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High Island (Ardoileán), Co. Galway. Excavation of an Early Medieval Monastery.

High Island (Ardoileán), Co. Galway. Excavation of an Early Medieval Monastery.

Georgina Scally

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Archaeological Monograph Series 10

This volume, the tenth in the Archaeological Monograph Series of the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht contains the results of excavations carried out at the early medieval monastic site on High Island, Co. Galway. These excavations, directed by Georgina Scally took place between 1995 and 2002, in conjunction with extensive conservation works carried out by the National Monuments Service.

The monastic remains are described in detail and are placed in their physical and historical context. A chapter on ‘High Island and the cult of St. Féichín’ by Padraic Moran re-assesses the evidence for the early history of the island and considers the wider circumstances that may have shaped the monastery during the lifetime of its occupation. The excavations have revealed different building episodes within the monastic enclosure ranging from the 8th to the early 13th century at which stage the settlement appears to have gone into decline.

Eleven graves (six of which contained burials) were excavated which relate to the occupation of the monastery between the mid-11th and the early 13th century. Over 50 cross-slabs, many decorated, have been found on the island and a detailed analysis of these by Christine Maddern is presented.

The small assemblage of finds recovered (mostly stone) is described and the analysis of palaeoenvironmental samples and faunal remains throw light on the diet and economy of the early medieval occupants of the island. The different strands of evidence are drawn together in a concluding discussion chapter.

Additional Information

Author Georgina Scally
Publisher Wordwell
Publication date 12 Dec 2014
Format Paperback
ISBN/EAN 9781406428285

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