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Lecture Series 2016 - 'The Archaeology of a Decade of War'

To mark 2016, the National Museum of Ireland – Archaeology will present a series of lunchtime lectures taking place on Thursdays throughout the year.  

Time: 1pm -1.45pm
Location: Ceramics Room, National Museum of Ireland-Archaeology, Kildare Street, Dublin 2.
To book contact educationarch@museum.ie or 01 648 6334.
Free Admission. Not wheelchair accessible.

Thursday 21 January: Touched by War: Reflections on the Archaeology of Conflict

Dr Tony Pollard, Director of the Centre for Battlefield Archaeology at the University of Glasgow, will reflect on the highs and lows of a career in conflict archaeology that has taken him all over the world. Using examples from a variety of projects, he will demonstrate how archaeology can shed new light on conflicts from medieval warfare to the world wars of the 20th century.


Thursday 11 February: The Landscape of the 1916 Rising 

Mr Lar Joye, Curator, National Museum of Ireland, will examine the 1916 Rising from a military history point of view, looking at the events of the rebellion and the battlefield today. The talk will examine the Rebel plan to take Dublin, the role of British artillery, the effectiveness of the Rebel Weapons and the impact of the Helga.


Kitchen at No 17 Moore Street © Franc Myles

Image: The Kitchen at No. 17 Moore Street, Dublin © Franc Myles

Thursday 3 March: Beating the Retreat? The final hours of the Rising in Moore Street

Mr Franc Myles, MUBC, MIAI, Archaeologist, discusses his investigations of the interiors of the buildings on Moore Street and Henry Place, offering an archaeological perspective on the Rising in central Dublin. His talk will explore the final 24 hours of the Rising, from the evacuation of the GPO to the Republican advance into Moore Street, with reference to the surviving built heritage and the materiality of the conflict.

Thursday 14th April: Frongoch Camp and the Archaeology of Internment

Dr Joanna Brück, University of Bristol, will discuss Frongoch internment camp in North Wales.  After the Easter Rising 1916, some 1800 Irish men were interned at Frongoch, North Wales. This talk will explore the potential of an archaeological approach to the camp and its material culture, ranging from research on the craftwork made by internees to recent archaeological survey at the site itself.

Thursday 19 May: Recording Ireland’s First World War Landscapes  

Ms Heather Montgomery, Queens University Belfast, will explain her archaeological investigations into the training of Kitchener’s New Army in Ireland, 1914-1918.This research brings together historic evidence relating to the British military training, and the archaeological analysis of advances in twentieth century warfare and draws upon social and cultural elements of the period.

Thursday 26 May: The Archaeological Landscape of World War I in Flanders

Prof. dr. Jean Bourgeois & dr. Birger Stichelbaut, Ghent University, discuss how thanks to aerial photographs from WWI and modern archaeological techniques, laser scanning, and geophysical analysis, it is possible to reconstruct the landscape of World War 1. This talk will bring you a detailed analysis of some sites and also show the complexity of this landscape of war: front line trenches, backlines, artillery positions, ammunition depots, rest areas, hospitals and cemeteries, airfields etc.

Thursday 25 August: Mapping and Protecting the Shipwrecks of WWI in Irish Waters 

Mr Karl Brady, Underwater Archaeological Unit, National Monuments Service and Ms Charise McKeon, Geological Survey of Ireland will provide an overview of the World War One naval conflict in Irish water and will illustrate the range and quantity of the resulting wrecks and discuss the strategies that the UAU and GSI are employing to document, map and protect these sites in Irish waters.

Thursday 15 September: The Geography of the War of Independence and Civil War in Dublin

Mr Muiris de Buitléir MSc. FRGS will discuss the geography and architecture of Dublin during the period of the War of Independence and the Civil War. It will look at buildings associated with the actions of the period, with a particular look at traces of the events that still remain. It will examine how the structure of the city may have influenced the military activities and recall some of the events associated with particular places.

Thursday 6 October: The Archaeological Landscape of the War of Independence & The Civil War

Mr Damian Shiels, Military Archaeologist, will examine the wealth of archaeological evidence for Ireland's 20th century conflict which surrounds us today. Using local case studies, he will demonstrate what can be learned from an examination of sites such as safe houses, weapon factories, training areas, prison sites, RIC stations, ambush sites and other such conflict-related locations, and mapping them in the modern landscape. 

Thursday 17 November: The Fortress Prison: the archaeology of Victorian Spike Island, Co. Cork

Dr Barra O’Donnabhain, University College Cork, will talk about the Spike Island Archaeological Project which is investigating the archaeology of the Victorian convict depot that operated at Spike Island in Cork harbour from 1847-1883.  The Project explores the material remains of the prison and the triangle of relationships between convicts, their guards and the institution, and pays particular attention to the lived experience of incarceration and the impact of the institution on prisoner health. 

Part of the National Museum of Ireland 1916 Public Engagement Programme (2016)