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Early Medieval Crafts and Production in Ireland, AD 400-1100: The Evidence from Rural Settlements

Thomas R. Kerr, Maureen Doyle, Matthew Seaver, Finbar McCormick and Aidan O'Sullivan
Publication Year:
746pp. Illustrated throughout in black and white
ISBN 10:
BAR number:


This book investigates the archaeological evidence for crafts and production in early medieval Ireland, AD 400-1100, with a particular focus on the extensive excavated evidence from rural secular and ecclesiastical settlements. The volume firstly provides an overview of the social and ideological contexts of crafts and technologies in early Ireland. It then outlines the extant evidence specifically for iron-working, non-ferrous metalworking, glass, enamel and millefiori, bone, antler and horn, and stone working, and characterises each craft practice in terms of scale, outputs and implications for society. Tables provide additional information on wood craft and pottery. The book then provides a detailed review of the use of different materials in dress and ornament, touches on cloth and textile production, and explores how social identities were performed through objects and material practices. The book then provides a voluminous site gazetteer accounting for all evidence for craft and production on hundreds of early medieval settlements, with numerous tables of data, site plans, artefact drawings and photographs and an extensive bibliography. The book is based on the work of the Early Medieval Archaeology Project (EMAP), which was funded through the Irish Heritage Council and Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht's INSTAR programme, a collaborative research project carried out by University College Dublin and Queens University Belfast which reviewed all archaeological excavations in Ireland between c.1930-2012. This particular book, building on EMAP's previous studies of dwellings and settlements, and agriculture and economy, provides the baseline for a generation of studies of early medieval crafts and production in Ireland in its northwest European contexts.