News


10th December 2010 - EMAP reports (e.g. EMAP Monograph; Dwellings and Settlement Report Vol. I, Settlement Gazetteer Vol. II, EMAP Bibliography and Progress and Financial report) are submitted to the Heritage Council.


Sunday 28th November - Former EMAP MA Scholar, Rob O’Hara presented a paper at the EMAP Conference ‘Digging through the Celtic Tiger boom: Archaeological excavations of early medieval settlements in Co. Meath, Ireland’ on


Sunday 28th November - Matt Seaver presented a paper at the EMAP conference entitled ‘Living with the dead in early medieval Ireland: settlement enclosures with human burials, AD 400‐1100’. Lorcan Harney and Dr. Thomas Kerr presented a paper at the EMAP conference entitled ‘Living and working with God: crafts and economy on early medieval church settlements and archaeological excavations in Ireland, 1920-2007’.


Saturday 27th November - Jonathan Kinsella and Mícheál Ó Droma presented a paper at the EMAP conference entitled ‘Early medieval ringforts and enclosures in Ireland: a case study of the evolution of two enclosure sites in Co. Tipperary’. Dr. Finbar McCormick and Dr. Aidan O’Sullivan presented a paper entitled ‘The Early Medieval Archaeology Project (EMAP): exploring early medieval dwellings and settlements in Ireland’.


26th-28th November 2010 - EMAP hosted and organised a conference ‘Early Medieval Settlements in North-west Europe, AD400 – 1100 in University College Dublin which was supported by the Heritage Council INSTAR Project, the OPW, UCD John Hume Institute for Global Irish Studies and the UCD School of Archaeology. The keynote lecture was delivered by Chris Loveluck, University of Nottingham on Friday 26th November with a range of other international and Irish speakers presenting papers on Saturday and Sunday 27th and 28th November 2010.


July-December - Thom Kerr focused on the final edits to the ‘Early Medieval Ireland: Archaeological Excavations 1930-2004’ which has been submitted as an RIA; INSTAR monograph to the Royal Irish Academy and Heritage Council in December 2010. This monograph will be published in 2011 by the Royal Irish Academy.


July-August 2010 - Jonathan Kinsella and Lorcan Harney compiled and rewrote a small number of additional site descriptions for the settlement gazetteer (Vol. II); the first draft which was completed in a five-month period between July and December 2009 (Kerr et. al 2009). In total, 13 extra site summaries were written bringing the total number to 241 sites while a further 3 were also rewritten in light of new published material.


August-November 2010 - Jonathan Kinsella and Lorcan Harney focused on writing a report (vol. I) ’Early medieval dwellings and settlement in Ireland, A.D. 400-1100’. The report focused on four major areas: early medieval houses and other buildings; settlement enclosures; agriculture as part of the wider settlement landscape; and crafts and industrial activities on early medieval settlements. Both the first draft for this report (vol. I) and the updated settlement gazetteer (vol. II) were submitted to the Heritage Council in December 2010. It is hoped that they might eventually form the basis of a two volume tome on early medieval dwellings and settlement in Ireland, to be published in late 2011 or early 2012. Lorcan Harney also updated the ENDNOTE EMAP Bibliography to contain over 5,700 early medieval archaeological and historical references as well as undertaking further work on standardising keyword search terms and cleaning references. In this regard, he sought the help of Eileen Reilly, Meriel McClatchie and Denise Keating to update areas previous insufficiently covered: namely scientific studies, plant macrofossil remains, osteological studies, charcoal identification.


July-December 2010 - Heritage Council INSTAR funded EMAP Project re-established. EMAP researchers Jonathan Kinsella and Lorcan Harney are based in the School of Archaeology, UCD and Dr. Thomas Kerr in the School of Geography, Archaeology and Palaeoecology, QUB.


22nd May 2010 - Lorcan Harney presented a paper entitled ‘County Dublin: Some observations on the historiography of early medieval excavation and research 1930 – 2005’ at the 12th Medieval Dublin Symposium in Trinity College. The presentation will be published in the Medieval Dublin Journal by Lorcan Harney, Jonathan Kinsella and Aidan O’Sullivan in 2011.


20th May 2010 - Dr. Finbar McCormick presented a paper entitled ‘Exploring settlement, agriculture & economy in Ireland, AD 400–1100’ at the EMASS conference in University College Dublin.
16th April 2010- Dr. Aidan O’Sullivan presented a paper entitled ‘Early medieval archaeology project (EMAP): Exploring settlement, agriculture & economy in Ireland, AD 400–1100’ at the IAI Spring Conference 2010 ‘INSTAR and Archaeological Research in Ireland’, Galway.


February-March 2010- EMAP researchers Jonathan Kinsella and Lorcan Harney continue working on writing and publishing EMAP articles and papers, supported by UCD seed funding grant.


10th December 2009- Dr. Aidan O’Sullivan, Lorcan Harney and Jonathan Kinsella presented a paper entitled ‘The Early Medieval Archaeology Project (EMAP): Digging into the data from early medieval excavations’ at UCD School of Archaeology 2009 Research Seminar; Culture, Environment and Change, 10th December 2010.


December 2009- Niamh Arthur, recent (2008/2009) MA in Archaeology graduate student at UCD was announced as the joint winner of the UK Medieval Settlement Research Group's (MSRG) John Hurst Prize for the best MA thesis/dissertation in Britain and Ireland on Medieval Settlement (2009). Her dissertation was on the subject of Viking longphorts or raiding bases in Ireland.


2728th November 2009- Dr. Aidan O’Sullivan presented an invited paper entitled ‘The Early Medieval Archaeology Project (EMAP): Some brief comments on archaeological excavations 1930–2008’ at the Mapping Death: People, Boundaries and Territories in Ireland 1st to 8th centuries AD conference at the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, Dublin 27–28
November 2009.  Matt Seaver also presented an invited paper at the same conference entitled ‘Living with the Dead: Some preliminary observations on settlement/cemeteries in Early Medieval Ireland’.


6th November 2009- Lorcan Harney presented a paper entitled ‘The Early Medieval Archaeology Project (EMAP): Investigating Dwelling and Settlement Archaeological Excavations, 1930-2008’ at the Institute of Archaeologists of Ireland (IAI) Current Research in Irish Archaeology conference at Cork, 6–7 November 2009.


November 2009: new reports submitted to INSTAR
See our reports page to download all EMAP reports for 2009


October-November 2009- Settlement Gazetteer summaries are edited, fully completed and put together. Permission is granted from all excavation directors where unpublished reports are used. Site plans, cross sections and other key illustrations are inserted in the relevant locations in the Gazetteer. EMAP researchers Dr. Thom Kerr, Jonathan Kinsella and Lorcan Harney meet with principle investigator Dr. Aidan O’Sullivan in mid November in Dublin to finalise the draft of the settlement gazetteer. EMAP researchers also work on a version 2 EMAP Bibliography. The Version 1 2008 bibliography is significantly edited and updated to include c. 5,000 references.


July-October 2009- EMAP researchers drafted summaries of 229 ‘significant’ excavated early medieval settlement sites. Each site summary provides key information in concise form, including the Site name and County; the Type of site (e.g. ‘Early Medieval Settlement Enclosure’) the National Grid Reference, the SMR No., the Excavation Licence No., the Excavation Duration/Year (months and years when the excavation was carried out) and finally the Site Director. Each summary also provides a concise, focused site description providing information on location, site dimensions, phasing, general chronology and site activities implied by various features and finds. All available radiocarbon dates are provided, in raw and calibrated form, in a table, before a bibliography of previous publications or unpublished reports- when permission is granted- is listed.
Work also continues on developing the early medieval archaeology portal, albeit at a scaled down level due to funding cutbacks. The work is undertaken by Dr. Rob Sands of the School of Archaeology, UCD and Mikie O’Sullivan, a PHP and MySQL developer. The data model of the EMAP database has been further reworked and new interface elements developed


July-August 2009- EMAP researchers establish a list of ‘significant’ excavated early medieval settlement sites based on a detailed review of the original EMAP database, 1930–2004 and a review of additional publications, reports and the personal knowledge or previous research of EMAP members. A provisional list of c. 250 sites is drawn up which will form the basis of an early medieval settlement gazetteer (vol. 2), preparatory to writing a vol. 1 text and interpretation in 2010 entitled O’Sullivan, A., McCormick, F., Kerr, T., Harney, L. and Kinsella  Early Medieval dwellings and settlements in Ireland, AD 400-1100.


August-October 2009- EMAP researchers gathered reports in PDF formats from NMS, from several archaeological companies and from individual site directors. EMAP staff also contacted individual site directors and companies by email, letter and phone to request permission to read unpublished reports in NMS/NIEA and to seek permissions to use reports in EMAP’s research.


23-26th October 2009- Dr. Aidan O’Sullivan and Jonathan Kinsella presented an invited paper entitled ‘Living with a sacred landscape: Interpreting the early medieval archaeology of the Hill of Tara and its Environs’ at the Tara Symposium at UCD 23–26 October 2009.


September 2009: EMAP Principal Investigators publish papers on early medieval Ireland
EMAP Principal Investigator Aidan O’Sullivan recently published a paper ‘Early medieval houses in Ireland: social identity and dwelling spaces’, Peritia 20 (2008), 225-56; Finbar McCormick published a paper entitled ‘The decline of the cow: Agricultural and settlement change in early medieval Ireland’, Peritia 20 (2008, 209-24).


September 7th 2009: INSTAR EMAP PhD and MA scholars re-enrol in their graduate courses in UCD School of Archaeology
INSTAR EMAP-funded PhD scholar, Mr Matt Seaver (CRDS) has re-enrolled in his part-time PhD on “Living with the dead: early medieval cemetery/settlements in Ireland’; INSTAR EMAP-funded MA scholar, Mr Rob O’Hara (Archer Heritage Ltd) has re-enrolled in the second and final year of his part-time MA in Archaeology at UCD.


August 31st 2009: 3 MA dissertations utilising EMAP data submitted by UCD School of Archaeology students
EMAP’s data was used by several MA in Archaeology students in UCD as the basis for their original theses. In several cases, EMAP data provided the background data or interpretive approaches to further advance particular subjects, including Niamh Arthur’s ‘The enigma of the Viking longphort: a landscape archaeological perspective’; Sian Powderley’s “Norse rural settlement in Ireland and its North Atlantic context” and Graham Harkness’ “Identifying ethnicity in archaeology: a case study of Anglo-Saxon communities in Ireland”. Any postgraduate students anywhere in the world, is welcome to use EMAP’s reports, bibliographies and data reports in their studies.


July 7th 2009: EMAP Archaeological Researchers appointed
In July 2009, the following EMAP research staff appointments were made.

The first EMAP 2009 project meetings were held in Dublin in mid-July 2009, with a revised plan of research for 2009 re-established. A revised INSTAR EMAP programme of work was focused on investigating early medieval dwellings and settlements. Further EMAP meetings were held in Dublin in mid-August and mid-September 2009.


July 1st 2009: EMAP re-established with INSTAR 2009 award
EMAP has been re-established, following a generous award from INSTAR 2009. Initial meetings between Dr. Aidan O’Sullivan and Dr. Finbar McCormick in June 2009 lead to the re-establishment of EMAP after a 5 month hiatus (due to INSTAR 2009 funding delays). Dr. Aidan O’Sullivan (UCD) and Dr. Finbar McCormick (QUB) are Project Principal Investigators. Mr Conor McDermott (UCD) is the Project Manager. Dr. Rob Sands is currently supervising aspects of ICT and website development. Project partners in Archer Heritage Ltd (Rob O’Hara, EMAP scholar) and CRDS (Steve Mandal, Finola O’Carroll, and EMAP PhD candidate Matt Seaver will now also be enabled to progress their INSTAR-supported postgraduate studies.


June 2009: Undergraduate BA dissertation utilising EMAP data awarded First Class honours grade
UCD undergraduate student Ms Margaret Williams prepared a highly original and interesting undergraduate BA dissertation, awarded a First Class grade, on the subject of early medieval metalworking on burials and cemetery sites. This study was substantially based on EMAP data, but significantly advanced the subject to portray an intriguing picture of how early medieval cemeteries were perceived and used.


April 25th, 2009: EMAP staff present papers at Early Medieval Wales Archaeology Research Group 25th Anniversary Colloquium, 25-26 April 2009

Dr. Aidan O’Sullivan presented an invited paper entitled ‘The Early Medieval Archaeology Project (EMAP) and Investigating Archaeological Excavations in Ireland, 1930–2004’ at the Archaeology of early Medieval Wales in context conference organised by the Early Medieval Wales Archaeology Research Group 25th Anniversary Colloquium, 25-26 April 2009. Dr. Finbar McCormick, EMAP PI also presented a paper on ‘Faunal changes and economic change in early medieval Ireland’, at the same conference.

January 21st 2009: EMAP Principal Investigators meet with Royal Irish Academy editors
Dr. Aidan O’Sullivan and Dr. Finbar McCormick had a meeting and discussions in 2009 with the editor and senior editor of the RIA to progress plans for publication of INSTAR-EMAP’s first monograph Early Medieval Ireland: Archaeological Excavations 1930-2004. Currently, this INSTAR EMAP report is being substantially edited and re-written to bring it to full publication standard.


November 12th 2008

EMAP is delighted to acknowledge that our colleagues Dr Betty O’Brien and Dr Elva Johnson (UCD School of History and Archives and also of the INSTAR Mapping Death project) were invited, and have agreed, to serve on the Doctoral Supervisory Panel (DSP) for EMAP PhD student Matt Seaver (UCD School of Archaeology), who is writing his thesis on early medieval cemetery/settlements in Ireland, AD 400-1100.


October 29th 2008: Dr Aidan O’Sullivan presented a seminar paper at Dept. of Archaeology, University of Glasgow, 29th October 2008.
Dr Aidan O’Sullivan presented a seminar paper entitled “EMAP and Early medieval Ireland: excavations 1930-2005” at the Dept. of Archaeology, University of Glasgow, 29th October 2008. Dr Stephen Driscoll of Glasgow is a member of the EMAP International Expert Group


October 17th 2008 EMAP presented at Institute of Archaeologists conference at Sligo, 17th-19th October
The EMAP team, Aidan O'Sullivan, Finbar McCormick, Thom Kerr, Lorcan Harney, Robert Sands and Conor McDermott presented a paper entitled Early Medieval Archaeology Project (EMAP): dealing with data and enabling knowledge


September 23rd - 26th 2008 U21 Dissemination at Digital Humanities Workshop, Charlottesville, Virgina
Dr Rob Sands attended U21 Digital Humanities Workshop in Charlottesville, Virgina to exchange views and disseminate information concerning EMAP to other practitioners of Digital Projects on a Worldwide basis.


August 2008: EMAP online database in preparation
A dedicated online database for EMAP is in development by Mikie O’Sullivan under the lead of Dr. Rob Sands, UCD School of Archaeology.


September 1st 2008: Matt Seaver enrols in PhD programme with EMAP support
Matt Seaver (CRDS) has enrolled in a PhD studies programme at UCD School of Archaeology, to prepare a thesis on Living in the past: Early Medieval Cemetery/Settlements; ritual, role and landscape setting. EMAP INSTAR funds will be used to support CRDS to release him for his studies in 2008/2009 and thereafter. Matt’s study will build on his previous excavations for CRDS at Raystown, County Meath and will look at the similarities and differences in biography, faunal assemblages, palaeoenvironmental data, landscape setting, regional roles of a range of different sites focussing on a number of study areas.


September 1st 2008: Rob O’Hara enrols in MA in Archaeology with EMAP support
Rob O’Hara (ACS) has enrolled in the 2-year, part-time, MA in Professional Archaeological Practice at UCD School of Archaeology. EMAP INSTAR funds will be used to support ACS to release him for his studies in 2008/2009 and thereafter. Rob’s studies will probably include an MA dissertation on as aspect of an early medieval site or complex that he has excavated.


August EMAP website launched!
A dedicated website for EMAP has recently been designed by Dr. Robert Sands, UCD School of Archaeology. EMAP.ie will be the key website and future portal for public dissemination and online publication of reports, bibliographies, databases and will promote this INSTAR project.


September 2008: EMAP Report in progress
EMAP staff are currently preparing a working draft of the major report O’Sullivan, A., McCormick, F., Kerr, T. and Harney, L. 2008 Early Medieval Ireland: Archaeological Excavations 1930-2005 intended for completion in 2008. This report is likely to be a substantial document and will be a significant update and ambitious expansion of the existing EMAP report.


June-July 2008: EMAP Bibliography being prepared
EMAP staff have prepared (in May-June 2008) a bibliography on early medieval archaeology in Ireland. EMAP staff have searched through a wide range of Irish and international journals, books, edited book and other publications, to extract relevant early medieval material. This is the first major bibliography produced for early medieval archaeology in Ireland. It will be itself a major research and publication resource for Irish and international researchers, the academic and commercial community and the general public. This EMAP bibliography currently comprises c.4,400 bibliographical entries and as a Microsoft Word document this is currently a 233 page document. It is expected that it will include c.7,000 entries by December 2008.
This EMAP bibliography is currently being compiled in the database software programme ENDNOTE, which can be searched, organised thematically and by keywords and produced in various word processing programmes. This EMAP bibliography will be made available online as a download database/word file to ALL researchers through the project’s website and will support a wide range of future research.


June 21st 2008: EMAP Principal Investigators participate in early medieval seminar
Dr. Finbar McCormick and Dr. Aidan O’Sullivan participated in the recent UCC/Agricultural History Society of Ireland seminar on June 20th-21st 2008 on early medieval farming in Ireland, where the EMAP research report was cited by many speakers.


June 19th 2008: EMAP presentation in UCD/QUB seminar
Dr. Aidan O’Sullivan and Dr. Thomas Kerr co-presented a 20 minute paper entitled ‘The Early Medieval Archaeology Project: A UCD/QUB INSTAR-funded collaborative research and graduate training programme at the QUB-UCD Inaugural research symposium in the UCD Research Centre, Thursday June 19th. This symposium was intended to promote UCD/QUB research collaborations.


May 21st 2008: Inaugural EMAP Project meeting
The first EMAP project partners meeting was held in 21st May 2008; K012, UCD School of Archaeology. Meeting attendees were Aidan O’Sullivan (UCD), Finbar McCormick QUB); Thomas Kerr (QUB), Conor McDermott (UCD); Lorcan Harney (UCD); Steven Mandal (CRDS); Matt Seaver (CRDS) and Donald Murphy and Rob O’Hara were included in project discussions before and after the meeting The meeting reviewed the INSTAR project and established agreements on project research, administration, graduate studies and collaboration.


May 2008: EMAP researchers appointed
In May 2008, the following EMAP research staff appointments were made.
Mr Lorcan Harney has been employed as a research archaeologist at UCD School of Archaeology.
Dr Thomas Kerr has been employed as a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at School of Geography, Archaeology and Palaeoecology, QUB.


May 2008: EMAP established!
The EMAP INSTAR project was established in May 2008. Dr. Aidan O’Sullivan (UCD) and Dr. Finbar McCormick (QUB) are project Principal Investigators. Mr Conor McDermott (UCD) is the Project Manager and will manage budget and financial details. Dr. Rob Sands will supervise aspects of ICT and website development. Project partners in ACS (Donald Murphy, and MA candidate Rob O’Hara) and CRDS (Steve Mandal, Finola O’Carroll, and PhD candidate Matt Seaver will also be enrolling in graduate studies at UCD.