This is the Archaeology publications section. Here you can find all publications, reports and presentations for this heritage area of interest.
Historic Landscape Characterisation in Ireland - Best Practice Guidance (2013)
This guidance is intended as a contribution to the Government’s emerging National Landscape Strategy. Drawing on a variety of disciplines such as archaeology, geography and architecture, Historic Landscape Characterisation attempts to describe and document the character of different landscapes in order that they may be valued for the social resource that they are, and managed as historical capital. Managing the landscape is not just about looking after the protected or iconic parts that we are all generally familiar with, but it must also be about understanding and caring for everyday and undesignated places as well.
Guidance for the Care, Conservation & Recording of Historic Graveyards (2011)
Our historic graveyards are places of intense human activity. Along with providing a resting place for our departed and a place of remembrance, graveyards are of immense heritage value as sites of archaeological and architectural interest, as wildlife habitats and as repositories of local genealogy, sculpture and art. Across the Irish landscape countless generations erected churches for worship, round towers, enclosure walls, crypts and gravestones. In short, there is a lot we can learn from our historic cemeteries and this book will help unlock much of that information by assisting communities and researchers.
Download Guidance for the Care, Conservation & Recording of Historic Graveyards here [PDF 7.3MB].
Irish Strategic Archaeological Research (INSTAR) Programme: A review of the first two years of its operation & future development (2010)
Prepared by Professor Barry Cunliffe, Emeritus Professor of European Archaeology, University of Oxford. The INSTAR Programme was set up in 2008 to help realise the potential of Ireland’s archaeological record and to transform understanding of how Irish society has evolved. After two years of operation it is judged to be a spectacular success and a model form other countries to follow. The programme is transforming the very nature of Irish archaeological endeavour by bringing together the academic, regulatory and private sectors to address highly relevant research topics including climate change and landscape and is creating new knowledge and understanding for the academic world and for the general public alike.
Download INSTAR Programme: A review of the first two years of its operation & future development here [PDF 189KB].
The Robing Room Conservation Works 2010-2011
The garden of Áras na hOidhreachta (Heritage Council HQ) contains an C18th Robing Room of significant architectural heritage value. This report sets out the architectural and historic significance of the structure and describes the present condition of the building. It documents proposed restoration, conservation and maintenance works which have the objective of restoring the preexisting character of the building.
Download the Robing Room Conservation Works 2010-2011 here [PDF 4.3MB].
Brú na Bóinne Research Framework Project (2009)
The Bend of the Boyne, or Brú na Bóinne, has been an important ritual, social and economic centre for thousands of years. Internationally renowned for its elaborate Neolithic passage tombs, and containing the largest assemblage of megalithic art in Europe, its universal value was recognised in 1993 when it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site (WHS), only one of three on the island of Ireland. The Heritage Council, in collaboration with the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, has drafted a research framework for Brú na Bóinne which re-assesses key priorities and looks at where future research should be directed.
Download the Brú na Bóinne Research Framework : SUMMARY here [PDF 7MB].
Download the Brú na Bóinne Research Framework : FULL DOCUMENT here [PDF 10.5MB].
Air & Earth: Aerial Archaeology in Ireland (2008)
Aerial archaeology is the practice of using aircraft (or in some cases satellites) to provide a high-level view of the historic environment based on conventional photography and a range of remote sensing technologies. It is relevant to all stages of archaeological work - reconnaissance, interpretation, analysis, publication and dissemination, and is one among many methods.
Download Air & Earth: Aerial Archaeology in Ireland here [PDF 3.4MB].
Directory of Archaeological Sources Relating to Co. Kildare (2008)
Published by Kildare County Council with the support of the Heritage Council, as an Action of the Kildare Heritage Plan 2005 - 2009. This directory is intended to provide a practical, comprehensive and user-friendly reference book to archaeological source material for County Kildare.
Download Directory of Archaeological Sources Relating to Co. Kildare [PDF 3MB].
A Review of Research Needs in Irish Archaeology (2007)
This report has been produced by the Heritage Council at the invitation of the Minister for the Environment, Heritage & Local Government. The Minister invited Council inter alia to make recommendations to him on research needs in Irish archaeology. Following extensive consultation, this report identifies specific themes as the means by which to prioritise research and address current and relevant research needs. This approach is under-pinned by the wider need to place archaeological research into the context of public access, life-long learning, social inclusion and cultural diversity. The recommendations in this report attempt to address the crisis in which Irish archaeology currently finds itself.
Download A Review of Research Needs in Irish Archaeology here [PDF 1.3MB].
County Wicklow in Prehistory (2007)
Published by Wicklow County Council. This informational brochure provides an overview of the history and sites of interest dating from the prehistoric period in County Wicklow.
Download County Wicklow in Prehistory [PDF 10.2MB].
Newtown Jerpoint, County Kilkenny (2007)
The deserted medieval borough of Newtown Jerpoint, County Kilkenny, located to the west of the Cistercian Abbey of Jerpoint, was once an important town. While Jerpoint is a well-known State property, the importance of Newtown Jerpoint is recognised mostly within academic circles. Its medieval church of St Nicholas now stands in ruins amid the grassed-over streets and the mounds of former houses. This Conservation Plan presents the significant historic documentation for Newtown Jerpoint, notably the first survey of the site in over 150 years.
Download Conservation Plan: Newtown Jerpoint, County Kilkenny [PDF 5.31MB].
Lemanaghan, County Offaly (2007)
The historic complex at Lemanaghan, with its focus at the early monastic site dedicated to St Managhan, is located at the crossroads between the main Ferbane-to-Ballycumber road, and the Lemanaghan-to-Pollagh road. Close by are a holy well and tree. Linked to these by a medieval trackway or togher is a further Early Christian site known locally as ‘Kell’, or St Mella’s Cell. (St Mella is said to be the mother of St Managhan.)
View Conservation Plan: Lemanaghan, County Offaly [PDF 1.96MB].
Archaeology 2020: Repositioning Irish Archaeology in the Knowledge Society (2006)
Published by University College Dublin. Irish archaeology has been changed fundamentally as a result of the exponential growth in development-led activity since the early 1990s. In terms of its constituent sectors, archaeology could now be regarded predominantly as a business domain which operates in a competitive economic climate and focuses on generating information. This situation is radically different from the previous dominance of employment in the State and education sectors with the clear focus on research which characterised earlier decades.
In response to these markedly changed circumstances and the consequential impact of new problems and challenges, a Foresight Study, leading to the production of this report, was initiated in 2004 by the UCD School of Archaeology, University College Dublin. In the context, this publication attempts to set out a new framework for Irish archaeology to work within.
Download Archaeology 2020 here [PDF 3MB].
Farming & Archaeology: The Irish Historic Landscape (2006)
This publication provides a guide for farmers on how to recognise and protect important archaeology that may be on their land. Archaeological monuments such as moated sites and ringforts are the former homesteads of previous farming communities. Farming has been a vital force in developing our heritage and modern non-intrusive farming practices continue to preserve and shape our historic landscapes. This valuable legacy is something we should try to understand, cherish and protect for ourselves and for future generations.
Download Farming & Archaeology: The Irish Historic Landscape here [PDF 747KB].
Ireland’s Historic Churches & Graveyards (2006)
This publication provides communities and individuals with information on understanding and protecting their local historic graveyards. Graveyards are an integral feature of the landscape and are powerful reminders of families from former times. Without the help of local people many of these graveyards and their memorials will deteriorate through neglect, some eventually disappearing into the pages of anonymity. It is important that local communities participate in the proper management and conservation of their local graveyard. You could also help to trace the historical development of your graveyard using historical sources, folklore, early maps and photographs or by studying and recording grave memorials.
Download Ireland’s Historic Churches & Graveyards here [PDF 1.8MB].
Landscape Character Assesment in Ireland: Baseline Audit & Evaluation (2006)
Prepared by Julie Martin Associates in association with Alison Farmer Associates. This study was commissioned in order to provide the basis for, and to inform the implementation of a Landscape Character Assessment (LCA) programme in Ireland.
The brief for the study included:
- Provide recommendations for full LCA coverage;
- review and compare LCA methodologies;
- assess the strengths and weaknesses of existing LCAs;
- provide an overview of good practice in other EU member states;
- inform national policy on landscape issues;
- help ensure that LCA provides value for money.
The report provides recommendations for a consistent, improved LCA programme and methodology in Ireland. The study was carried out by Julie Martin Associates in association with Alison Farmer Associates.
Download Landscape Character Assesment in Ireland here [PDF 2MB].
An Archaeological & Historical Assessment of Cruicetown Church & Graveyard, County Meath (2005)
Commissioned by the Cruicetown Cemetery Conservation Committee. This report contains an archaeological, historical and architectural assessment of the church and graveyard at Cruicetown, Co. Meath. This information will provide a baseline of information on the site prior to remedial works within the graveyard area.
Download An Archaeological & Historical Assessment of Cruicetown Church & Graveyard [PDF 9.4MB].
Medieval Walls of Kilkenny (2005)
Published by Archaeology Ireland. The historic urban centre of Kilkenny City retains much of its medieval fabric. Prominent buildings such as the Shee Almshouse, Rothe House and the imposing Kilkenny Castle are some of the better-known secular buildings about the streetscape, while numerous medieval religious buildings, such as St. Canice’s Cathedral, the Dominican Black Abbey and St Francis’s Abbey, also survive. Buildings such as these, and other less well-known later medieval structures hidden behind Georgian and Victorian façades, are a feature of the surviving medieval streetscape.
Download Medieval Walls of Kilkenny here [PDF 2.3MB].
St. Mary's Church & Graveyard Conservation Plan (2005)
This conservation plan is the outcome of a conservation-focused study of St. Mary’s Church and Graveyard in the centre of Kilkenny City. The study team was comprised of archaeologists, building history researchers, a structural engineer, conservation architects, building and stone material consultants, and a landscape architect.
The Plan includes a brief historical background study of St Mary’s Church and Graveyard, a detailed scaled survey of the site and a physical study of the site, its monuments and buildings as they are currently. These studies have helped to lead to an understanding of the site and its components, their
contribution to the integrity of the site, and the issues it faces.
Download St. Mary's Church & Graveyard Conservation Plan here [PDF 2.9MB].
St. Brendan's Cathedral, County Galway (2004)
The Cathedral of St Brendan, situated in the peaceful village of Clonfert in County Galway, was once a major centre for worship and learning. Its magnificent Romanesque doorway is famous internationally for the beauty of its carved sandstone detail, and the symbolism of its iconography. Many experts have studied, analysed and written about its history, its associations, and its importance in the ecclesiastical heritage of the country.
Download Conservation Plan: St. Brendan's Cathedral, Clonfert, County Galway [PDF 5.88MB].
Saint Lachtain's Church, County Kilkenny (2004)
The Church of Saint Lachtain in Freshford, County Kilkenny is a place of great antiquity. Its Romanesque porch, facing as it does a busy thoroughfare, is too often passed at a pace which allows no appreciation of its importance. This Conservation Plan clearly and unequivocally states the significance of this monument and gives the church a prominence in the ecclesiastical history of Ireland which had hitherto been largely unrecognised.
Download Saint Lachtain's Church, Freshford, County Kilkenny Conservation Plan [PDF 4.79MB].
Human Remains in Archaeology (2003)
This publication sets out the main issues - scientific, legal and ethical - involved in the excavation and treatment of ancient human remains and arrives at some conclusions about best practice in this aspect of Irish archaeology. The publication is based upon a report drawn from a major study on all aspects of human remains in Irish archaeology, which was commissioned by the Heritage Council at the request of the National Museum of Ireland, in March 1999. The study was conducted by Glasgow University Archaeological Research Division (GUARD) with members of the Law Department, National University of Ireland, Cork College and published in 2002 by the Heritage Council.
Download Human Remains in Archaeology here [PDF 654KB].
Recording & Conserving Ireland's Industrial Heritage (2002)
The remains of our industrial past can be seen throughout the country: bridges, canals, railways and stores still in use, all bear testimony to the work of past generations. However, there are other signs too – derelict buildings, rusting machinery, lone chimneys marking the sites of once-thriving industries. The Heritage Council is conscious of this often-neglected part of our heritage, and in this publication seeks to raise awareness of what we have as well as giving simple guidance as to how to record and conserve it.
View Recording & Conserving Ireland's Industrial Heritage [pdf 7.5mb].
Conservation Plan: Rothe House, County Kilkenny (2002)
Rothe House is one of the earliest and most important historic places in Kilkenny, and indeed in the entire region. Saved from a very uncertain future by the dedication and tireless voluntary work of the Kilkenny Archaeological Society, Rothe House now looks forward to its sixth century in the heart of Kilkenny’s city life.
Download Rothe House, County Kilkenny Conservation Plan [PDF 4.14MB].
Unpublished Excavations in the Republic of Ireland 1930-1997 (2002)
The Heritage Council’s Policy Paper On Urban Archaeology & The National Heritage (1999) [PDF 1.07MB] recommended a complete review of unpublished urban excavations. In order to progress this matter the Heritage Council commissioned the Oxford Archaeological Unit to carry out a survey of all unpublished excavations in the Republic of Ireland.
The survey identified 3,168 excavations for the period between 1930 and 1997. A total of 1,353 reports were classified as unpublished (43%). Eighty-one reports were considered to be of national significance, while a further 340 reports were of regional significance and should be published in either a journal or as part of a ‘synthetic package’. Category 3 reports represent the largest class of unpublished material (431 excavations), and their potential for further publication needs careful consideration. Less significant excavations constitute a relatively small number of reports (186). The component of the backlog that can clearly be defined as suitable for publication in its own right accounts for 421 reports.
Download Unpublished Excavations in the Republic of Ireland 1930-1997 here [PDF 2.3MB].
Archaeological Features at Risk: A Survey Measuring Recent Destruction of Ireland's Archaeological Heritage (2001)
The Archaeological Features at Risk Report indicates how much of the archaeological heritage of Ireland has been lost and the vulnerability of the remaining portion. The report indicates that in the areas studied, 34% of the monuments known to have existed have been destroyed. It suggests that in the years preceding the report the rate of destruction, far from decreasing through improved legislation and raising awareness, has in fact accelerated.
Prepared for The Heritage Council by Muiris O’Sullivan, David J. O’Connor Laurence Kennedy, August 2001.
Download Archaeological Features at Risk: A Survey Measuring Recent Destruction of Ireland's Archaeological Heritage here [PDF 4MB].
Archaeology & Development: Guidelines for Good Practice for Developers (2000)
These guidelines aim to produce a better understanding of the needs of archaeology in Ireland and to improve co-operation between developers (with their consultant archaeologists, architects, engineers and planners) and the statutory authorities in protecting the archaeological heritage. They are intended to be complementary to the published policies of the Minister of Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands on the protection of the archaeological heritage and are not a substitute for the need for published guidance to planning authorities from the central government on archaeology in the planning process. The guidelines are in technical rather than legal terms, in order to help improve professional practice and procedures.
Download Guidelines for Good Practices for Developers here [PDF 748KB].
Review of Archaeological Assessment & Monitoring Procedures in Ireland (2000)
This study was undertaken as a first step in developing guidelines on how assessment and monitoring in archaeology should be undertaken in the future. There has been a dramatic increase in testing and monitoring in the last number of years, 94.5% of all licensed test excavations and 93% of monitoring have occurred since 1990. The study is based on audits and quality assessments of a sample of recent monitoring and assessment reports and on consultations with professional archaeologists involved with the authorisation and execution of testing and monitoring investigations. The results of this study showed up many problems with both monitoring and testing procedures and reporting.
Download A Review of Archaeological Assessment & Monitoring Procedures in Ireland here [PDF 583KB].
Policy Paper On Urban Archaeology & The National Heritage (1999)
Urban archaeology currently accounts for over half of all Irish archaeological investigations. The annual number of full excavations doubled and investigations of all types increased fivefold in the 1990s compared with the 1980s. This huge increase in archaeological activity is a measure of how Irish archaeology, particularly in urban areas, has been severely stretched to cope with the pace of development.
The recommendations of this policy document seek to reorganise the mitigation, administration and conduct of urban archaeology so that the community as a whole is better served. The acceptance of the recommendations will secure long-term benefits for our heritage and for the urban communities which are experiencing development.
Download Policy Paper On Urban Archaeology & The National Heritage here [PDF 1.07MB].
Archaeology & Forestry in Ireland (A Review) (1998)
Recognising the need for policies beneficial to the development of forestry in relation to environmental and man-made heritage, this publication is a review of the existing structures, and includes the author's recommendations towards aiding future policy drafting. With the increased interest in and awareness of environmental and heritage issues, it is hoped that this report will make a positive contribution to the progression of sustainable development strategies at all levels in Ireland.
Download Archaeology & Forestry in Ireland here [PDF 1.29MB].