IRC awards funding to 3 projects in the Dept of Archaeology: IPeAT - Irish Peatland Archaeology Across Time (PI Dr Ben Gearey)
(Later prehistoric timber trackways under excavation by IAC, Lisheen Bog, Co. TippPhoto credit: Muireann ni Cheallachain)
Four decades of archaeological survey and excavation in midland industrial raised bogs have
generated a large volume of information on archaeological sites preserved in these (now largely drained and extracted) peatlands; bog bodies, timber trackways and 'roads' and other material besides.
Despite the richness of the record, there have been few attempts to analyse and integrate this information on the inter-regional or national scale.
As commercial peat extraction ceases and the focus shifts to rehabilitation for the restoration of ecosystem services, peatland archaeology represents a key resource for community groups (https://communitywetlandsforum.ie/) engaged in peatland conservation initiatives. Irish Peatland Archaeology Across Time (IPeAAT) seeks to gather
these strands through the compilation, collation and formal analysis of the archaeological and palaeoenvironmental datasets. The study will address knowledge gaps concerning site types, spatial distribution and chronology, and the interrelationship between past human activity in peatlands and environmental changes through time. The project will also address how such information can be better communicated to different stakeholder groups (see for example https://drumminbog.com/paleo-ecological-study-ucc-wet-futures/), using intra-disciplinary perspectives and practices, developed via previous research (https://www.ucc.ie/en/peatlands/) based out of UCC. Collation of the findings will also develop a research framework for Irish peatland archaeology.