Drone Technology Aids in Discoveries at Medieval Irish Sites

Archaeological Discoveries in Ireland

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) have been gaining attention in the news for the last few years, but archaeologists like Saint Louis University history professor Thomas Finan, Ph.D., have always appreciated what aerial photography could accomplish.

The Scale of Slave Raiding and the Slave Trade in Northumbria and Ireland, 7th-11th Centuries

15th century map British Isles - Photo: Brooklyn Museum

Slave raiding and the slave trade in early medieval Northumbria and Ireland were transcultural and inter-regional processes, involving the enslavement and transportation of people across permeable borders.

Movie Review: Tristan and Isolde

Tristan and Isolde, starring James Franco and Sophia Myles.

As far as medieval movies go, Tristan and Isolde definitely isn’t the worst I’ve seen. I was looking for a movie to watch after work, and I thought, hey, James Franco, Sophia Moyles, Henry Cavill, and Rufus Sewell, all directed by Ridley Scott?! – this can’t be that bad. Well, it was pretty bad, but it wasn’t the worst 2 hours of my life. So what went wrong?

Why did they stop building tower house castles in Ireland?

Mahee Castle - Mahee Castle, Ringneill Road, Mahee Island, County Down, Northern Ireland, Photo by Ardfern / Wikicommons

One of the most visible reminders of Ireland’s medieval history are the tower house castles that are scattered throughout the country. For centuries they were the homes and fortresses for the native Irish elites as well as the English and Scottish settlers. However, by the early seventeenth-century it seems that they were now being abandoned and left the fall into ruin. What happened?

Festival of Archaeology at Dunluce Castle today

Dunluce Castle - photo by Micu Radu

Dunluce Castle in Northern Ireland will host a family friendly archaeological event on Saturday 25 July from 10.30am – 4.30pm.

‘Naked and Unarmoured’: A Reassessment of the Role of the Galwegians at the Battle of the Standard

15th century map British Isles - Photo: Brooklyn Museum

Accounts of the Battle of the Standard, fought in 1138 between the army of David I, King of Scots and the northern English forces rallied by Thurstan, Archbishop of York, have unvaryingly placed the blame for the Scottish defeat on David’s Galwegian warriors who, against armoured English ranks, fled in confusion.

Investigating ‘peasant conversion’ in Ireland and Anglo-Saxon England

A miniature in the British Library Yates Thomson MS 26, Bede's Prose Life of St Cuthbert, depicting Cuthbert's meeting with Boisil at Melrose

It is somewhat surprising that we find very little in the way of propaganda bent on stressing positive changes that Christianity could bring, propaganda of the kind that Bishop Daniel of Winchester scripted for Boniface in the oft-cited letter which he advised the missionary to lure converts by contrasting the economic prosperity of Christian communities with the backwardness of the non-Christian.

The Afterlife of the Dead: Reform in Attitude Towards Medieval Burials, Corpses and Bones

Rothwell Charnel Chapel. Photo courtesy of ITV.

The International Medieval Congress is taking place at the University of Leeds, I’m on hand this week to report on the conference. This blog post reports on my first session.

KZOO 2015: Session #42 – Magna Carta in Context

British Library's Magna Carta, photo credit Joseph Turp

This coming week I’ll be featuring summaries on some of my favourites sessions and papers from #KZOO2015. I kicked off my first session on Thursday with the Magna Carta.

The Multilingual Origins of Medieval Irish Surnames

Medieval Irish Surnames

Surnames came into widespread use in Ireland at a time where five vernacular languages were in operation – Irish, English, Norse, Welsh and Norman French.

Why Ireland was like a ‘Garden of Eden’ during the Middle Ages

celtic cross ireland  - photo by Andy Hares / Flickr

Tourism officials in Ireland are busy trying to promote the country to the world. If this was the Middle Ages, the would have a much easier time.

The Strategy of Challenges: Two Beheading Games In Medieval Literature

beheading - British Library Royal 10 E IV   f. 208

The Middle English poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and its Old Irish ancestor The Feast of Bricriu recount a remarkable stranger’s challenge to the hero, in effect, ‘You can chop off my head if you’ll let me return the blow.’

‘The Halved Heads’: Osteological Evidence for Decapitation in Medieval Ireland

Skull 9(a) from No. 16., Eustace Street, Dublin, a young adult female who also displays evidence of cut marks to the face, indicative of the nose being cut off (Image reproduced courtesy of the National Museum of Ireland)

This paper examines the osteological evidence for decapitation from 30 skeletal assemblages dated to the medieval period (6th to 16th century) from Ireland.

Ireland’s Ancient East campaign to showcase country’s medieval sites

Rock of Cashel - photo by Giorgio Galeotti / Flickr

The Irish government has started a tourism campaign – Ireland’s Ancient East – in hopes that the country’s heritage will attract another 600,000 overseas visitors per year.

Tabula Gratulatoria for Clerics, Kings and Vikings

Clerics Kings and Vikings

Four Courts Press invite you to subscribe to the Tabula Gratulatoria for Clerics, Kings and Vikings, a collection of essays on medieval Ireland in honour of Donnchadh Ó Corráin,

Which Irish Saint Are You?

irish saints

Brendan, Columba, Patrick – find out which Irish Saint you are most like!

BOOKS: Medieval Ireland

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In celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, here are some great books on medieval Ireland!

15th century ruins discovered near Dunluce Castle

Dunluce Castle - photo by Micu Radu

Historians have known that a 17th-century town existed near the iconic Dunluce Castle in Northern Ireland, but new research has uncovered new evidence of an earlier settlement, dating back to the 15th century.

‘Hag of the Castle:’ Women, Family, and Community in Later Medieval Ireland

Sheela-na-gig from the Fethard wall in Fethard, Co. Tipperary, Ireland, detail, 12th c.

In a letter written as part of his work for the Irish Department of the Ordnance Survey in 1840, Thomas O’Conor recorded his reaction to a “Sheela- na-gig” sculpture—the image of a naked woman shown exposing her genitalia (fig. 1)—that he saw on the old church at Kiltinane, Co. Tipperary.

Enniskillen Castle to receive over £2 million in heritage funding

Enniskillen Castle - photo by Raymond Millar

Enniskillen Castle, one of Northern Ireland’s most impressive castles, is to be transformed into a world class heritage attraction, thanks to a £2.37 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund

An aspect of Alcuin: ‘Tuus Albinus’ – peevish egotist? or parrhesiast?

Charlemagne-Dürer

In over 270 letters from about a decade and a half, alcuin of york (†804) informed, advised, consoled and admonished contemporaries, reacted to current events, and maintained a circle of friends and partners in reciprocal prayer that extended from Jerusalem to Ireland and from rome to salzburg. Alcuin left york in the 780s to become a friend and chief advisor to Charlemagne.

Viking Chiefs, Irish Kings and Exported Princesses

Vikings

One of the earliest records which we have of the Deisi, the native kingdom in which Viking Woodstown were constructed, is their origin legend

Tundale’s Vision: Socialization in 12th Century Ireland

tundale vision

The purpose of this project is to explore the historical image of Hell in Medieval Europe as an agent of socialization for illiterate Christian communities.

6,000 artefacts discovered at Drumclay crannog dig

floor of a house discovered at Fermanagh Crannog - photo courtesy Department of the Environment

An archaeological dig in Northern Ireland has uncovered about 6,000 artefacts, dating back to as early as the seventh century A.D.

A monastic landscape: The Cistercians in medieval Leinster

Clonmacnoise Monastery (Leinster, Ireland)

This study endeavours to discuss the Cistercian monasteries of Leinster with regard to their physical location in the landscape, the agricultural contribution of the monks to the broader social and economic world and the interaction between the cloistered monks and the secular world.

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