• Excavations 2008: Summary accounts of archaeological excavations in Ireland

This is being written in the autumn of 2009 and it is very clear that the good times are now well over, and a career in archaeology today is about as likely as it was when I started out in the late 1970s/early 80s. We haven’t seen the numbers of excavations taking place fall (yet!) to those of the early 1980s, but the downward trend has now become a dramatic drop, and the figures for 2009 look like they will be even more dramatic in their fall, back perhaps to levels not seen since 1997/8! The number of entries for this current volume, 2008, is a mere 1322, slightly below the 1387 sites investigated and reported on in Excavations 2001, with a further 125 sites for which licences were issued but summaries were not forthcoming, for whatever reason. Last year’s bulletin (2007), contained summaries on 2066 sites – so we are seeing a drop of almost half! As per usual, there are
again a few sites reported on in this volume that were dug in earlier years, which skews the numbers slightly, but this has been happening for most years now. The range of sites is, as ever, varied and interesting, with more and more sites relating to underwater activity being investigated, both riverine and marine.

This year Dublin, as is usually the case, had 137 sites investigated (+4 for which reports were not received), but this is followed hot on the heels by Cork, with 131 sites (+15, which indicates that this was the busiest county for digs during 2008). Tipperary had 87 (+1) sites reported on, but Galway had 82, with a further 22 unreported, which means it was the third busiest. The quietest areas were Leitrim (4 sites), Fermanagh (4 + 2 unreported), Longford (6), Carlow (8 + 1) and Monaghan (9 + 1). Road schemes were still very much a driving force in the excavation of many of the sites reported on this year, but this is now coming to an end, with very few if any new works happening this year, and even less planned for the immediate future. Of course, housing developments are now also almost at a standstill, so it will be interesting to see what factors influence why sites are excavated in the next few years.

Author Isabel Bennett (ed)
Publication Data To be published April 2011
Subjects Archaeology

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Excavations 2008: Summary accounts of archaeological excavations in Ireland

  • ISBN: 978-1-905569-60-1
  • Author(s): Isabel Bennett (ed)
  • Availability: In Stock
  • €35.00