Volume 5


Launch of New Survey of Clare Island Volume 5; Archaeology Wednesday 3rd October 2007


group photo from the launch of volume 5
(Left to right)Dr Paul Gosling, Síona Breathnach; Con Manning, Professor Martin Steer; Donal O’Shea, Sara Whelan, John Gormley T.D., Professor J.A. Slevin, (Front) Roisín Jones.

Minister John Gormley of the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, launched the fifth publication of the New Survey of Clare Island Archaeology in the Royal Irish Academy, Dublin on Wednesday, 3rd of October at 1.30pm.

For a small Atlantic island, Clare Island, Co. Mayo, possesses an impressive array of field monuments. The 5,000-year-old megalithic tomb, the dozens of fulachtaí fia* and the series of spectacularly sited coastal promontory forts all offer fascinating insights into prehistoric settlement. A well-preserved series of architectural remains, including two early nineteenth-century lighthouses and a signal tower, as well as a medieval castle and the Abbey, also serve as monuments to island life from medieval times down to the nineteenth century.

This volume presents the results of a detailed survey of the archaeological remains—over 250 sites, monuments and find spots—and reports on five archaeological excavations conducted at prehistoric sites. The islanders have been instrumental in recognising and registering many new sites that have been discovered since the original survey, undertaken by the RIA between 1901-11 including the fulachtaí fia* which were not detailed at the start of the century. Scientific advances such as radiocarbon dating have contributed greatly to the archaeological record of the island with significant sites dating from c. 4000 BC to AD 1700.

* Burnt mounds thought to have served as outdoor cooking areas.


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