Maeve Sikora (PhD Candidate)
Feasting and Dining Vessels in Early Medieval Ireland
Supervisors: Dr Griffin Murray and Prof William O'Brien
The Medieval World
This project will focus on the archaeological evidence for the practices of feasting and dining in early medieval Ireland through an analysis of a range of vessel types. The corpus to be examined includes copper-alloy bowls and basins, decorative wooden pails, ladles, strainers and drinking horns. While there have been studies of individual artefacts within this group, this will be the first time that this body of material has been examined collectively. This thesis will primarily focus on the function and use of these high-status vessels in a secular context by the wealthier classes in Ireland. The use of these vessels in a liturgical context will also be examined, given the fact that some have been found on, or close to, ecclesiastical sites. The third main aspect of the thesis will be a discussion of the occurrence of these vessels in Viking-age graves in both Ireland and Britain and in Scandinavia, principally Norway.