Woodstown: a Viking-Age settlement in Co. Waterford
Woodstown: a Viking-Age settlement in Co. Waterford, edited by Ian Russell and Maurice F Hurley, is the definitive report on the archaeological excavations undertaken at a ninth-century Viking settlement at Woodstown, on the south bank of the River Suir, less than 10 km upstream from Waterford City. The discovery of this exceptionally important site in 2003, in advance of the construction of the N25 Waterford City Bypass, has very significant implications for our understanding of the earliest phases of Viking raiding in Ireland and the establishment of their settlements on the island. The major and central part of the Woodstown site appears to be focused on two contiguous D-shaped enclosures defined by ditches. Occupation encompassed domestic, industrial and craft-working activities and the site became an important centre for trade and exchange, with abundant evidence for a developed trading economy. The site is also notable for the presence of one of the most richly furnished Viking warrior burials in Ireland or Britain.
Archaeologist Dr David Griffiths of Oxford University has described the discovery of Woodstown as ‘a milestone in European Viking archaeology and is arguably the most important individual discovery coming from the Irish ‘construction boom’ of the 2000–10 decade’. The book draws together all of the evidence from recent research and excavations at this important Viking site and places it in its national and international contexts. Woodstown is the result of a partnership between the NRA (now TII), the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, and Waterford City and County Council. It was published by Four Courts Press in October 2014 (purchase online now).
Settlement and Community in the Fir Tulach Kingdom
(ISBN 978-0-9564180-9-8) CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT
The National Roads Authority and Westmeath County Council jointly published Settlement and Community in the Fir Tulach Kingdom , by Paul Stevens and John Channing, in November 2012. The book describes three significant excavations—at Rochfort Demesne, Ballykilmore and Clonfad—on the routes of the M6 and N52 in County Westmeath, which cross through the early medieval territory of the Fir Tulach (or ‘Men of the hills’), nestled in the heart of the Irish midlands. Rochfort Demesne provided a fascinating insight into the development of an enclosed settlement (ringfort). A remarkable collection of over 1,000 early–late medieval burials within a mainly local and agrarian population is revealed at Ballykilmore. Finally, a high level of art and industry is accredited to a monastic community at Clonfad, culminating in unique evidence for the manufacture of a brazed iron handbell. The excavations are individually described and illustrated in detail in this book, with full interpretations, discussion and analysis of the archaeological, historical, scientific and environmental background in the wider early medieval context. The book is accompanied by a CD which includes two additional scientific and technical chapters on the large assemblage of human remains and highly significant metallurgical analysis.
Archaeological Excavations at Tullahedy, County Tipperary
Conducted in advance of the construction of a link between the N7 and N52 roads, an archaeological investigation uncovered an enclosed Neolithic settlement at Tullahedy, near Nenagh, Co. Tipperary. The site was located on an esker with Neolithic activity dated from between 3670 BC and 3460 BC. The settlement comprised three Neolithic houses, two within a natural hollow and a third near a former lakeshore. Lavishly illustrated, this volume presents the findings in an attractive and comprehensive manner. Archaeological Excavations at Tullahedy, County Tipperary: Neolithic Settlement in North Munster, by Rose M Cleary and Hilary Kelleher, was published by The Collins Press in 2011 (purchase online now).
Training and Practice for Modern Day Archaeologists
Training and Practice for Modern Day Archaeologists in the One World Archaeology Series contains papers which present contemporary perspectives on the professional practice of archaeology around the globe. The genesis of the book was the very successful World Archaeological Congress meeting in Dublin in 2008. The NRA (now TII) sponsored and helped organise WAC-6 and the papers in this volume originated from three sessions convened at the conference. The papers in the volume present case studies from European countries, Australia, the USA and Canada. Seven papers focus on Irish themes, three of which are specifically related to the work of the NRA. Training and Practice for Modern Day Archaeologists, edited by John H Jameson (National Parks Service, USA) and James Eogan (TII Archaeology & Heritage), was published by Springer in January 2013 and is availbale as an as eBook and in hardcopy (purchase online now).
Offaly Heritage 7
The Offaly Historical & Archaeological Society launched the seventh volume of its journal Offaly Heritage on 12 November 2013. The latest edition features a paper on an important Late Bronze Age roundhouse excavated by Fintan Walsh of Irish Archaeological Consultancy Ltd in advance of the construction of the M6 motorway. This substantial habitation was enclosed by a fence and may have been associated with two elevated grain silos. The site was located in the townland of Tober, Co. Offaly, 3.5 km south-east of Moate, Co. Westmeath. To purchase a copy of this edition of the journal, the production of which was part funded by the NRA, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or write to Offaly Historical & Archaeological Society, Bury Quay, Tullamore, Co. Offaly.
Journal of the Kerry Archaeological and Historical Society
The latest volume of the Journal of the Kerry Archaeological and Historical Society (Series 2, Vol. 12, 2012) features four papers describing the results of recent NRA-funded investigations in County Kerry. Patricia Long summarises the findings made during excavations conducted in advance of the construction of the N22 Tralee Bypass and Colm Moloney highlights one of the most noteworthy of these sites—a possible prehistoric ceremonial ‘avenue’—in a subsequent paper. A second paper by Long describes evidence of prehistoric and medieval activity discovered south-east of Kilflyn village in advance of a realignment of the N69 Tralee to Listowel road and Rob O’Hara is the principal author of a second paper dealing with discoveries on a short realignment (the N86 between Annascaul and Gortbreagoge on the Dingle Peninsula). To purchase a copy of this edition of the journal, the production of which was part funded by the NRA, e-mail email@example.com or write to The Secretary of the Society, The Kerry Archaeological and Historical Society Journal, Kerry County Library, Moyderwell, Tralee, Co. Kerry.