Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Refresher's Day ! Wednesday 29th January

Hello everyone, 

The Society will have a stall at Refreshers Day tomorrow! It is your chance to join the Society if you still haven't, or to invite your friends to join. 

Refresher's Day will take place

Wednesday 29th January
10 am - 4 pm 
Astra Hall (Old Student Centre)

More information here: http://ucdsocieties.com/events/refreshers-day/

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Seminar report: "Roman bathing and its legacy on Crete" by Dr A. Kelly

Our 2014 seminar series began with Dr Amanda Kelly (UCD school of Classics) who gave a talk on “Roman bathing and its legacy on Crete”. This talk focused on the early Byzantine period (5-6th century) of the Island and how the tradition of public baths had survived from roman times into later periods. Dr Kelly is a former student of the college, having completed both her undergraduate degree and her masters here.

The talk was based off of Dr Kelly’s 2004 PHD work surveying the island, during which she managed to locate at least 55 roman bath sites on the island of Crete. It is a testament to the results of Dr Kelly’s research that no bathhouses had been identified prior to her work and goes to show that Crete has a vast archaeological heritage beyond the Minoan culture it is so famed for.

Of great interest was the relationship between the topography of the land and the location of roman bathhouses. The Cretan terrain was well suited to building of Roman aqueducts, the sloping terrain providing the gravity necessary to provide water to settlements and their bathhouses.

Dr Kelly’s work is highly inspired by the work of Italian Giuseppe Gerola’s work surveying the island in 1904, who although he was focused on surveying the Venetian impact on the island, provided extensive information on repurposed sites.

Of interest was what Dr Kelly described as the symbiosis of Roman bath and Early Byzantine church architecture – with the ecclesiastical community having baths named after saints and overall showing a tolerance of the bathing tradition, even into later periods.

Dr Kelly’s lecture was an interesting look into a period of Cretan archaeology that is often overshadowed by the legacy of Minoan archaeology on the island. The UCD archaeology society and the department of Archaeology would like to thank Dr Kelly for taking the time to present her work and wish her the best of luck in future research. 

By Stephen Domican

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Welcome back to UCD: drinks in the Clubhouse bar

Hello everyone,

Welcome back to UCD after the Christmas break, and welcome to UCD full stop if you are joining us for the semester! The Archaeology Society has organised a get-together in the UCD bar next week (between the Old and the New Student Centre) from ca. 6 to 7pm.

Thursday 30th January

It will be a great opportunity to catch up and if you're new to the society, a great way to meet people! We don't bite, promise! The Clubhouse has a great range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks for very decent prices and it also has warm food and snacks.

So what are you waiting for? Join us for a relaxed evening on campus!

Team Archaeology on its way !

Dear everyone,

A huge thank you to all who came today to our coffee morning today, and to the Relay for Life information and recruitment session we held ! We are very happy to announce that we have a team of 15 motivated members ready to take the floor on the day of the event! (Date TBC, somewhere in early April).
So a big thank you to everyone who joined the team today !
Relay for Life information and recruitment session, 22/01/2014
If you could not sign up today and would still like to take part, here are the options available to you:

  1. There are still some places on the team! Come to our next coffee morning (Wednesday 29th January) for a chance to sign up: it's only a fiver and it's such a good deed. 
  2. Join us as one of our bakers or fancy-dressers/reenactors on the day! We will need volunteers to bake for a bake sale, and to dress up in historical costumes to promote our fundraising stall
  3. Can't bake or don't have a costume? You can still join us on the day and give us a hand in setting up, decorating the stall and manning the stall throughout the day. Any help will be appreciated!

If you have any queries, please just drop me an email and I'll be glad to answer them. Relay for Life 2014 promises to be just as fantastic as last year, and we are looking forward to seeing you on the day !
You can read more about Relay for Life on the Irish Cancer Society website.  Find out more about what we did last year by watching the video we made with all the pictures from the day ! And why not follow the UCD Relay for Life page on Facebook?

Thanks again,

Alexandra Guglielmi
Social Media Coordinator

PS: We apologise for the size of the only room we could secure for the day and hope that you had a good time. It was good to see so many of you back after the Christmas break.
Coffee morning in the Old Student Centre , 22/01/2014
Coffee morning in the Old Student Centre , 22/01/2014
Coffee morning in the Old Student Centre , 22/01/2014

Coffee morning in the Old Student Centre , 22/01/2014

Our next coffee morning will be Wednesday 29th of January and will take place in rooms 1-3 of the Old Student centre, from 12-2pm.

Sunday, 19 January 2014

The Societies goes to Portugal !

This year, the Society went to Portugal for its annual trip. And here is what happened...

"We arrived in Lisbon on Monday the 13th of January, it was late when we got in so we immediately travelled via the metro to our accommodation at a hotel called Residencial Joao XXI in Lisbon city centre. The rooms were really nice for the given price and wonderfully located near all public transport and shops.
Tower of Belem - E. Fennelly 2013
The following day we began our tour around the Belem region, one of the most important regions in Lisbon. Our tour guide, Cristina showed us around Jeronimos Monastery, a huge 15th century Manueline-style complex including a cathedral, a museum and a cloister. We then visited the Discoverer's Monument across the road and on to the Tower of Belem which is probably the most recognisable structure in Lisbon, a fortified tower built in the 16th century and used during the age of discoveries. We wrapped it all up by visiting the Archaeological museum of Lisbon which had a great exhibition on Roman sculptures.
Jeronimos monastery - E. Fennelly 2013

On Wednesday we payed a visit to the Alfama region which is the oldest region in Lisbon it's most prominent landmark being the Castle of St. George, a Moorish castle dating to the Medieval period. Given the huge size of the castle we spent most of the day there while also visiting Lisbon Cathedral and taking a ride on the cities oldest tram line which was an experience in itself.
Cloisters - E. Fennelly 2013
On Thursday we took a day trip to Conimbriga, a Roman city which is the largest and probably most important archaeological site in Portugal. We took a two hour bus journey to the site which is still being excavated today and not even close to being completely unearthed. Notable features of this city included the large walls, a fountain complex, the baths and a re-constructed forum. The sewer system was also easily seen. Once we were done with our tour around the city we took time to visit the associated museum which included many of the finds of the site. Finally we payed a quick visit to the University of Conimbra near the Roman ruins. This University, one of the oldest in Europe included a fantastic chapel and unique library.
Roman villa - E. Fennelly 2013

On Friday, the day of our departure we split up to pursue our own interests. I myself went to see even more Roman ruins unusually located beneath a bank in Lisbon city center a long with a few others. I was amazed by the size of the complex given it's location. The ruins were of a Roman factory used for the manufacture of garum (a sort of paste made from fish, salt and spices) which was what made the city wealthy during the Roman period.
Discoverer's monument - E. Fennelly 2013
We returned later that day exhausted but fulfilled at the same time.
I'd like to thank all who came on this trip with me and I hope you had a good time lie I did."

By Emmet Fennelly
Trip Officer 2013-2014

Masquerade Ball postponed

Dear everyone,

I am sorry to announce that our coming Masquerade Ball had to be postponed due to organisation issues.
The new date for the event will be
Thursday 6th of March 2014.


Saturday, 18 January 2014

Seminar series 2013, lecture 1 of semester 2: "Roman bathing and its legacy on Crete"

Next week is the first seminar of the semester: Dr Amanda Kelly who has stepped in at short notice to talk to us about Roman bathing and its legacy on Crete. Hope to see some of you there!
Steve Davis

This seminar will take place next Thursday at 5.30pm in room A109 of the Newman building. To read about the rest of the seminar programme for this semester, please click here. 

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Seminar series, lecture 8: “Assembly Places and Hunting Grounds in Medieval Gaelic Ireland”

Our final lecture of the semester was brought to us by Prof. Elizabeth Fitzpatrick of NUI Galway, with her talk on assembly places and hunting grounds.

Going into this lecture, I knew very little of what to expect, sometimes this is often the best way. Prof. Fitzpatrick specialises in the archaeology of medieval landscapes so one thing for sure, it was going to be an interesting talk regardless of your chosen field or interest.

The main question being asked was where were these ritual/social assembly places and their associated hunting grounds. In order to answer this question, Fitzpatrick drew information from numerous sources. These sources included location of certain features on the landscape, type of terrain, place names and folklore. Her search was for these Óenachs (or political assembly places) that often had ritual or funerary connotations and where spoken about in early medieval literature.

In order to locate these Óenachs, sites had to tick certain criteria boxes. These were, but not limited to:
  1. Types of landscapes preferably rocky pastoral terrain, often near forests or wooded areas.
  2. Town lands with old Irish names translated to refer to certain features. Eg. Breic (brack) which means a rocky landscape such as Cloghebrack, Brackagh etc or Formaél meaning bald bare topped round hill such as Ballyformoyle, Fermoyle etc and Ferton meaning small pagan grave.
  3. Linear earthworks near at least one prehistoric burial mound and
  4. Later association with deer parks.

These ritual hunts coincided with these large assemblies and often involved coursing with the hunt focused on wild deer or boar.

Prof Fitzpatrick cited three key sites of her study such as Shantemon, Co Cavan and Teltown, Co. Meath. All of her focused areas matched the criteria she put forth.

She noted that the linear earthworks (often up to 300m in length) were used as a method of controlling the method of animal movement and that the prehistoric burial mound (referred to as the mound of chase/hunt) was used as a hunting platform to oversea the hunt.

The archaeological evidence is limited but not unexpected, as little physical evidence would be left in a hunting scenario. Apart from this, her theory was sound. She used ancient medieval texts especially those focused on tales of Fionn Mac Cumhaill and the Fianna. Topographical and toponymical surveys and soil studies, all of which supported her work.

She concluded her talk by suggesting perhaps experimental archaeology could add more insight in to her research.

Prof. Fitzpatrick's talk was a fantastic end to a seminar series that produced such interesting and unique interpretations and theories. She added a brand new perspective to a rarely understood feature and was able to combine both medieval and prehistoric understandings. Her work will be published next year and I personally consider it a game changer in the studies of both medieval, prehistoric and landscape archaeology.

By Cian Corrigan

Seminar series,lecture 7: “Noise: A Human History - Telling the Story of Sound before the Age of Recording”

How do you a record a sound that no longer exists? This is one of the many obstacles faced by Prof. Hendy during the recording his BBC Radio4 series “Noise: A Human History’.

This 30 part podcast series explores how sound through interactions and developments have shaped the evolution of human culture over thousands of years. 

Prof. Hendy takes a journey around the world and through time investigating the Megalithic Tombs of Orkney, the Drums of the African Slave Trade to the emerging new sounds of Industrial Revolution. It was recorded in conjunction with the British Library’s Sound Archive as well as many on location snippets.

The series takes place over 100,000 years incorporating many locales and moments in history. During Prof. Hendy’s lecture, he showed us many examples on how he recorded extinct sounds as well as taking us on an auditory journey through time.
When asked why the series was called ‘Noise’ and not ‘Sound’, he explained ‘“Noise” is a word that hints at the contentious nature of sound’. He wanted the series to be about the way in which sound is important in social life, not just for artistic reasons but because how it allows us to trace experiences of ordinary people. Noise represents a struggle, a dramatic movement through time.

It would be impossible to fully detail what was revealed or discussed during Hendy’s intriguing and informative talk. All I can suggest is that you try and listen to at least one of the podcasts.

When I approached Prof. Hendy about talking to us as part of our seminar series, he was a little unsure about speaking in front of Archaeological academics. He considers himself a historian and felt unqualified to talk about a subject he had never considered to have archaeological implications. I recalled to him a class I studied in 1st year called ‘Into the Recent Past’ by Prof O’Keefe. During this class we studied a section called the Archaeology of the Blues in which we learned that archaeology isn’t always a tangible part of history. What David showed us without realising, was another way to view and understand the past. That archaeology is everywhere and everything is archaeology. 

David Hendy has toured extensively with his series even publishing a book on the subject so it was a privilege to have him present to us before he retires this subject to move on to new projects.

By Cian Corrigan

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Relay for Life UCD: Team Archaeology, information and recruitement!

Dear everyone,

The new semester starts next week and with it comes the most fantastic heart-warming event taking place on campus this year: the Relay For Life UCD in aid of the Irish Cancer Society. Last year, a team of society members took part in it and with the help of our friends an the School, made it a memorable day.

UCD Relay for Life 2013: Team Archaeology

So this year, the Society is ready again! On the first coffee morning of the semester, Wednesday 22nd of January (room TBC), we will host an information,  session, show you what we did last year and will give you the possibility to join the Archaeology Team for 5€ (until the 31st of January).

The idea is simple: 1 track, 15 team members, 24hours to go. You can walk or run around the track for 1 or 2 slots during the 24hour-event. The provisional date for the 2014 event is somewhere during the week of the 7th of April. 

We will also need volunteers to bake muffins and cakes for a bake sale, and we will also call for archaeological fancy dressers to create a buzz at our stall on the day ! So time to dig out thy Viking robes, ladies and gentlemen!

You can read more about the Relay for Life on the Irish Cancer Society official website here.  For any question regarding the UCD event or joining Team Archaeology, please contact committee members Sarah P. Delaney or Alexandra Guglielmi.

Monday, 13 January 2014

Seminar series for semester 2, 2013-2014

Here is the programme for the upcoming seminar series for the second semester of the year ! A huge thank you to Steve Davis for organising it.

All seminars (unless otherwise advertised) are held on
Thursdays at 5:30 pm inRoom A109, Newman Building, UCD

   All welcome

For further information contact: archaeology.soc@gmail.com or stephen.davis@ucd.ie

  • Thursday 23rd January, 2014

Dr James Barrett, McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, Cambridge

“Clontarf, Orkney and the Power of Piracy in the Late Viking Age”

This seminar had to be cancelled and will be re-scheduled.
Instead, the seminar will be given by

Dr Amanda Kelly, UCD School of Classics

"Roman bathing and its legacy on Crete"

  • Thursday 6th February, 2014

Prof. Alex Bentley, University of Bristol

"Land Use and Community Differentiation in the European Neolithic: Isotopic Evidence"

  • Thursday 20th February, 2014

Prof. Robert van der Noort, University of Exeter

"Trials and tribulations of building Morgawr, a Bronze Age-type sewn-plank boat”

  • Thursday 27th February, 2014

Prof. Dorian Fuller, University College London

"Comparing pathways to agriculture: current evidence on crop domestication rates and contexts from across Asia"

  • Thursday 6th March, 2014

Cóilin O’Drisceol, Kilkenny Archaeology

"The Cathedral Close of St. Canice's, Kilkenny"

**** Mid-Term Break ****

  • Wednesday 26th March, 2014

Prof. Annelou van Gijn, University of Leiden
"Itineraries of Neolithic jet and amber beads: a microscopic view"
Attention please, this seminar will take place on a Wednesday.

  •      Thursday 3rd April, 2014 

Prof. Bill Hanson, University of Glasgow

“Rome's most northerly frontier: the Antonine Wall”

Unfortunately, we had to reschedule this until next semester.

  •      Thursday 10th April 2014

Dr Andrew Gardner, University College London
“Debating theories of Roman imperialism”  

  •      Thursday 24th April 2014

Prof. Ian Ralston, University of Edinburgh

“Bourges-Avaricum, central France: a case of early but fragile urbanisation in temperate Europe?”