Archaeology: Early Medieval Settlement in Ireland
The Early Medieval period in Ireland dates from the fifth to the twelfth century AD. In many parts of Europe this period is referred to as the “Dark Ages,” whereas for Ireland this was a time when the island came of age. This small island on the periphery of western Europe forged its destiny and announced itself to the world. Since then Ireland has been referred to as “the land of saints and scholars.” This legacy has left a lasting mark on our cultural identity and has been memorialized across the landscape of Ireland in the form of archaeological sites. In this talk we will look at the type of sites constructed and lived in by the people of Ireland during the early medieval era. Through this period, crannogs (artificial island dwellings) came to be a common site type in certain areas. A special focus will be drawn to research being undertaken on a crannog that was recently excavated in the north of Ireland.
Marie-Therese Barrett is an Archaeology and Paleoecology PhD candidate at Queen’s University Belfast. She has been an archaeologist for the past fourteen years. Her primary research interests are based on the history and archaeology of early medieval settlement in Ireland. Her research also encompasses scientific dating methods, primarily dendrochronology (tree-ring dating). As well as her academic research, Marie-Therese has been a field archaeologist for a number of years and has been involved in a number of early medieval excavations in Ireland. Her doctoral research is focused on using dendrochronology to examine an early medieval crannog (lake dwelling).