• Materialising Power

The archaeology of the Black Pig's Dyke, Co. Monaghan

This richly illustrated book offers a fresh perspective on linear earthworks, perhaps the most enigmatic and neglected of all of Ireland’s prehistoric field monuments. 


Focusing on one of the best-preserved and largest examples of the monument type in Europe, the renowned Black Pig’s Dyke in County Monaghan—named from a folk-tale that describes how the earthworks were torn into the landscape by the angry marauding of a giant mythical schoolteacher-turned-pig—the authors integrate the results of excavations undertaken by Aidan Walsh in 1982 with new surveys and scientific dating to present a radical reassessment of the chronological and physical development of the monument and its environmental and archaeological setting. 


The authors also present, for the first time, an overall review of prehistoric linear earthworks in Ireland and use landscape-scale research to provide thought-provoking new insights into the purpose of these fascinating monuments and the roles they played in late prehistoric settlement patterns and societies. 

Author Bio


Cóilín Ó Drisceoil is the director of the Black Pig’s Dyke Regional Project and the managing director of Kilkenny Archaeology, archaeological consultants. He is co-editor of the book William Marshal and Ireland (Four Courts Press, 2017).    


Aidan Walsh, curator and archaeologist was the formative curator of the award-winning Monaghan County Museum. He directed the excavation on the Black Pig’s Dyke at Aghareagh West (1982) which forms the core of this monograph.

Publisher Wordwell Ltd
Format Hardback
Subjects Archaeology, rural history

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Materialising Power

  • ISBN: 978-1-9162912-7-0
  • Availability: In Stock
  • €30.00

Tags: Materialising Power