Task 2 - Embark on an overview of the current state of research in Irish archaeology

To embark on an overview of the current state of research in Irish archaeology from the first settlements (8000BC) to contemporary archaeology with a view to identifying potential research themes for future projects.

How does Task 2 relate to Discovering Ireland’s Ancient Peoples and Landscapes?

Since its inception in the early 1990s the Discovery Programme has striven to investigate research problems and uncharted fields in Irish archaeology. Our strategy has been to examine questions from a multidisciplinary perspective and using new research methods. At various stages there has been a pause while consideration is given to the future direction of the organisation’s research and in some instances, the resulting overviews were published (e.g. lake settlement, medieval rural settlement) and projects emerged from them. A similar exercise will be undertaken during the period of this Strategic Plan. This exercise is all the more pressing due to the unprecedented number of excavations that have been carried out in recent decades. There is a need to reflect on the data accumulated from this activity. A map-based analysis will tackle the challenges of various chronological periods and chart the archaeological evidence of each period following the INSTAR themes and monument and site classifications as listed in the Archaeological Survey of Ireland (www.archaeology.ie). It is envisaged that this analysis will be undertaken in collaboration with national cultural institutions, national agencies and higher education institutions.

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