Monday, 24 February 2014

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

Our next seminar will be given by Professor Dorian Fuller from University College London and is entitled ""Comparing pathways to agriculture: current evidence on crop domestication rates and contexts from across Asia".

Thursday 27th February
Room A109
Newman Building

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Aware charity bake sale

On Wednesday 12th February 2014, the Archaeology Society organised a bake sale in aid of Aware, a charity that offers support for people suffering from depression and mental illnesses.

Part of the bake sale team on the day, left to right:
Melanie Dunne, Sarah Delaney, Alexandra Guglielmi, Emily Geoghegan, Sam Hughes

It was a fantastic day and we had a huge success! We set up our stall in the main foyer of the New Student Centre at UCD, decorating the area with the bright green Aware balloons and fundraising posters we had been kindly sent by the Aware team. And then, at 12pm, it all started! It was great to see such enthusiasm and commitment: some members of the School of Archaeology staff came down to support us and buy cake, countess Society members turned up, bringing their friends with them to support our cause.
Selling cakes around the Arts Building, from r. to l. :
Brandon Walsh, Alexandra Guglielmi, Emily Geoghegan

And then, at around 1pm, Tom appears with 3 boxes of beautifully decorated cupcakes his friend's mother had made! So off we go, a little team of four of us, headed towards the main Arts building to sell these cakes. There again, we were met by a lot of enthusiasm from the students having their lunch break in the Newman building.

When we wrapped up at 2pm, it was with big grins on our face, and a fairly heavy collection bucket! Thank you everyone who made this day possible, and especially our bakers: Sarah P. DelaneyMelanie DunneChrystine SkellyEmily Geoghegan and her friends, Holly MileyMiriam van der MolenKatherine Mccormack and Tom Manning. Further thanks to everyone who helped on the day, selling cakes around the Student Centre and around the Arts building.

You can see all the pictures from the event on our Flickr gallery

Together, we have raised more than we had hoped for !

Society trip to Trim castle and Loughcrew

Trim castle

Our first trip of semester 2 will be to Trim in the county of Meath. It will take place on Saturday 1st March. The bus will be leaving the UCD main Bus stop terminus (often called the Xpresso Car Park) at 9:30am and will be returning at about 6pm

The following is the proposed plan of events:

We will be visiting Trim Castle first for a guided tour around one of Ireland's most significant castles. We will be having a quick lunch following our tour of the castle. I advise that you bring packed lunch but we should also be stopping at a petrol station or shop if possible. Afterwards we will be heading to the Spire of Lloyd and Loughcrew where we will be hopefully joined by Prof. Muiris O' Sullivan for a guided tour. 

The total charge will be €5 which is to be given to Emmet, our trips and tours officer, before a place can be reserved. For those of you doing Prof. Tadhg O’Keeffe’s module ‘Medieval Castles’, this trip will be of particular interest to you.

For any question, please email us at  

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Masquerade Ball 2014: update!

Dear all,
Due to the success of the Halloween Party, a number of small societies have gotten together again to organise another event for their members. The Archaeology Society are proud to announce their collaboration with other small societies in hosting a Masquerade Ball !

Thursday 6th March
Arlington Hotel, O'Connel Bridge

The Masquerade Ball will be held in the Arlington Hotell on Bachelors Walk (beside O'Connell Bridge).
Tickets are €35 and can be purchased from the Archaeology Society from next week onwards at our coffee mornings on Wednesdays. If you can't make it, just contact us at to arrange to buy your ticket.

The price includes:

- A wine reception

- 3 course meal
- A prize for best masked
- Live band
- DJ until 2.30 am
- Late bar

Valid student numbers are required to book, however if you are purchasing a ticket for a non student, a phone number and email address will be required.

If you have any question, contact us at

Friday, 14 February 2014

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

Thursday 20th February
5:30 pm
Newman Building, Room A109

Prof. Robert van der Noort from the University of Exeter will be giving a talk about the building of Morgawr, a replica Bronze Age-style sewn-plank boat. 

For a video of Morgawr in action see

All welcome !

Monday, 10 February 2014

Seminar report: "Land use and community differentiation in the European Neolithic: isotopic evidence"

This week’s seminar was brought to us by Prof. Alex Bentley of the University of Bristol and it was a chance for him to present some of the findings from his study of land use and community differentiation using isotopic analysis. I entered the room with a very rudimentary knowledge of isotope analysis from my leaving certificate chemistry class so I was interested in learning more about this process.

Prof. Bentley outlined how they were measuring the strontium isotopes from the skeletons, particularly the teeth, found buried in different Neolithic cemeteries in the LBK (LinearBandKeramik period). He would use cemeteries that contained thirty or more burials and these large samples can help us look at things like land use and community differentiation.

This also helped with looking at demographic patterns and their changes throughout the Neolithic. Prof. Bentley told us about the Neolithic dispersal and how it can be viewed with genetic data that has been collected. Most consistent is the fact that we can see that the men were marrying indigenous women.
He presented us next with the isotopic evidence that they have collected so far. Tooth enamel forms between the ages of 0-10 months but bone constantly remodels due to a number of different factors but it is chemically inert. He would use a mass spectrometer to analyse the strontium isotope ratios. He also carried out enhanced-resolution methods of analysis, which included micro sampling, compound-specific stable isotope analysis and laser ablation ICP-MS.

One of the problems encountered was that there are similar strontium isotope ratios in different geologies.
One of the key areas that Prof. Bentley looked at and presented to us was looking at adze deposition patterns in burials, ie. which burials contained one and which not. The findings for these were presented in a clear manner on graphs which showed a possibility of gender inequality within these settlements. For example the majority of people buried with an adze were on the mean line. This suggests that local land owners were given a more prestigious burial and given that there were intermarriages at this time between the Neolithic men and indigenous women. This in turn may suggest that a form of gender inequality as well as an inequality between local and non-local peoples.

Prof. Bentley's talk was both very interesting and exciting, and it gave us a different perspective on how to examine group dynamics, land use and social organisation in the Neolithic. I would like to thank him for taking time out to present his work to us and wish him the best of luck in future research.

By Melanie Dunne 

Monday, 3 February 2014

Valentine's bake sale in aid of Aware

Hello everyone!

The Society will be supporting Aware, charity for mental health and support, next week by hosting a bake sale! It will take place during our coffee morning slots in the main foyer of the New Student Centre. 

Wednesday 12th February
New Student Centre

We have decided to make it a Valentine's themed one, and you will be able to buy cakes and gift them to a friend, boyfriend, girlfriend or family thanks to our amazing Sarah who will be writing the name of the person receiving the cake on them! (More details to follow). 

For now, get ready to share the love and support charity !

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Seminar series 2013: "Land use and community differentiation in the European Neolithic"

Next week's seminar will be by Prof. Alex Bentley of the University of Bristol, who been kind enough to send us an abstract (see below). This seminar will take place

Room A109
Newman Building

Thursday 6th February

Abstract:"Community differentiation is a fundamental topic of the social sciences, and its prehistoric origins in Europe are typically assumed to lie among the complex, densely-populated societies that developed millennia after their Neolithic predecessors. Here we present recent isotopic evidence for such differentiation in early Neolithic Europe. Among the indications of the new evidence is differential land use in early Neolithic within a patrilocal kinship system. This can be put in context with new work at Bristol University on stable isotopes and organic residues preserved in Neolithic pottery, to infer the changing roles of animals in human diets (particularly dairying), economies and evolutionary genetics of LBK populations. As these large-scale projects come together, we are obtaining bioarchaeological evidence for diversity and specialization within a culture previously referred to as a homogenous 'package'."