scheme CLG will not cover costs of attending for interview.
An executive summary of the ‘Sustainable Farming in the Rathcroghan Archaeological Landscape’ EIPAgri Project Plan, and a comprehensive list of the duties involved, is available for the applicant to consult upon request, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
New edition of 'The Prehistoric Archaeology of Ireland' published
A new edition of
See Wordwell for additional information.
On present evidence the human settlement of Ireland commenced some ten thousand years ago and the prehistoric story thus covers over eight and a half thousand years. Now in a third edition, this book provides a chronological account of this long timespan and, with numerous illustrations, charts the development of the first hunting and foraging communities, the achievements of the earliest agriculturalists with their remarkable megalithic tombs, and the technological advances of the later bronze- and iron-using societies.
Recent decades have seen some exceptional developments in the study of the prehistoric archaeology of Ireland. New discoveries, excavations and research, new theoretical approaches and the increasing application of radiocarbon and tree-ring dating techniques have all made an enormous contribution to the better understanding of this remote past. As well as being a comprehensive and original review of the subject, this new edition answers the need for a detailed introduction to a large body of archaeological evidence resulting from the explosion of work completed in the last 15 years. In that respect it could be said to bring Ireland’s prehistoric past right up to date.
Professor John Waddell is Emeritus Professor of Archaeology at the National University of Ireland, Galway, and his other works include The Bronze Age burials of Ireland, The funerary bowls and vases of the Irish Bronze Age and Foundation myths.
Caherconnell Excavations 2022
The international Caherconnell Archaeology Field School, under the direction of Dr Michelle Comber and Dr Noel McCarthy, returned to the field this summer. They excavated a number of sites including an Early Medieval cashel that proved rather interesting when the Early Medieval nature of the archaeological remains at Caherconnell in the Burren. On Thursday 14th July finds were followed by a concentration of prehistoric artefacts. This typifies the multi-period, the excavation team (and the landowners, the Davoren family) were delighted to welcome the president of the university, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, to Caherconnell to see the work of the fields-school.
Some of this season's excavated finds: Early Medieval bronze fitting decorated with an interlace triangle, and three barbed and tanged Early Bronze Age arrowheads (one flint, two chert).
Archaeology, NUI Galway, ranked among the top 200
The Discipline of Archaeology, NUI Galway, is ranked amongst the top 200 archaeology departments worldwide according to the latest QS World University Ranking by Subject 2022.
Farming Rathcroghan EIP-AGRI Project vlog released
Click HERE to view the latest EIP-AGRI Participating Farmer Video Blog (Vlog), produced by Dr Maura Farrell and Dr Shane Conway, Rural Studies Centre, Discipline of Geography, which has been produced on behalf of the National Rural Network Project. It features Gerard Healy from the Farming Rathcroghan EIP-AGRI Project and Dr Petra Kock Appelgren, its Project Manager, who explain how this project is managing the internationally significant Rathcroghan archaeological landscape in a sustainable manner, whilst providing co-benefits for a range of ecosystem services, including the enhancement of biodiversity, carbon sequestration and water quality.
Dr Kieran O’Conor and Joe Fenwick, Discipline of Archaeology, contribute in an advisory capacity as Operational Group Members of the Farming Rathcroghan Project, an integral part of the outreach initiatives of The Connacht Project. This EIP project continues to go from strength-to-strength and the School of Geography, Archaeology and Irish Studies wish it continued success as it implements is programme of actions to safeguard and conserve this important archaeological landscape through innovative, sustainable and cost-effective farming management measures into the future.
Dr Daniel Curley receives his PhD
Many contragulations to Dr Daniel Curley
MA in Landscape Archaeology graduations 2022
Pictured here (left to right):
Stephen Conneely MA,
(conferred 4 April 2022)
Pictured here (left to right):
Conor Newman (Senior Lecturer)
(conferred 11 April 2022)
Many congratulations to all our MA in Landscape Archaeology students, Matthew Adams MA, Stephen Conneely MA, Julia Gustafson MA (USA), Sarah Fahey MA, Delaney Hawk (USA), John Herbage MA, Emmanuel Hernandez (USA), Sarha Kmiecik MA (USA), Peter McDonagh MA, Bridget Melloy MA (USA), Madeleine Napier MA (USA), Logan O'Brien MA (USA), Jan Perez-Rosado (Puerto Rico, USA) and Katherine Perdue MA (USA), who were conferred with their MA in Landscape Archaeology degrees on Wednedsay 4 April and Monday 11 April 2022 (Alas, some, most notabley those from abroad and others due to Covid, couldn't attend the graduation ceremony).
A baseline survey towards UNESCO World Heritage status for Sligo Passage Tomb landscape
An extensive baseline field-survey of close-to one hundred passage tombs in Co. Sligo has just been published by The Sligo Neolithic Landscapes Group.
The survey was completed as part of a bid to place The Passage Tomb Landscape of County Sligo on Ireland’s list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
The aim with the survey is to create a baseline resource regarding the state of conservation of each passage tomb in its context, and to thereby assist in developing management, conservation, and presentation policies for the passage tomb landscape of Sligo.
Through extensive fieldwork, focused on current conservation and management issues related to each individual monument as well as their landscape context, a detailed record has been established for the entire group of monuments.
The publication is the first time that this extraordinary collection of Neolithic monuments, including an extensive photographic record, has been presented in a single volume.
The survey was undertaken by Dr Stefan Bergh (PI, NUI Galway), Dr Fiona Gallagher, Dr Robert Hensey and Padraig Meehan. GIS work was undertaken by Dr Noel McCarty (NUI Galway) and drone imagery was captured by Dr Paul Neassens, Western Aerial Survey.
The survey was primarily funded through The Heritage Council’s Heritage Sector Support Fund 2021, with additional generous support from Sligo County Council and NUI Galway.
Another commendation for Dr Eugene Costello's book
Dr. Eugene Costello, PhD graduate of NUI Galway, has just received a special commendation in the Publication Prize in Irish History for his publication Transhumance and the Making of Ireland's Uplands, 1550-1900, published in 2020 by Boydell & Brewer.
This is a second award for this book which is based on his PhD in Archaeology, NUI Galway, supervised by Dr Kieran O'Conor, which he received in 2016. Eugene was also awarded the American Conference of Irish Studies's Donald Murphy Prize for Distinguished First Book, just a few months ago. So, this is his second prize/honour for this book. Many congratulations yet again to Eugene.
Transhumance and the making of Ireland's uplands, 1550-1900
Published in 2020
Boydell and Brewer
Ireland's oldest ink pen discovered at Caherconnell
Recent archaeological excavations at Caherconnell Cashel in the Burren, Co. Clare, by Dr Michelle Comber of the School of Geography, Archaeology, and Irish Studies at NUI Galway and the Caherconnell Archaeology Field School, have uncovered the oldest known ink pen in Ireland. The cashel, a settlement built in the late 10th century and used continuously through to the start of the 17th century, was home to wealthy local rulers. Their wealth was built on successful farming, allowing them to engage in fine craftworking, military pursuits, external trade, games, music, and, it seems, literacy.
The pen is made up of a hollow bone barrel with a copper-alloy nib inserted into one end. It was found in an 11th-century layer inside the cashel, and caused quite a stir when it was discovered. No ink pen of this form or early date has previously been found, and most evidence of early literacy in Ireland is associated with the Church, not with secular society. Those reasons urged caution and lead to the creation of a replica implement to test whether or not it functioned as a pen. Adam Parsons of Blueaxe Reproductions manufactured the replica, a replica that testing confirmed does work perfectly as a dip pen. So, it seems that this does indeed represent the earliest known ink pen in Ireland.
Feather quills were the more common writing implement at the time, but a pen like the one from Caherconnell would have been ideally suited to fine work – maybe even the drawing of fine lines, as suggested by expert calligrapher and historian Tim O’Neill: “A metal pen from such an early date is still hard to credit! But the fact that it functions with ink is there to see. It would have worked well for ruling straight lines to form, for instance, a frame for a page.” While Church scribes copied and created all manner of ecclesiastical texts, it seems likely that a secular scribe might have used a pen like this to record family lineages and/or trade exchanges.
All in all, an exciting find that expands the history of literacy in Ireland, and a most appropriate discovery for a university-based archaeologist to make.
“The Caherconnell Archaeology project has been a hugely rewarding one, with many unexpected and exciting discoveries along the way. This find has, however, exceeded all expectations, revealing the tantalising prospect of an advanced secular literacy in 11th-century Ireland.” - Michelle Comber
A full account of the discovery can be found in the 2021 Winter edition (Vol. 35, No. 4) of Archaeology Ireland magazine.
Rathra: a royal stronghold of early medieval Connacht
Available for purchase from the
Exploring Castleroche, Co. Louth.
Dr Karen Dempsey’s exploration of the
It also featured on Newstalk's
Château Gaillard Website Launched
The new website for the pan-European Château Gaillard castles research group is now live - see http://colloquechateaugaillard.eu/ . This website was created by Rory Sherlock and Kieran O'Conor and so it is effectively an NUI Galway production. The Chateau Gaillard group have held 29 conferences since 1962 and all of the proceedings of these meetings have been published.
Dr Eugene Costello awarded distinguished publication prize
Battlefield Archaeology and Snapchat
It's great to see Kylie Crowder,
Madeline Napier, who graduated from NUI Galway
Great reading. Do get a copy!
MA in Landscape Archaeology Burren Field-school 2021
Some photos of the MA in Landscape Archaeology students of 2020/21 in their natural environment - the expansive outdoor archaeological laboratory of the Burren in Co. Clare.
Julia Gustafson awarded Gates Cambridge Scholarship
Many congratulations to Julia Gustafson,
This new adventure will build on her background
As a Gates Cambridge Scholar, Julia is becoming
New insights on the impact of prehistoric farming in western Ireland
A new publication from former NUIG PhD
Spencer, D.E., Potito, A., Molloy, K.,
This paper presents the results of a multi-proxy, palaeolimnological investigation of Lough Inchiquin, a large lake located immediately south of the Burren, a distinctive karst landscape in Co Clare, western Ireland which has been exploited since the Neolithic period. Chironomid sub-fossil analysis and lake sediment geochemistry provides an opportunity to infer lake response to prehistoric farming activity. The results of these new analyses are contextualised by pollen and loss-on-ignition evidence from the same lake catchment. The combined data of chironomid, loss-on-ignition (LOI550, LOI950 and non-combustible fraction (NCF)), organic geochemistry (δ13Corg, δ15N, Corg:N ratio), inorganic geochemistry (Ti, Fe, Mn, S and δ18O) and fossil pollen has allowed for an in-depth understanding of the palaeolimnological and palaeoenvironmental changes from the Mesolithic to the Late Bronze Age (c. 4590–660 BC) in the catchment of Lough Inchiquin. The data highlight the increasing ecological impact of anthropogenic activity through time and provide well-dated evidence for the initiation of Holocene soil erosion from the Burren.
Bid for Sligo’s Passage Tomb Landscapes to be named UNESCO World Heritage Site
Queens Maeve’s Cairn atop Knocknarea is an iconic landscape feature of County Sligo and forms part of Sligo’s Neolithic passage tomb tradition. Along with the megalithic cemeteries of Carrowmore and Carrowkeel, these monuments have few counterparts in the world, in terms of their number, quality of preservation and their striking landscape contexts.
|Queen Maeve's Cairn, Knocknarea. (photo: Ken Williams)||Cairn E, Carrowkeel. (photo: Ken Williams)|
For many years concerns have been raised over increased visitor pressure and the deteriorating condition of these sites. Many of these world class monuments are under threat and require long-term management and conservation for the benefit of all and future generations. Engagement, consultation and partnership will be important in building support for a shared vision of how these sites can be sustainably managed into the future.
In January 2019, the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht opened applications for Ireland’s Tentative List of properties for potential future nomination to the World Heritage List 2020-2030. The Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage is currently seeking applications from Local Authorities for sites or properties which are considered to be of outstanding universal value (OUV), for inclusion on the new Tentative List. No site can be nominated for World Heritage status without first being placed on Ireland’s Tentative List. The Department is responsible for deciding which sites should be placed on the Tentative List and for submitting any eventual World Heritage nominations to UNESCO. The deadline for receipt of applications to Ireland’s Tentative List of World Heritage Sites is the 30th June 2021.
During 2020, the Sligo Neolithic Landscapes group (www.sligoneolithic.org) sought the support of Sligo County Council to prepare and submit an application to Ireland’s Tentative List for The Passage Tomb Landscapes of County Sligo. Sligo County Council is currently working with the Sligo Neolithic Landscapes group and other key stakeholders to submit an application by the end of June 2021.
|Sligo Neolithic Landscapes Group (photo: Ken Williams)||Cailleach an Vera's House, Ballygawley. (photo: Ken Williams)|
At Sligo County Council’s meeting on 1st February 2021, Cathaoirleach of Sligo County Council, Cllr. Dara Mulvey said that:‘There is no doubt that Sligo’s Neolithic Landscapes are an exceptional heritage asset for the county and that they are unparalleled in world terms. Sligo County Council welcomes this community led initiative.’
Cllr. Donal Gilroy, Chair of Sligo Heritage Forum added:‘The partnership between Sligo County Council and the Sligo Neolithic Landscapes Group marks the beginning of a process that will see the future sustainable management of these monuments’.
If successful, the bid would begin building a process of communication and cooperation between all stakeholders with a shared interest in the sustainable management and promotion of Sligo’s Neolithic Landscapes. Attaining World Heritage Site status requires a sustained effort and common purpose by all key stakeholders over many years.
Dr Stefan Bergh, School of Geography, Archaeology and Irish Studies, NUI Galway, and member of the Sligo Neolithic Landscape group, has said:‘The passage tombs of County Sligo and their careful landscape settings are an extraordinary example of Neolithic architecture and ritual, with few if any international counterparts. They represent one of the greatest achievements of Sligo people and fully deserve UNESCO World Heritage Site recognition.’
If a site is successful in being placed on Ireland’s Tentative List for World Heritage Sites, there is considerable work and time involved in the preparation of nomination documentation, which would include a management plan and a public consultation process. This stage of the process, together with the public consultation, takes at least two years. Thereafter the inscription process takes about a year and a half from the submission of the complete nomination document and management plan to consideration by the World Heritage Committee.
Château Gaillard 29 published
Château Gaillard 29: Vivre au Château,
The articles in this volume
There is a strong Department of Archaeology,
Good news for Dr Eugene Costello, our former PhD student
Dr Eugene Costello has recently released a book entitled, Transhumance and the Making of Ireland’s Uplands, 1550-1900. Based on his PhD in Archaeology at NUI Galway (2016), and completed during fellowships at University of Notre Dame and Stockholm University, it is now published in hardback and ebook form by the international academic press, Boydell & Brewer (with 35% discount off hardback until the end of 2020 with the code BB135).
Dr Costello is currently based at University College Cork, where he holds a prestigious National University of Ireland Postdoctoral Fellowship in Humanities, and has also been offered Marie Skłodowska-Curie and Teaching@Tübingen fellowships. As part of his new research, he is developing a radical periphery-centred perspective on the emergence of capitalism in late medieval and early modern Europe, paying particular attention to the role of upland farmers in feeding the growth of urban-industrial centres. Furthermore, he has now also been awarded a major grant of roughly €430,000 from the Swedish Research Council. When this starts, it will allow him to lead more detailed archaeological fieldwork, documentary research and palaeo-environmental analysis with collaborators in both Ireland and Sweden.
Dr Christy Cunniffe, Heritage Hero
Congratulations to Dr Chisty Cunniffe on receiving The Heritage Council’s National Heritage Week 2020 Heritage Hero Award. A long-time resident of Clonfert, Co. Galway, Dr Cunniffe, has dedicated much of his professional career towards promoting and conserving Ireland’s rich archaeological and historical heritage. He has worked with several villages towards the compilation of heritage audits (including his own), was involved with the Beara Breifne Way project, the Clonfert Conservation Plan and has contributed significantly to the forthcoming national heritage plan ‘Heritage Ireland 2030’. His work in the Slieve Aughty uplands engaged local communities in counties Clare and Galway and promoted the heritage, archaeology and culture of this unique natural and cultural landscape. This reward recognises Dr Cunniffe’s abilities to engage enthusiastically with local communities and heritage groups and his willingness to share freely his expansive knowledge and expertise in this area. It is very well deserved!
Sligo Megalithic Tombs Vandalised
The Irish Times
"Sligo's Neolithic Tombs are being vandalised 'on scale never seen before'"
by Marese McDonagh (Thursday 23-07-2020)
"A visit to ancient monuments that we must protect"
by Alan Finn (30-07-2020)
Sligo Weekender - ancient monuments we must protect (part 1)
Sligo Weekender - ancient monuments we must protect (part 2)
New study of ancient genomes uncovers surprising details about Ireland’s first farmers
A team of archaeologists (including Dr Carleton Jones from the National University of Ireland Galway and Dr Ros Ó Maoldúin, a graduate of NUI Galway) and geneticists, led by those from Trinity College Dublin, have shed new light on various aspects of some of the earliest periods of Ireland’s human history.
Among their incredible findings is the discovery that the genome of an adult male buried in the heart of the Newgrange passage tomb points to first-degree incest, implying he was among a ruling social elite akin to the similarly inbred Inca god-kings and Egyptian pharaohs.
The survey of ancient Irish genomes, recently published in leading international journal, Nature, suggests a man who had been buried in this chamber belonged to a dynastic elite. The research, led by the team from Trinity, was carried out in collaboration with colleagues from University College London, National University of Ireland Galway, University College Cork, University of Cambridge, Queen’s University Belfast, Sligo Institute of Technology and the National Monuments Service, with support from the National Museum of Ireland and National Museums Northern Ireland.
Interestingly, one of the authors of the study, Dr Ros Ó Maoldúin, a Senior Archaeologist with Archaeological Management Solutions who received his PhD from National University of Ireland Galway recognised that a medieval myth resonates with these results and with the Newgrange solar phenomenon. First recorded in the 11th century AD, four millennia after construction, the story tells of a builder-king who restarted the daily solar cycle by sleeping with his sister. The Middle Irish place name for the neighbouring Dowth passage tomb, Fertae Chuile, is based on this lore and can be translated as ‘Hill of Sin’.
“Given the world-famous solstice alignments of Brú na Bóinne, the magical solar manipulations in this myth already had scholars questioning how long an oral tradition could survive,” said Dr Ros Ó Maoldúin. “To now discover a potential prehistoric precedent for the incestuous aspect is extraordinary.”
Other significant findings came from the analyses of individuals buried in the Parknabinnia court tomb which was excavated by a team led by National University of Ireland Galway archaeologist Dr Carleton Jones. Here, a significant difference in the frequency of two Y chromosome haplogroups was found between individuals buried in the Parknabinnia monument and those buried in the nearby Poulnabrone portal tomb which suggests that distinct male line descent groups built and used these monuments. This is a remarkable discovery as the use of these two monuments overlapped for several centuries and they are both located on the Burren only 10km apart. The people who built and used both Parknabinnia and Poulnabrone were some of the earliest farmers in Ireland, descended from groups that arrived in Ireland shortly after 4000 BC, but what became of the earlier hunter-gatherer groups that inhabited Ireland for many thousands of years before these farmers arrived has long been an open question. One of the individuals from Parknabinnia tested in this study goes some of the way to answering this interesting question.
“This individual could trace their ancestry to both the newly arrived farmers and to the indigenous hunter-gatherers of Ireland, showing that at least some mixing of these disparate populations occurred” said Dr Carleton Jones.
Excavating human bones in the Parknabinnia court tomb. The calcareous limestone of the Burren from which it is built and upon which it sits has led to remarkably good preservation conditions for the bone. In turn, this has resulted in remarkably well-preserved ancient DNA.
The genetic research was funded by a Science Foundation Ireland/Health Research Board/Wellcome Trust Biomedical Research Partnership Investigator Award to Dan Bradley and an earlier Irish Research Council Government of Ireland Scholarship to Lara Cassidy.
The full article can be found in the journal Nature:
Lara M. Cassidy, Ros Ó Maoldúin, Thomas Kador, Ann Lynch, Carleton Jones, Peter C. Woodman, Eileen Murphy, Greer Ramsey, Marion Dowd, Alice Noonan, Ciarán Campbell, Eppie R. Jones, Valeria Mattiangeli & Daniel G. Bradley (2020) ‘A dynastic elite in monumental Neolithic society’ Nature 582, 384 – 88. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-020-2378-6
Prestigious 'Excellence in Education Awards 2020' go to NUI Galway and the College of Arts, Social Sciences, & Celtic Studies.
Congratulations to all in the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies and all those dedicated individuals involved in educational excellence throughout NUI Galway!
Amongst those collecting NUI, Galway's 'Best College of Arts and Social Science' award and the 'Overall Excellence in Education' award at the Education Awards 2020 (and also shortlisted for 'Best use of Educational Technology' for our online archaeology programmes) were our own Dr Michelle Comber and Dr Noel McCarthy.
For additional photographs of the awards event see:
Liam Reilly announced Global Undergraduate Awards Regional Winner for the Island of Ireland 2019
Liam Reilly, student of Irish Studies and Celtic Civilisation at NUIG, has been announced as the Global Undergraduate Awards Regional Winner for the Island of Ireland 2019 for the final essay he submitted for Archaeology module AR2101 Early Kingship: From Chaos to Cosmos. His essay was titled “What is the question to which sacral kingship is the answer, and how does sacral kingship answer the question?”
This year there were 3,437 contestants across 25 subject-area categories. Liam submitted under the category Classical Studies and Archaeology, and was short-listed alongside students from the University of Sydney (Australia), McGill University (Canada), University of Tennessee (USA), Durham University (UK), University of Edinburgh (UK), University of Reading (UK). Our congratulations to them all.
Previous winners from NUI Galway Archaeology include Louisa Brophy Brwon (2014), Marcus Byrne (2003) and Seamas McGinley (2012). President Michael D. Higgins is the patron of the awards.
Gortscéala - The Newsletter of the School of Geography,
To view it, click on the pdf link below:
Congratulations to Dr Daisy Spencer
Congratulations to Dr Daisy Spencer, who after just
Lough Inchiquin pollen diagram
Dr Daisy Spencer following her graduation
on 21 March 2019.
Pictured here with supervisors (L to R):
Dr Carleton Jones (Archaeology),
Dr Aaron Potito (Geography),
Dr Karen Molloy
(Palaeoenvironmental Research Unit).
Daniel Curley awarded Council of Irish Chiefs and Clans of Ireland Prize in History 2019We are delighted to announce that Daniel Curley, one of our PhD candidates, has recently been awarded the Council of Irish Chiefs and Clans of Ireland Prize in History 2019 for his submitted essay entitled 'Uilliam Buide Úa Cellaig and the late medieval renaissance of the Uí Maine lordship'. Gathering evidence from archaeological remains, toponymy, historical and literary source material, Daniel explores the career of the fourteenth century king of Uí Maine, Uilliam Buide Úa Cellaig. Inspected in this way, Úa Cellaig's career has served as an important case study in understanding the nature of later medieval Gaelic lordship, and shines a light on the medieval history of an understudied part of Ireland.
Farming Rathcroghan: Field Monument Advisor job vacancy
Roscommon County Council invites proposals from a suitably qualified consultant/s to provide Field Monument Advisor / Archaeological Consultancy Services to the Farming Rathcroghan EIP Project.
The Farming Rathcroghan Operational Group was granted a project budget of €0.984 million, through the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) EIP-Agri fund, for an innovative project to address the declining socio-economic circumstances of the farming community, while addressing the need to preserve and create awareness of the unique archaeological landscape around Rathcroghan. This project will run until December 2023. The knowledge gained from this EIP has the potential to be replicated in future EU-funded schemes.
The Farming Rathcroghan EIP Project proposes to improve the socio-economic circumstances of farming, through testing innovations in the provision of a range of environmental and ecosystem services designed to protect and maintain the cultural landscape (e.g. landscape quality and archaeological condition, aesthetic and cultural services, promoting quality food production, enhancing biodiversity, improving carbon sequestration and water quality).
The Field Monument Advisor will be an integral support to the Farming Rathcroghan EIP Project. This role is a multi-faceted one, which will evolve as the project develops. The overall goal being a sustainable improvement to the socio-economic circumstances of the Rathcroghan farming communities, while preserving and creating awareness of this unique archaeological landscape.
Closing date for quotations is 09.30 am on Monday 15th July 2019.
Please contact Nollaig Feeney, Heritage Officer, or Claudette Collins if you have any queries
Roscommon County Council, Áras on Chontae, Roscommon, F42 VR98.
090 6637135 www.roscommoncoco.ie
PhD Graduation: 21 March 2019
On March 21 Daisy Spencer received her PhD in Archaeology for her thesis ‘People, Land-use and Time: Linking Multi-Proxy Palaeoenvironmental Data to the Archaeological Record of Prehistoric Co. Clare, Ireland.’ Dr. Spencer’s research spanned both the archaeological and palaeoenvironmental fields and she is pictured here with her supervisor Dr. Carleton Jones (Archaeology), co-supervisor Dr. Aaron Potito (Geography), and Dr. Karen Molloy (Palaeoenvironmental Research Unit).
Dr. Spencer is now employed as a Post-Excavation Archaeologist for Irish Archaeological Consultancy Ltd. where she is dealing with all aspects of the post-excavation process including artefact and environmental sample processing, archaeological report editing, and preparing material for specialist analyses.
Claregalway Educate Together National School 'activity week': archaeology in the classroom.
As part of Claregalway Educate Together National School’s ‘Activity Week’ (18-20 Feb. 2019) there were three archaeologically-themed sessions among a host of other novel educational, sport and craft activities given by the parents of kids attending the school. Markus Byrne (PhD candidate, NUI Galway) introduced 1st and 2nd classes to ogham inscription and each child was given the opportunity to write their name using this coded system of dots and lines. Joe Fenwick (Archaeological Field Officer, NUI Galway) introduced 3rd and 4th classes to a scientific study of ‘ancient axes’ and also 5th and 6th classes to the wonders of 'prehistoric pottery' as part of an archaeological artifact workshop. It was more fun than you can imagine, and the school-kids enjoyed it even more!
'Farming Rathcroghan' EIP Project in the News (Project Manager vacancy - application deadline 15 Feb. 2019)
RTE Radio 1, Countrywide, Saturday 2 February 2019. Podcast ‘Tara of the West’ interview by Brian Lally https://www.rte.ie/radio1/countrywide/podcasts/
The Irish Examiner, Thursday 17 January 2019. ‘Rathcroghan project awarded 1 million grant’
The Roscommon Herald, Tuesday 22 January 2019. ‘NUIG welcomes Rathcroghan project’. 18-19.
Irish Farmers Journal, Monday 14 January 2019. ‘Farmers awarded €1m to aid in preservation of historic site’ by Barry Cassidy
The Roscommon Herald, Tuesday 8 January 2019. ‘Rathcroghan farmers and heritage to both benefit from new EU initiative’ by Darragh Kelly. 40-41.
Click on the following links for more information on:
the 'European Innovation Partnership, EIP-AGRI projects',
the 'Farming Rathcroghan EIP-Agri Project, Rathcroghan Visitor Centre'
the 'National Rural Network; EIP-Agri Operational Groups, Ireland' and
the 'Rathcroghan research as part of the The Connacht Project, NUI Galway'
Click here for information concerning Farming Rathcroghan Project Manager Vacancy (Deadline 15 February 2019)
MA in Landscape Archaeology - Dublin excursion
Dr Stefan Bergh (MALA Director),
|The MA in Landscape Archaeology would like to thank Matt Seaver, National Museum of Ireland (MMI), Margaret Keane and Rachel Barrett, National Monuments Service, Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Paul Ferguson, Trinity College Map Library, Brian Donnelly, National Archives of Ireland, Claire Doohan, National Folklore Collection UCD, and Siobhan Fitzpatrick, Royal Irish Academy, for taking the time to facilitate the class while on their busy field-schedule to Dublin on Monday 4th and Tuesday 5th February 2019. It was a wonderful experience for all and very much appreciated.
Hikers putting 5000-year-old Co. Sligo cairn at riskIn a recent report in the The Irish Times by Marese McDonagh, Dr Stefan Bergh draws attention to vulnerability of the prehistoric archaeological remains on Knocknarea, Co. Sligo, and most particularly the damage being caused to the prominent passage tomb on its summit know as Queen Maeve’s cairn by the increasing numbers of people climbing it.
‘Farming Rathcroghan Project’ awarded €0.98m under EIP-Agri initiative
Some members of the Rathcroghan Resource Community
Left to Right:
We are delighted to announce that the Rathcroghan Resource Community has been successful in its bid under the European Innovation Partnership (EIP-Agri), through the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, for its project entitled ‘Farming Rathcroghan: Sustainable Farming in the Rathcroghan Archaeological Landscape’ and has been awarded a grant of €0.98m to implement this project over the course of the next five years (see National Rural Network EIP-Agri).
The Farming Rathcroghan project has been developed using a locally led partnership approach. Its operational group, the Rathcroghan Resource Community, consists of a Lead Partner, Farming Rathcroghan CLG (comprising directors from Rathcroghan Farmers, Tulsk Action Group and Rathcroghan Visitor Centre) and various Operational Group Members (comprising; Archaeology, School of Geography and Archaeology, NUI Galway; Roscommon County Council; Teagasc, Agriculture and Food Development Authority; World Heritage Unit, National Monuments Service, Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht).
Rathcroghan is a particularly well-preserved and internationally significant archaeological landscape, one of a small group of ‘royal’ sites which are included under the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht’s tentative list for UNESCO World Heritage Status (Royal Sites of Ireland). The Farming Rathcroghan Project’s objectives are to manage, care for and conserve this important cultural landscape by implementing a programme of economically sustainable and ecologically sound farming practices, and also facilitating visitor access to the area. The project will formulate, test and develop a suite of innovative management solutions designed to sustain a viable and vibrant rural farming community in the context of a culturally and ecologically sensitive landscape. In so doing the project aims to raise awareness among the general public of the significance of Rathcroghan as a farmed archaeological landscape and promote the proactive role of farmers and farming in the care and maintenance of the living landscape in harmony with its rich cultural heritage and ecological assets. As part of this programme it will implement a range of best farming and archaeological practice to actively monitor, manage, maintain and present this ancient cultural landscape in an environmentally and ecologically-friendly way. Through engagement with key stakeholders and the National Monuments Service, archaeological expertise will be made available locally through the Farming Rathcroghan Project to facilitate and support the local farming community to protect, manage and conserve the archaeological and cultural landscape of Rathcroghan.
We look forward very much to addressing the many challenges posed by this ambitious project and to reaping the potential rewards of its innovations in the years to come. We anticipate in turn, that it might be possible to implement some of its tried and tested practices to other culturally sensitive landscapes throughout Ireland and the European Union and so be seen as a flagship project for others to follow in the future.
MA in Landscape Archaeology graduation 2018
Congratulations to the MA in Landscape Archaeology class of 2017-2018 who are pictured here with the Programme Director, Dr Stefan Bergh, on their graduation day, 21 November 2018.
Left to right: Alan Joyce MA, Winifred Feeney MA, Kelsey Holmes MA, James Mullally MA, Suzanne Hogan MA, Donna Sessions MA, Matheua Munoz de Almeida MA, Marta Krzywda MA and Marie Moran MA - Scholars one and all!
Two new books hot off the printing presses
Congratulations to Dr Kieran O’Conor and Brian Shanahan on the publication of their book Rindoon Castle and Deserted Medieval Town: A Visitor’s Guide (ISBN: 978-0-9575800-7-7), Roscommon County Council, 2018.
Congratulations also to Professor John Waddell on the publication of his latest book Myth and Materiality (ISBN: 9781785709753), Oxbow Press, Oxford, 2018.
Library Donation 'Thank You' by Students
We are grateful to the Archaeology Society
Our heartfelt thanks to all in return; the library donation
Rathcroghan: European Innovation Partnership (EIP-Agri) project 1st Phase approved
The Rathcroghan Resource Community (RRC) was formed in 2015. Its committee members consist of key stakeholders in the Rathcroghan archaeological landscape including landowners, Rathcroghan Visitor Centre, Roscommon County Council, and NUI Galway representatives. The RRC is delighted to report that (in collaboration National Monuments Service, Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, and Teagasc) it has been successful in its application to the Department of Agriculture European Innovation Partnership for its project proposal entitled ‘Sustainable Farming in the Rathcroghan Archaeological Landscape’. This project will now progress to the second phase and involve the creation of a detailed project plan to secure access to a 5-year funding cycle. This grant will enable the Rathcroghan farmers to better achieve a livelihood out of this sensitive farming landscape while simultaneously conserving the environmental integrity of this valuable cultural asset and ensuring the maintenance and integrity of this unique archaeological complex for future generations.
Appointment of Adjunct Professor Mary Cahill
We are delighted to announce the appointment of Adjunct Professor Mary Cahill.
A specialist in the archaeology of the Bronze Age, Professor Mary Cahill comes to NUI Galway from the National Museum of Ireland where she was Keeper of Antiquities. She has lectured and published widely, particularly on the Bronze Age. She is a leading expert on prehistoric gold.
A Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries (London), Professor Cahill has served on the Royal Irish Academy's National Committee for Archaeology, the board of the Discovery Programme, the Heritage Council's Statutory Committee for Archaeology, and was vice-president of the Council of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland.
Professor Cahill’s current research focus has turned towards ethnography, the symbolism and agency of gold ornaments, and sheet gold in the context of warrior status and culture in later prehistoric Europe.
Prizes Awarded for Outstanding Archaeological Scholarship 2016/17
Congratulations to Claire O’Neill,
|Kylie Crowder, awarded the
John Waddell Prize for best
MA in Landscape Archaeology
Professor Christopher Barton, visiting US Fulbright Scholar
The School of Geography and Archaeology is delighted to welcome Professor Christopher P. Barton PhD, a visiting US Fulbright Scholar from Francis Marion University in South Carolina. He is interested in the archaeology of Irish racialisation during the Irish Diaspora and Great Famine. Professor Barton’s work focuses on the confluence of race and class as intertwined social structures that were used to marginalize the rural Irish. Additionally, he is in the early stages of developing a community-based archaeological project that focuses on resistance, improvisation, and identity on the Great Blasket Island, County Kerry.
'Islands in a Global Context' book-launch
‘Islands in a Global Context’, the proceedings of the 7th international conference on Insular Art which was hosted by NUI Galway in 2016, got a suitably festive launch by Professor Michael Clarke, Classics, School of Languages, Literatures and Cultures, at the Archaeology Christmas party on Tuesday 5th December 2017.
This lavishly illustrated volume of essays, written by 30 of the world’s leading experts in the medieval art of Ireland and Britain, was edited by NUI Galway archaeologists Conor Newman, Mags Mannion and Fiona Gavin. NUI Galway was selected to host the conference because of the huge contribution that its scholars, from as far back as the 1970s, have made to the study of some of the most remarkable art objects dating from the Iron Age to the Middle Ages, including the Book of Kells, the Ardagh Chalice, the Tara Brooch, the monumental High-Crosses, Romanesque sculpture, and so on. The essays in this 7th volume look particularly at the way Insular Art was influenced by the Continent. There is a strong emphasis on decoding the symbols used in this art and getting to the deeper meanings hidden in the tiniest details of some of the most iconic objects produced on these islands. We are fortunate many of these artefacts are on display at the national Museum of Ireland for all to see.
Islands in a Global Context: Four Courts Press, 320pp, colour ilus, large format, €60.00
MA in Landscape Archaeology graduates 2017
The sun shone brightly on our equally dazzling MA in Landscape Archaeology class of 2017 for their graduataion ceremony on Thursday 23 November 2017. Pictured here with beaming smiles are Margaux Chevalley MA, Diane Morrison MA, Kylie Crowder MA and Matt Peace MA, with Dr Stefan Bergh and Dr Kieran O'Conor.
Dr Kieran O'Conor awarded AIA Samuel Kress Lectureship in Ancient Art 2017-18
|Dr Kieran O'Conor
School of Geography and Archaeology
Archaeological Institute of America
The School of Geography and Archaeology is particularly proud to announce that Dr Kieran O’Conor was one of two archaeologists from Europe who has been awarded the annual Archaeological Institute of America's (AIA) Samuel Kress Lectureship in Ancient Art for the academic year 2017-18. This is the first time that the AIA has chosen a medieval archaeologist for this prestigious award. Dr O’Conor is currently on tour and presenting his research to AIA chapters across the USA and Canada. He will be giving lectures in the Wooster (Ohio), Denver, Tucson, Spokane, Winnipeg, St Louis, Athens (Georgia), Orlando, Gainesville (both in Florida), San Antonio (Texas), Worcester (Mass), Long Island (New York), Ottawa, and Narragansett (Rhode Island). Phew! Whilst in America, Dr O’Conor has also been asked to lecture at a number of other venues not linked to the AIA.
Sligo Neolithic Heritage Guide launched
Dr Stefan Bergh’s guide to ‘Neolithic Cúil Irra: Knocknarea – Carrowmore – Carns Hill’, published by Archaeology Ireland ( Heritage Guide No. 78), was launched by Minister Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran T.D., Minister of State with responsibility for the Office of Public Works (OPW) and Flood Relief in the Carrowmore Visitor Centre, Co. Sligo, on Monday 21st August 2017. This was followed by a well-attended guided tour of Carns Hill led by Dr Bergh on Tuesday as part of Heritage Week. (Read More).
'Islands in a Global Context'
Islands in a Global Context
edited by NUI Galway’s
Setting Higher Standards
In recognition of her outstanding work, Sandra Getty
A celebratory event in honour of Conor Newman
... to mark the conclusion of his role as chair of the Heritage Council from 2008-2016 was held in the Moore Institute, NUI Galway on Tuesday evening 7th March 2017.
With words from his friends and colleagues Dr Kieran O’Conor and Professor John Waddell and musical interludes provided by Jim Higgins, (Bodhran), Maritin O’Conor (accordion) and special guest, Beatrice Newman (violin) and also by sean-nós singer in residence, Sarah Ghriallas. It was quite an event.
Journal of Irish Archaeology Vol. 24
Volume 24 of the Journal of Irish Archaeology will be appearing very soon. The image on the cover, designed by Angela Gallagher, is intended to highlight the importance of ancestry in the history and prehistory of Ireland. It is composed of a collage of Irish faces and I want to thank everyone who contributed photos towards this illustration. The criteria was that the individuals in the photos had four Irish grandparents which means that the phenotypic traits displayed in the faces, while not necessarily ancient, do have some time depth. Archaeology is now rapidly entering an era in which ancestry (at a variety of scales) will play a much greater role in our interpretations. This shift is being driven by methodological advances in ancient DNA (aDNA) research and I am excited to lead volume 24 of the Journal of Irish Archaeology with a specially commissioned piece by Lara Cassidy and Dan Bradley of the Smurfit Institute of Genetics, Trinity College Dublin in which they explain these recent methodological advances, bring us up to date with current aDNA research in Ireland, and point towards the future directions of this research.
PhD graduations: 23 November 2016
Many congratulations to Dr Thor McVeigh, Dr Richard Gray, Dr Betty Gray and Dr Eugene Costello, pictured above, who recieved their PhDs in Archaeology on 23 November 2016 - an outstanding achievement individually and a major milestone for the Discipline of Archaeology!
Archaeological research at the royal site of Rathcroghan, Co. Roscommon.
'Researching Rathcroghan, the Tara of the West'
an article by Lorna Siggins, Western Correspondent of The Irish Times (Satruday 9th November, 2016)
A conjectural reconstruction of Rathcroghan Mound, by J.G. O’Donoghue (Archaeological Illustrator) in collaboration with Joe Fenwick (Archaeological Field Officer, NUI Galway), as it might have looked during the Later Iron Age, some 2000 years ago (©J.G. O’Donoghue/Roscommon County Council).
Turlough Hill Excavations 2016, Co. Clare.'Mystery surrounds Burren settlement excavated by archaeologists'
an article by Lorna Siggins, Western Correspondent of The Irish Times (Saturday 30 April, 2016)
Vodcasts of Spring Lunchtime Lecture Series 2015 (Natural and Human Heritages)
Dr Brídín Carroll
Locating the Locale of Local Food.
A review of Irish consumers’ varied understandings of ‘local food’, arising from research which recognises the power attributed to localisation to address the ‘grand challenges’ facing the food system.
Dr Frances Fahy & Dr Mary Jo Lavelle
What’s Ireland Consuming?
Household consumption remains somewhat of a black box for policymakers. Focusing on external conditions – the impact of a global recession and economic downturn – we examine consumption activities based on a survey of 1,500 households.
Dr Maura Farrell
Rural Ireland: Moving Forward or Remaining the same.
Rural Ireland has witnessed unprecedented change in recent decades. These changes in contemporary spaces of rurality have resulted in the agricultural community sharing the landscape with a diversity of people, industry and communities.
Repopulating the Archaeological Landscape of the Brú na Bóinne World Heritage Site.
A presentation of the re-emerging traces and places of past human settlement and activity hidden in the shadow of the great prehistoric monuments of the ‘bend of the Boyne’.
The Sword in the Stone: the Galway Connection
Though usually considered the stuff of kingly legend, the motif of the sword in the stone appears to have some basis in reality. The story begins on the Maree peninsula.