AIA to support two medieval Ireland archaeological projects

The Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) will fund archaeological conservation and research efforts at two medieval sites in Ireland—Blackfriary at Trim and the Priory at Tulsk. Funds for the two sites were raised through a special pledge drive held at the AIA Annual Spring Gala in New York City in April 2011.

The Blackfriary at Trim, County Meath was founded in 1263 AD by Geoffrey de Geneville, Lord of Trim. The historic significance of the site is evidenced in its choice as the location for a meeting of Irish bishops in 1291. AIA funds will be used to support conservation at the friary. A key goal for the program directors is to save the site from neglect and development. They aim to emphasize the rich history of the site by offering educational programming, by inviting local and non-local participation in excavations, and by highlighting the economic benefits of the site as a tourist-attraction.

Built in 1448, the Dominican Priory at Tulsk, County Roscommon was an important ecclesiastical site for the O’Connor Kings. The Priory is listed as a Recorded Monument and a Protected Structure. AIA funds will support efforts to conserve and stabilize the existing structures, as well as to further develop the site for tourism, which would benefit local businesses. Upon its renovation, the Priory will be incorporated into a larger project, sponsored by the Roscommon Community Council and the National Monuments Service, which oversees the whole of the medieval village of Tulsk.

Founded in 1879, The Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) is North America’s oldest and largest archaeological organization. Today, the AIA has nearly 250,000 members belonging to 108 local societies in the United States, Canada, and overseas. The organization promotes public interest in the cultures and civilizations of the past, supports archaeological research, fosters the sound professional practice of archaeology, and advocates for the preservation of the world’s archaeological heritage.

The AIA Site Preservation Program emphasizes outreach, education, and the spread of best practices in site preservation. The Institute currently supports preservation projects in Belize, Cambodia, Chile, Cyprus, Israel, Jordan, Mexico, Syria, Turkey, Peru, Kenya, and the United States. To learn more, please visit

Source: Archaeological Institute of America

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