Session Title

Medieval Settlement and Landscape in Modern Ireland

Sponsoring Organization(s)

Special Session

Organizer Name

Vicky McAlister, Jennifer L. Immich

Organizer Affiliation

Southeast Missouri State Univ., Metropolitan State Univ. of Denver

Presider Name

Terry Barry

Presider Affiliation

Trinity College, Univ. of Dublin

Paper Title 1

Caherconnell, County Clare, Western Ireland: From Medieval to Modern Settlement Landscape

Presenter 1 Name

Michelle Comber

Presenter 1 Affiliation

National Univ. of Ireland-Galway

Paper Title 2

Becoming a Castle in a "National Landscape Strategy for Ireland" World: Exploring the Concept of Meaning in Landscape Archaeology

Presenter 2 Name

Jennifer L. Immich

Paper Title 3

Chicken Coop, Pigeon Loft, or Tower House? Chasing Medieval Settlement and Landscape Features in the Present Day

Presenter 3 Name

Vicky McAlister

Paper Title 4

Transhumance in Later Medieval and Early Modern Ireland: Integrating Archaeological and Historical Sources in the Study of Pastoral Farming

Presenter 4 Name

Eugene Costello (Recipient of the NUI, Galway's Sieg & Dunlop Travel Bursary)

Presenter 4 Affiliation

National Univ. of Ireland-Galway

Start Date

12-5-2016 10:00 AM

Session Location

Schneider 1265

Description

This session on the medieval settlements and landscapes of Ireland engages with a dynamic interdisciplinary sub-field that has been undergoing reexamination in recent years. Medieval settlement and landscape studies have combined theories and techniques from a variety of disciplines, most overtly those of history, archaeology and geography. These academic fields are represented by the papers in the session. Interdisciplinarity has to some extent become something of a buzzword in medieval studies, but it is an integral aspect of any successful academic study into settlements and landscapes. Particularly in Ireland, the focus of this session, the poor survival rate of medieval historical documents due to loss and destruction has ensured that many scholars have been inventive in their research strategies. A significant question tackled by this session therefore is: How do these intellectual approaches inform one another?

Also debated in the session is the matter of context. It is contended that the methodologies employed by academics in the area provide an unparalleled lens through which to examine the actions and motivations of an understudied population. Settlement and landscape studies often take a 'bottom up' approach to look at the impact wide sections of medieval society had on their physical context. They provide necessary background upon which to contextualise events and changes from the middle ages. Consequently, the papers consider such topics as the impacts of pastoral agriculture, people’s exploitation of riverine resources, and contact between ethnic groups.

Finally, as stated in the session title, the papers consider the place of medieval landscapes in the modern world. This subject is of serious scholarly and public concern, especially in Ireland. In the last decade Irish investigations have been influenced by the needs of rescue archaeology; today, with far-reaching economic limitations, heritage preservation is a central issue for all practitioners in the field. On the flip side, it provides a means of interaction with the public. The papers discuss contemporary concerns, including: the shifting value of settlement sites over time up to today’s EU “strategy vision”; the importance of integrating heritage demands with the interests of the modern population; and methods for identifying historic landscape uses in the present-day landscape.

Victoria McAlister

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May 12th, 10:00 AM

Medieval Settlement and Landscape in Modern Ireland

Schneider 1265

This session on the medieval settlements and landscapes of Ireland engages with a dynamic interdisciplinary sub-field that has been undergoing reexamination in recent years. Medieval settlement and landscape studies have combined theories and techniques from a variety of disciplines, most overtly those of history, archaeology and geography. These academic fields are represented by the papers in the session. Interdisciplinarity has to some extent become something of a buzzword in medieval studies, but it is an integral aspect of any successful academic study into settlements and landscapes. Particularly in Ireland, the focus of this session, the poor survival rate of medieval historical documents due to loss and destruction has ensured that many scholars have been inventive in their research strategies. A significant question tackled by this session therefore is: How do these intellectual approaches inform one another?

Also debated in the session is the matter of context. It is contended that the methodologies employed by academics in the area provide an unparalleled lens through which to examine the actions and motivations of an understudied population. Settlement and landscape studies often take a 'bottom up' approach to look at the impact wide sections of medieval society had on their physical context. They provide necessary background upon which to contextualise events and changes from the middle ages. Consequently, the papers consider such topics as the impacts of pastoral agriculture, people’s exploitation of riverine resources, and contact between ethnic groups.

Finally, as stated in the session title, the papers consider the place of medieval landscapes in the modern world. This subject is of serious scholarly and public concern, especially in Ireland. In the last decade Irish investigations have been influenced by the needs of rescue archaeology; today, with far-reaching economic limitations, heritage preservation is a central issue for all practitioners in the field. On the flip side, it provides a means of interaction with the public. The papers discuss contemporary concerns, including: the shifting value of settlement sites over time up to today’s EU “strategy vision”; the importance of integrating heritage demands with the interests of the modern population; and methods for identifying historic landscape uses in the present-day landscape.

Victoria McAlister