Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-5c569c448b-bmzkg Total loading time: 0.375 Render date: 2022-07-01T21:16:33.455Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "useNewApi": true } hasContentIssue true

Along the Margins? The Later Bronze Age Seascapes of Western Ireland

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 July 2018

Colin P. Quinn
Affiliation:
Anthropology Department, Hamilton College, Clinton (NY), USA
Ian Kuijt
Affiliation:
Department of Anthropology, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame (IN), USA
Nathan Goodale
Affiliation:
Anthropology Department, Hamilton College, Clinton (NY), USA
John Ó Néill
Affiliation:
Lifelong Learning Institute of Technology, Tallaght, Dublin, Ireland

Abstract

This article presents the results of multi-scalar investigations into the Later Bronze Age (LBA; 1500–600 bc) landscape of Inishark in County Galway, Ireland. The European LBA along the Atlantic coast was characterized by the development of long-distance maritime exchange systems that transformed environmentally marginal seascapes into a corridor of human interaction and movement of goods and people. Archaeological survey, test excavation, and radiocarbon analysis documented the LBA occupation on Inishark. The communities living on Inishark and other small islands on the western Irish coast were on the periphery of both the European continent and of the elite spheres of influence at hillforts in Ireland; yet they were connected to the Atlantic maritime exchange routes. A focus on small coastal islands contributes to a better understanding of LBA socioeconomic systems and the development of social complexity in Bronze Age societies.

Dans cet article nous présentons les résultats de recherches sur l’âge du Bronze final (1500–600 av. J.-C.) conduites à diverses échelles sur l’île d'Inishark dans le comté de Galway en Irlande. La croissance de systèmes d’échange au long cours caractérisait l’âge du Bronze Final européen le long de la côte atlantique et a transformé des paysages marins marginaux du point de vue environnemental en corridors d’échanges humains et de circulation de marchandises et de personnes. Une série de prospections archéologiques, de sondage et de résultats d'analyses radiocarbone nous a permis de documenter l'occupation d'Inishark à l’âge du Bronze final. Les communautés qui habitaient sur l’île d'Inishark et d'autres petites îles de la côte ouest de l'Irlande étaient en marge du continent européen et des sphères d'influence des élites occupant les sites de hauteur fortifiés de l'Irlande, mais elles étaient aussi reliées par un réseau d’échange maritime. En mettant l'accent sur les petites îles côtières, nous sommes en état de mieux comprendre les systèmes socioéconomiques en place à l’âge du Bronze final et l’évolution de la complexité sociale au sein des sociétés de l’âge du Bronze. Translation by Madeleine Hummler

In diesem Artikel werden die Ergebnisse von mehrstufigen Untersuchungen über die spätbronzezeitliche (LBA, 1500–600 v. Chr.) Seelandschaft von Inishark in County Galway in Irland vorgestellt. Die Entwicklung eines maritimen Fernhandels, welcher die ökologisch marginalen Seelandschaften in einen Korridor von menschlichen Beziehungen und Verkehr von Leuten und Gütern verwandelt hat, kennzeichnet die europäische Spätbronzezeit entlang der atlantischen Küste. Archäologische Geländeaufnahmen, Sondagen und 14C Analysen belegen die Besiedlung von Inishark in der Spätbronzezeit. Die Gemeinschaften auf der Insel Inishark und anderen kleineren Inseln an der westirischen Küste waren am Rand des europäischen Festlandes und des Einflusskreises der Eliten in den befestigten Höhensiedlungen in Irland; jedoch waren sie auch mit dem Netzwerk des maritimen Fernhandels verbunden. Der Schwerpunkt auf die kleineren Inseln der Küste ermöglicht es, die spätbronzezeitlichen sozialwirtschaftlichen Systeme und die Entwicklung der sozialen Komplexität der bronzezeitlichen Gesellschaft besser zu verstehen. Translation by Madeleine Hummler

Type
Article
Copyright
Copyright © European Association of Archaeologists 2018 

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

Bronk Ramsey, C. 2009. Bayesian Analysis of Radiocarbon Dates. Radiocarbon, 51: 337–60. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0033822200033865CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Casey, M. 2007. The Archaeological Excavation of Doonagappul Promontory Fort. In: Gosling, P., Manning, C. & Waddell, J., eds. New Survey of Clare Island. Dublin: Royal Irish Academy, pp. 225–38.Google Scholar
Clark, P. 2005. Shipwrights, Sailors and Society in the Middle Bronze Age of NW Europe. Journal of Wetland Archaeology, 5: 8796.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Cooney, G. 2000. Reading a Landscape Manuscript: A Review of Progress in Prehistoric Settlement Studies in Ireland. In: Barry, T., ed. A History of Settlement in Ireland. New York: Routledge, pp. 149.Google Scholar
Cooney, G. 2004. Introduction: Seeing Land from the Sea. World Archaeology, 35: 323–28. https://doi.org/10.1080/0043824042000185748CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Cotter, C. 2000. The Chronology and Affinities of the Stone Forts along the Atlantic Coast of Ireland. In: Henderson, J.C., ed. The Prehistory and Early History of Atlantic Europe. Oxford: Archaeopress, pp. 171–80.Google Scholar
Cotter, C. 2012. The Western Stone Forts Project: Excavations at Dún Aonghasa and Dún Eoghanachta. Dublin: Wordwell.Google Scholar
Coxon, P. 2001. The Quaternary History of Clare Island. In: Graham, J.R., ed. The New Survey of Clare Island. Dublin: Royal Irish Academy, pp. 87112.Google Scholar
Cunliffe, B. 2001. Facing the Ocean: The Atlantic and its Peoples 8000 bcad 1500. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Driver, T. 2013. Architecture, Regional Identity and Power in the Iron Age Landscapes of Mid Wales: The Hillforts of North Ceredigion (BAR British Series 583). Oxford: Archaeopress.Google Scholar
Duffy, P.R., Parkinson, W.A., Gyucha, A. & Yerkes, R.W. 2013. Coming Together, Falling Apart: A Multiscalar Approach to Prehistoric Aggregation and Interaction on the Great Hungarian Plain. In: Birch, J., ed. From Prehistoric Villages to Cities: Settlement Aggregation and Community Transformation. New York: Routledge, pp. 4462.Google Scholar
Dwyer, E. 2009. Peripheral People and Places: An Archaeology of Isolation. In: Horning, A. & Brannon, N., eds. Ireland and Britain in the Atlantic World. Dublin: Wordwell, pp. 131–42.Google Scholar
Earle, T.K. & Kristiansen, K. eds. 2010. Organizing Bronze Age Societies: The Mediterranean, Central Europe, and Scandinavia Compared. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Earle, T.K., Ling, J., Uhnér, C., Stos-Gale, Z. & Melheim, L. 2015. The Political Economy and Metal Trade in Bronze Age Europe: Understanding Regional Variability in Terms of Comparative Advantages and Articulations. European Journal of Archaeology, 18: 633–57. https://doi.org/10.1179/1461957115Y.0000000008CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Fitzpatrick, S.M. 2004. Synthesizing Island Archaeology. In: Fitzpatrick, S.M., ed. Voyages of Discovery: The Archaeology of Islands. Westport: Praeger, pp. 38.Google Scholar
Frieman, C. 2008. Islandscapes and ‘Islandness’: The Prehistoric Isle of Man in the Irish Landscape. Oxford Journal of Archaeology, 27: 135–51. http://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0092.2008.00301.xCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gibbons, M. & Higgins, J. 1993. Three Western Islands. Archaeology Ireland, 7: 2023.Google Scholar
Ginn, V.R. 2016. Mapping Society: Settlement Structure in Later Bronze Age Ireland. Oxford: Archaeopress.Google Scholar
Goodale, N., Bassett, M., Bailey, D.G., Lash, R. & Kuijt, I. 2018. Early Medieval Seascapes in Western Ireland and the Geochemistry of Ecclesiastical Cross Stones. Journal of Archaeological Science Reports. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jasrep.2017.06.015CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gosling, P. 1994. Clare Island: An Introduction to the Prehistoric Settlement. In: Coxon, P. & O'Connell, M., eds. Clare Island and Inishbofin. Dublin: Irish Association for Quaternary Studies, pp. 4356.Google Scholar
Gosling, P. 2007. The Human Settlement History of Clare Island. In: Gosling, P., Manning, C. & Waddell, J., eds. New Survey of Clare Island. Dublin: Royal Irish Academy, pp. 2968.Google Scholar
Gosling, P. & Waddell, J. 2007. Appendix 3: Radiocarbon Dates from Archaeological Sites on Clare Island. In: Gosling, P., Manning, C. & Waddell, J., eds. New Survey of Clare Island. Dublin: Royal Irish Academy, p. 311.Google Scholar
Gosling, P., Manning, C. & Waddell, J. eds. 2007. New Survey of Clare Island. Volume 5: Archaeology. Dublin: Royal Irish Academy.Google Scholar
Grogan, E. 2005. The North Munster Project. Bray: Wordwell.Google Scholar
Harding, A.F. 2007. Warriors and Weapons in Bronze Age Europe. Budapest: Archaeolingua.Google Scholar
Hawkes, A. 2012. Medieval fulachtaí fia in Ireland? An Archaeological Assessment. The Journal of Irish Archaeology, 20: 77100.Google Scholar
Hawkes, A. 2013. The Beginnings and Evolution of the fulacht fia Tradition in the Early Prehistoric Period. Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy, 114C: 151. http://doi.org/10.3318/priac.2014.114.02Google Scholar
Hawkes, A. 2015. Fulachtaí fia and Bronze Age Cooking in Ireland: Reappraising the Evidence. Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy, 115C: 131. http://doi.org/10.3318/PRIAC.2015.115.13Google Scholar
Henderson, J.C. 2007. The Atlantic Iron Age: Settlement and Identity in the First Millennium BC. London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Huang, C.C. 2002. Holocene Landscape Development and Human Impact in the Connemara Uplands, Western Ireland. Journal of Biogeography, 29: 153–65. https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-2699.2002.00661.xCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Jones, C. 2016. Dating Ancient Field Walls in Karst Landscapes Using Differential Bedrock Lowering. Geoarchaeology, 21: 77100. https://doi.org/10.1002/gea.21531CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kosiba, S. & Bauer, A.M. 2013. Mapping the Political Landscape: Towards a GIS Analysis of Environmental and Social Difference. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory, 20: 61101. http://doi.org/10.1007/s10816-011-9126-zCrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kristiansen, K. & Larsson, T.B. 2005. The Rise of Bronze Age Society: Travels, Transmissions and Transformations. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Kuijt, I., Lash, R., Gibbons, M., Higgins, J., Goodale, N. & Ó Néill, J. 2011. Reconsidering Early Medieval Seascapes: New Insights from Western Ireland. Journal of Irish Archaeology, 19: 5171.Google Scholar
Ling, J., Hjärthner-Holdar, E., Grandin, L., Billström, K. & Persson, P.-O. 2013. Moving Metals or Indigenous Mining? Provenancing Scandinavian Bronze Age Artefacts by Lead Isotopes and Trace Elements. Journal of Archaeological Science, 40: 291304. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2012.05.040CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ling, J., Stos-Gale, Z., Grandin, L., Billström, K. & Hjärthner-Holdar, E. 2014. Moving Metals II: Provenancing Scandinavian Bronze Age Artefacts by Lead Isotope and Elemental Analyses. Journal of Archaeological Science, 41: 106–32. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2013.07.018CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Livingood, P. 2012. No Crows Made Mounds: Do Cost-Distance Calculations of Travel Time Improve our Understanding of Southern Appalachian Polity Size? In: White, D.A. & Surface-Evans, S.L., eds. Least Cost Analysis of Social Landscapes: Archaeological Case Studies. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, pp. 174–87.Google Scholar
McCormick, F., Gibbons, M., McCormac, F.G. & Moore, J. 1996. Bronze Age to Medieval Coastal Shell Middens near Ballyconneely, Co. Galway. Journal of Irish Archaeology, 7: 7784.Google Scholar
McDonald, T. 2016. A Guide to Archaeological and Historical Sites on Achill, Achillbeg and the Corraun Peninsula. Tullymore: I.A.S. Publications.Google Scholar
Molloy, B.P.C. 2017. Hunting Warriors: The Transformation of Weapons, Combat Practices and Society during the Bronze Age in Ireland. European Journal of Archaeology, 20: 280316. https://doi.org/10.1017/eaa.2016.8CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Molloy, K. 2005. Holocene Vegetation and Land-Use History at Mooghaun, South-East Clare, with Particular Reference to the Bronze Age. In: Grogan, E., ed. The North Munster Project: The Later Prehistoric Landscape of South-East Clare, Volume 1. Bray: Wordwell, pp. 255301.Google Scholar
Molloy, K. & O'Connell, M. 1993. Early Land Use and Vegetation History at Derryinver Hill, Renvyle Peninsula, Co. Galway, Ireland. In: Chambers, F.M., ed. Climate Change and Human Impact on the Landscape. London: Chapman & Hall, pp. 185–99.Google Scholar
Mount, C. 2000. Exchange and Communication: The Relationship between Early and Middle Bronze Age Ireland and Atlantic Europe. In: Henderson, J.C., ed. The Prehistory and Early History of Atlantic Europe (BAR International Series 861). Oxford: Archaeopress, pp. 5772.Google Scholar
Needham, S. 2009. Encompassing the Sea: ‘Maritories’ and Bronze Age Maritime Interactions. In: Clark, P., ed. Bronze Age Connections: Cultural Contact in Prehistoric Europe. Oxford: Oxbow, pp. 1237.Google Scholar
O'Brien, W. 2017. The Development of the Hillfort in Prehistoric Ireland. Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy, 117C: 159. http://doi.org/10.3318/priac.2017.117.08Google Scholar
O'Brien, W. & O'Driscoll, J. 2017. Hillforts, Warfare, and Society in Bronze Age Ireland. Oxford: Archaeopress.Google Scholar
O'Brien, W., O'Driscoll, J. & Hogan, N. 2018. Warfare and the Burning of Hillforts in Bronze Age Ireland. In: Fernández-Götz, M. & Roymans, N., eds. Conflict Archaeology: Materialities of Collective Violence from Prehistory to Late Antiquity. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 6978.Google Scholar
O'Connell, M. 1990a. Early Land-Use in North-East County Mayo: The Palynological Evidence. Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy, 90C: 259–79.Google Scholar
O'Connell, M. 1990b. Origins of Irish Lowland Blanket Bog. In: Doyle, G.J., ed. Ecology and Conservation of Irish Peatlands. Dublin: Royal Irish Academy, pp. 4971.Google Scholar
O'Driscoll, J. 2017. Hillforts in Prehistoric Ireland: A Costly Display of Power? World Archaeology, 49: 506–25. https://doi.org/10.1080/00438243.2017.1282379CrossRefGoogle Scholar
O'Keefe, T. 1994. Omey and the Sands of Time. Archaeology Ireland, 8: 1417.Google Scholar
O'Kelly, M.J. 1954. Excavations and Experiments in Ancient Irish Cooking-Places. Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, 84: 105–55.Google Scholar
Ó Néill, J. 2005. The Historical Burnt Mound Tradition in Ireland. Journal of Irish Archaeology, 13: 7784.Google Scholar
Ó Néill, J. 2009a. Inventory of Bronze Age Structures. Unpublished report prepared for The Heritage Council. Kilkenny, Ireland.Google Scholar
Ó Néill, J. 2009b. Archaeological excavations at Annaholty Site 5, Co. Tipperary. Unpublished excavation report prepared for Headland Archaeology Ltd. Edinburgh, Scotland.Google Scholar
O'Shea, J.M. 2011. A River Runs Through It: Landscape and the Evolution of Bronze Age Networks in the Carpathian Basin. Journal of World Prehistory, 24: 161–74. http://doi.org/10.1007/s10963-011-9046-6CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Pare, C.F.E. 2000. Bronze and the Bronze Age. In: Pare, C.F.E., ed. Metals Make the World Go Round: The Supply and Circulation of Metals in Bronze Age Europe. Oxford: Oxbow Books, pp. 137.Google Scholar
Phillips, T. 2004. Seascapes and Landscapes in Orkney and Northern Scotland. World Archaeology, 35: 371–84. https://doi.org/10.1080/0043824042000185775CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Plunkett, G. 2009. Land-Use Patterns and Cultural Change in the Middle to Late Bronze Age in Ireland: Inferences from Pollen Records. Vegetation History and Archaeobotany, 18: 273–95. http://doi.org/10.1007/s00334-008-0206-2CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Quinn, C.P. & Ciugudean, H. 2018. Settlement Placement and Socio-Economic Priorities: Dynamic Landscapes in Bronze Age Transylvania. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jasrep.2017.05.046CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Quinn, W. & Moore, D. 2009. Fulachta fiadh and the Beer Experiment. In: Stanley, M., Danaher, E. & Eogan, J., eds. Dining and Dwelling (Archaeology and the National Roads Authority, Monographs Series 6). Dublin: National Roads Authority, pp. 4353.Google Scholar
Rainbird, P. 2007. The Archaeology of Islands. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Rathbone, S. 2011. The Slievemore Roundhouses. Archaeology Ireland, 25: 3135.Google Scholar
Rathbone, S. 2013. A Consideration of Villages in Neolithic and Bronze Age Britain and Ireland. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society, 79: 3960. https://doi.org/10.1017/ppr.2013.2CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Reimer, P.J., Bard, E., Bayliss, A.E., Blackwell, P.G., Bronk Ramsey, C., Grootes, P.M. et al. 2013. Intcal13 and Marine13 Radiocarbon Age Calibration Curves 0–50,000 Years cal bp. Radiocarbon, 55: 1869–87. https://doi.org/10.2458/azu_js_rc.55.16947CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Roberts, B.M., Uckelmann, M. & Brandherm, D. 2013. Old Father Time: The Bronze Age Chronology of Western Europe. In: Fokkens, H. & Harding, A., eds. The Oxford Handbook of the European Bronze Age. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 1746.Google Scholar
Sherratt, A.G. 1993. What Would a Bronze-Age World System Look Like? Relations between Temperate Europe and the Mediterranean in Later Prehistory. Journal of European Archaeology, 1: 157. https://doi.org/10.1179/096576693800719293CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Thompson, V.D. & Turck, J.A. 2010. Island Archaeology and the Native American Economies (2500 bcad 1700) of the Georgia Coast. Journal of Field Archaeology, 35: 283–97. https://doi.org/10.1179/009346910X12707321358991CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Van de Noort, R. 2004. An Ancient Seascape: The Social Context of Seafaring in the Early Bronze Age. World Archaeology, 35: 404–15. https://doi.org/10.1080/0043824042000185793CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Van de Noort, R. 2011. North Sea Archaeologies: A Maritime Biography, 10,000 bcad 500. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Van de Noort, R. 2013. Seafaring and Riverine Navigation in the Bronze Age of Europe. In: Fokkens, H. & Harding, A., eds. The Oxford Handbook of the European Bronze Age. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 382–97.Google Scholar
Verrill, L. & Tipping, R. 2010. A Palynological and Geoarchaeological Investigation into Bronze Age Farming at Belderg Beg, Co. Mayo, Ireland. Journal of Archaeological Science, 37: 1214–25. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2009.12.020CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Waddell, J. 2010. The Prehistoric Archaeology of Ireland, 3rd ed. Dublin: Wordwell.Google Scholar
Warner, R. 2012. Analysis and Discussion of Radiocarbon Dates. In: Cotter, C., ed. The Western Stone Forts Project: Excavations at Dún Aonghasa and Dún Eoghanachta, Volume 2. Dublin: Wordwell, pp. 212–24.Google Scholar
Whitefield, A. 2017. Neolithic ‘Celtic’ Fields? A Reinterpretation of Chronological Evidence from Céide Fields in North-western Ireland. European Journal of Archaeology 20: 257–79. https://doi.org/10.1017/eaa.2016.5CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wright, E.V., Hedges, R., Bayliss, A. & van de Noort, R. 2001. New AMS Radiocarbon Dates for the North Ferriby Boats: A Contribution to Dating Prehistoric Seafaring in Northwestern Europe. Antiquity, 75: 726–34. http://doi.org/10.1017/S0003598X00089237CrossRefGoogle Scholar
3
Cited by

Save article to Kindle

To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Along the Margins? The Later Bronze Age Seascapes of Western Ireland
Available formats
×

Save article to Dropbox

To save this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Along the Margins? The Later Bronze Age Seascapes of Western Ireland
Available formats
×

Save article to Google Drive

To save this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Along the Margins? The Later Bronze Age Seascapes of Western Ireland
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *