Fragments of Lives Past

The NRA was honoured to have Raghnall Ó Floinn, Director of the National Museum of Ireland (on right in photo), launch Fragments of Lives Past at the City Wall Space, Wood Quay Venue, Dublin Civic Office, on 28 August 2014. This new publication, edited by Bernice Kelly, Niall Roycroft & Michael Stanley, presents the proceedings of the 2013 NRA National Archaeology Seminar, which explored the theme of archaeological objects discovered on national road schemes and what they tell us about the past peoples of Ireland. As such, Mr Ó Floinn, an internationally acknowledged expert in the material culture of medieval Ireland, was the perfect choice to launch the book.

Fragments of Lives Past (the 11th volume in the Archaeology and the National Roads Authority Monograph Series) goes beyond mere measurements to look at the artefacts themselves and to emphasise the human or individual aspects behind the actual objects. Readers can learn about what Neolithic pottery vessels may actually have contained, the rare survival of wooden objects and the important information they convey, how people in early medieval Ireland expressed identity through their costume and appearance and the desperate terror of Jacobite soldiers routed at the Battle of Aughrim, in County Galway. But this is just a sample of the offerings in this richly illustrated book in which our artefactual heritage takes centre stage.

Fragments of Lives Past: archaeological objects from Irish road schemes is published by the NRA and is available through bookshops or directly from Wordwell Book Sales, Unit 9, 78 Furze Road, Sandyford, Dublin 18 (tel: +353 1 2947860; e-mail: