The Caherconnell Cashel in the Burren, Co. Clare, a settlement built in the late 10th century AD and used continuously through to the start of the 17th century, was home to prosperous local rulers. Their wealth was built on successful farming, allowing them to engage in fine craftworking, military pursuits, external trade, games, music, and literacy (as evident in, amongst other things, the discovery of the earliest ink pen in Ireland). In this lecture, Dr. Michelle Comber of the School of Geography, Archaeology, and Irish Studies at the University of Galway will discuss recent archaeological excavations at the site. As those who constructed Caherconnell likely had familial connections with Brian Boru, the evidence unearthed provides us with a fine example of how native nobility negotiated the turbulent years of Viking and Anglo-Norman activity in western Ireland.
Dr. Michelle Comber is a native Galwegian and a lecturer in Archaeology at the University of Galway, where she has been teaching since the mid-90s. Her research interests lie primarily in the archaeology of Ireland’s Early Medieval period (approx. 5th to 12th century AD), especially its fine metalwork, economy and settlement, and in tracing social and economic change over broad spans of time. Dr. Comber has over 25 years excavation and post-excavation experience. She is currently directing a project examining the settlement landscape of the Burren, Co. Clare in the first and second millennium AD, and is director of the international Caherconnell Archaeological Field School.
Date: 12 December 2022
Venue: Harbour Hotel