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Spring Lecture Series: New Discoveries from Ancient Ireland

This series will examine new finds and research taken place in Irish Archaeology from the Stone Age to the Iron Age. Speakers will include former Keeper of Antiquities of the NMI, Mary Cahill, speaking about the Bronze Age Mooghaun Hoard and Dr Clíodhna Ní Lionáin discussing the recent excavations of the passage tomb at Dowth Hall, Co. Meath.

'The Mooghaun hoard - making Clare great in the Bronze Age' by Mary Cahill

Wednesday 20th March 1pm-1:45pm

In 1854 the greatest hoard of Bronze Age goldwork ever found in Ireland was discovered during the construction of the Limerick to Ennis railway. One hundred and sixty years later this lecture by Mary Cahill, Adjunct Professor, School of Geography and Archaeology at NUI Galway; former Keeper of Irish Antiquities National Museum of Ireland looks at what happened at the time of discovery, the dispersal of the hoard, the finders and significance of the hoard in terms of Irish and European Late Bronze Age gold hoards.


‘The Beaker Phenomenon? Understanding the character and context of social practices in Ireland 2500-2000 BC’ by Dr Neil Carlin

Wednesday 27th March 1pm-1:45pm

During the mid-third millennium BC, people across Europe began using an international suite of novel objects typified by distinctive ceramics known as Beaker pottery. Archaeologists have labelled this the Beaker phenomenon, because so many aspects of this have defied explanation including how did this happen? What was the allure of these objects? What did they represent? This talk will explore the adoption of these cultural innovations in Ireland and outline how this helps us to answer these questions.


‘Treasure: The Tale of a Twisted Torc’ by Greer Ramsey

Friday 5th April 1pm-1:45pm

The Treasure Act, as it applies in Northern Ireland, has helped secure some spectacular objects for the collections, many of which are on display in the Ulster Museum, Belfast. One of the most significant is a twisted Bronze Age gold torc from Corrard, County Fermanagh. Torcs are traditionally interpreted as an item of jewellery, worn around the neck - but the Corrard torc could not be used in this way. Dr Greer Ramsey, Curator of Archaeology at National Museums NI, explores the making and function of this remarkable artefact.


‘The rediscovery of a passage tomb cemetery at Dowth Hall, Co. Meath’ by Dr Clíodhna Ní Lionáin

Wednesday 10th April 1pm-1:45pm

This lecture will discuss the discovery, excavation, and significance of the large passage tomb that was recently found underneath Dowth Hall, Co. Meath. It will also explore what else may still be hidden within the internationally significant landscape of the Brú na Bóinne World Heritage Site.


Admission free. Places are limited, to book please phone 01-6486 332 or email educationarch@museum.ie. Located in the Kildare Room, Ground Floor. Fully wheelchair accessible.