Showing posts from 2020

Archaeology 360: Rathmullan Priory, Co. Donegal

In this, the concluding piece from the Chapple Family’s sojourn in the wonderful county of Donegal, we stopped off at Rathmullan Priory. I would point out that we only got there by accident – we never actually intended to go. We been staying in Buncrana and had decided to head further west to my old stomping grounds around Dunfanaghy and Portnablagh. As I detailed in my previous post [ here ], I’d managed to escape the clutches of my beach-loving family and spend some time wandering around the secluded ruins of Doe Castle. Well, by the time I returned from the castle, everyone was pretty much exhausted from playing on the beach. We slowly packed up, made our way back to the car, turned on the GPS and headed for home. A well-prepared, thoughtful driver would have been aware of the GPS settings and, perhaps, plotted some way points to ensure that the correct route was followed. I, on the other hand, simply turned it on, set the address for Buncrana and trusted to whatever small gods exis

Archaeology 360: Doe Castle, Co. Donegal

In the previous instalment to this series of 360-degree video posts I took you to see the remains of the Early Medieval house at Rinnaraw [ here ]. The back story to this was that I’d left the rest of the family on the beach at Portnablagh and walked back to Rinnaraw on my own. Partly, this was because I didn’t think they’d be all that interested in such an apparently ‘slight’ monument that would require trudging across a field to go see. The other part was that I felt the visit should be a solo encounter with the site and an opportunity for personal reflection and meditation, which is hard to achieve when each of the Chapples Minor are trying to throw the other off the edge of the precipice. All went well. I completed my filming and ruminations in perfect peace and eventually dandered back to where the rest of the family were on the beach. I had hoped that all would have run through their fascination with sand and seawater by now and we’d soon be on our way to see more archaeology. Tu

Archaeology 360: Early Medieval House, Rinnaraw, Co Donegal

Anyone following this series of posts will be aware that most concentrate on relatively well known and accessible monuments, but for this one I'm taking a different approach. I’m going to be frank – there’s probably little reason to visit this site in person. It’s on no ‘must see’ list, nor does it come highly recommended in any guide book, but for all that, it’s special to me! This is Rinnaraw , a little Early Medieval house site, overlooking Sheephaven Bay. It is overgrown and quiet now, but it was excavated by Dr Tom Fanning from 1987 to 1992 [ Reports Here | Final Publication ] and was the scene of my very first archaeological excavation [ Reminiscences Here ].   I worked there in 1989 and hadn’t been back since. Watching the images now, I’m immediately thrown back to the sounds and dedicated activity of over 30 years ago and it has given me a place to lightly meditate on my life and the passing years. I realise that very few reading this blog post will share these ancient

Archaeology 360: WWII Lookout Post, Horn Head, Co Donegal

As part of our Summer excursion to Donegal, I wanted to bring the family to see the incredible views from Horn Head. Back in 1989, when I was working at Tom Fanning's excavation at Rinnaraw , we used to walk out here of an evening. For the unwary, I would note that there are two different routes on this little jut of land. One brings you to this World War II lookout post with modest parking and spectacular views. The other fork in the road will bring you to equally gorgeous vistas, but will involve driving along a road that is literally terrifying - precipitous drops, no hard shoulder, and definitely zero space to allow two cars to pass. This is the route we took first and I'm not too proud to admit that I stayed in the car while the more adventurous members of the family walked about calmly outside like it was perfectly safe and I wasn't totally over reacting! anyway, once we got on the right path, parked and got to the crest of this little rise, the whole of Horn Head was

Co Meath: Archaeological Objects at The British Museum

The British Museum holds 70 items identified as coming from Co Meath, along with one labelled as coming from either Armagh or Meath. The majority of these (30) are assigned to the Early Medieval period, followed by the Bronze Age (12). The most common object type represented are bracelets (10), followed by socketed axes (7). The two material types represented in this assemblage are: Metal (54), Stone (11), Bone (4), and Glass (2). < Table of Contents Neolithic/Bronze Age: Stone items Meath adze 20050501.329 Polished stone adze with broken butt, side slightly damaged/indented. Meath axe 20050501.330 Polished stone axe with taperring rounded butt, slightly damaged; blade chipped. Meath axe 20050501.332 Polished ston