Presentation Title

Tracing Medieval Gaelic Lordships with Archaeology in County Roscommon, Ireland

Advisor Information

Martina Saltamacchia

Location

UNO Criss Library, Room 225

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Start Date

4-3-2016 1:30 PM

End Date

4-3-2016 1:45 PM

Abstract

Positioned in the northern portion of the Shannon River Drainage Basin and nourished by the Boyle River, few locations in northwestern Ireland match the degree of strategic importance to medieval governance and commerce than the lake of Lough Cé. But rivers are not the only thing that converged at the distant Irish lake. Lough Cé’ was also a site of major contention between the McDermot and O’Conor ruling families, and the island fortress exchanged hands as the headquarters for both families – and each battle typically ending with the fortress’ razing. However due to the paucity of archaeological data of Lough Cé’s medieval past, its history has been confined to only a handful of contemporary medieval sources and local tradition. Seeking to reconcile this issue, archaeologist Dr. Thomas Finan of Saint Louis University has been excavating in Roscommon for over two decades. Through his research, Finan’s has worked to reconstruct Lough Cé’s narrative and has identified numerous high-status Gaelic lordship sites that could change the way medieval Lough Cé is understood. By enlisting the resources of Dr. Paul Naessens and his company, Western Aerial Survey, Drs. Finan and Naessens have begun a project using state of the art technology such as Unmanned Arial Vehicles to analyze topography, geophysics such as gradiometry and tomography to detect subterranean structures, and topographical survey to record changes in landscape. The data gleaned from these tests have pinpointed precisely where excavations will take place in 2016, and what lies beneath the surface in Lough Cé.

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Mar 4th, 1:30 PM Mar 4th, 1:45 PM

Tracing Medieval Gaelic Lordships with Archaeology in County Roscommon, Ireland

UNO Criss Library, Room 225

Positioned in the northern portion of the Shannon River Drainage Basin and nourished by the Boyle River, few locations in northwestern Ireland match the degree of strategic importance to medieval governance and commerce than the lake of Lough Cé. But rivers are not the only thing that converged at the distant Irish lake. Lough Cé’ was also a site of major contention between the McDermot and O’Conor ruling families, and the island fortress exchanged hands as the headquarters for both families – and each battle typically ending with the fortress’ razing. However due to the paucity of archaeological data of Lough Cé’s medieval past, its history has been confined to only a handful of contemporary medieval sources and local tradition. Seeking to reconcile this issue, archaeologist Dr. Thomas Finan of Saint Louis University has been excavating in Roscommon for over two decades. Through his research, Finan’s has worked to reconstruct Lough Cé’s narrative and has identified numerous high-status Gaelic lordship sites that could change the way medieval Lough Cé is understood. By enlisting the resources of Dr. Paul Naessens and his company, Western Aerial Survey, Drs. Finan and Naessens have begun a project using state of the art technology such as Unmanned Arial Vehicles to analyze topography, geophysics such as gradiometry and tomography to detect subterranean structures, and topographical survey to record changes in landscape. The data gleaned from these tests have pinpointed precisely where excavations will take place in 2016, and what lies beneath the surface in Lough Cé.