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The Bective Abbey Project: Archaeological Excavations 2009-12

The Bective Abbey Project: Archaeological Excavations 2009-12

Geraldine Stout, Mathew Stout

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This report describes the results of four seasons of archaeological excavation that took place between 2009 and 2012 at Bective Abbey, Co. Meath. Bective, founded in 1147, was the first Cistercian monastery in Meath. Research excavations revealed the farming methods practiced by this monastic order, long credited for much agricultural innovation in Ireland.

The chance discovery of a medieval barn – with drainage systems, plough and grain store – proves that the abbey acted as the nerve centre of their vast (1,800ha) ecclesiastical estate farm. Finds from the Abbey’s fifteenth century remodelling and subsequent transition into Tudor mansion, bring to life the material culture of the Abbey before and after the reformation and confiscation.

The book also includes fresh accounts of the Abbey’s history and architecture, detailed plans and original reconstructions. Reports from thirteen specialists examine in detail the finds from the excavation, including the largest bone and environmental assemblages ever recovered from a rural monastic site in Ireland. This analysis reveals aspects of the Cistercian diet and behaviour that represent a compromise between local circumstances and the harsh rule of the order.

The book will provide an indispensable guide for all those planning to visit Bective Abbey and it is an essential study for those interested in the Cistercian order and the medieval history and archaeology of Ireland.

Additional Information

Author Geraldine Stout, Mathew Stout
Publisher Wordwell
Publication date 30 Sep 2016
Format Paperback
ISBN/EAN 9780993351815

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