Nexus—people and places through time

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This conference is presented by the National Monuments Service and organised by Archaeology Ireland

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Nexus—people and places through time

Humans exist in a shared web of connections based largely on physical actions and experiences like travel, meeting, eating and storytelling. This has been brought more sharply into focus in recent times through the enforced social isolation of lockdowns during the pandemic. As we begin to emerge from this to explore and rediscover the channels of connection that we once took for granted, it is interesting to think about the nature of human connection in the past in its various forms.

Archaeology examines not only the physical infrastructure, tools and by-products of connection, like roadways or traded goods, but also forces us to consider the social imperatives and impacts of those connections—they are, after all, networks of and for people, not things.

One of the attractions of archaeology is the sense of connection with the past that is provided by proximity to relics that have survived—be they ruins or objects—and this attraction is a vital tool in connecting communities with their heritage. How do we best facilitate that connection?

This conference sets out to explore the different types of connections between communities and material culture and monuments, and the role of archaeological heritage in deepening understandings of the material and social connections between the present and the past.

The programme, developed by conference adviser Dr Sharon Greene (Editor of Archaeology Ireland), provides an interdisciplinary gathering of eminent scholars and practitioners to explore connections across four aspects: physical connectors; pathways of discovery; social connection; and connecting the past and the present.


16 October 2021. Online

4th annual National Monuments Service archaeology conference


Session 1: Physical connectors (13:05 – 14.30)

Introduction to conference and speakers, session 1: Dr Sharon Greene, Archaeology Ireland. Chaired by Sharon Greene, Archaeology Ireland

May the road rise to meet you – Irish toghers and the stories they can tell us.

Cathy Moore, Wood artefact specialist, Archaeological and Built Heritage.

Building the Great Northern Railway of Ireland: Identity, People and Places

Siobhan Osgood, IRC funded PhD researcher, Department of History of Art & Architecture, Trinity College Dublin.

Q & A facilitated by Dr Sharon Greene

Session 2: Pathways of discovery (14:35 – 16:00)

Introduction to speakers, session 2: Neil Jackman, Arbarta Heritage

Chaired by Neil Jackman

A well-trodden path: an ancient pathway and associated landscape at Balbriggan, Co. Dublin.

Steven McGlade, Archaeology Plan

A guidebook on the way: encountering archaeology on the Waterford Greenway.Dave Pollock, Archaeologist and illustrator, Archaeografix, Waterford.

Q & A facilitated by Neil Jackman

Session 3: Social connection (16:05 – 17:25)

Introduction to speakers, session 3: Dr Sharon Greene, Archaeology Ireland

Chaired by Sharon Greene,

Boyne to Brodgar: revealing and celebrating the interconnected nature of the Neolithic in Ireland, Britain and the Isle of Man.

Alison Sheridan, Former Principal Archaeological Research Curator in the Department of Scottish History and Archaeology, National Museums Scotland.

Beer and Brewing in Sixteenth-Century Ireland

Susan Flavin, Associate Professor of History in the School of Histories and Humanities, TCD.

Q & A facilitated by Dr Sharon Greene

Session 4: Connecting the past and the present (17:30 – 19:00)

Introduction to speakers, session 4: Neil Jackman, Arbarta Heritage

Chaired by Neil Jackman

Manifesting the Ghosts of Place through Archaeology and Empathy.

April Beisaw, Associate Professor of Anthropology, Vassar College, New York, USA.

Landscapes of difficult heritage - commemorating painful and contested pasts

Gustav Wolentz, Nordic Centre of Heritage Learning and Creativity, Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel, Germany.

Q & A facilitated by Neil Jackman

Close of conference

Michael MacDonagh, Chief State Archaeologist, National Monuments

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Organizer of Nexus—people and places through time

Archaeology Ireland provides a constant stream of articles, news and features, covering many areas in archaeology including science, art, architecture, history, geography, economics, sociology, anthropology, religion and more. The magazine offers readers a broad range of well-researched, lavishly illustrated articles on a range of topics at an accessible level to all, whether it’s a passing or professional interest. Archaeology Ireland is a key reference guide for students, visitors from abroad, those in the field, and all archaeology fans with an interest in Ireland’s archaeological wonders. The magazine was founded 1987 by Gabriel Cooney, Claire Cotter, Nick Maxwell, Una MacConville and Emer Condit and it has become one of Ireland’s key archaeological resource.

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