Summer 2015 Field School: Great Blasket Island, Ireland

2015 Archaeology and Cultural Heritage Field School, Great Blasket Island, Ireland

University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, May 25 to July 3, 2015

6 weeks, 6 credits

This field school in archaeology, history, heritage, and landscape studies will examine the lifeways of residents of Great Blasket Island (Blascaod Mor) off the southwest coast of the Dingle Peninsula (Corca Dhuibhne) of the Republic of Ireland. Great Blasket and its surrounding islands have been traversed by cultures leaving traces from fort sites thousands of years in age, to monastic dwellings and Viking incursions in the medieval period one thousand years ago, and a settled village from at least the 17th century onward. The lifeways of the residents on Great Blasket were the focus of nationalist pride by proponents of the new Republic of Ireland in the early 1900s. Those lifeways, supported by maritime, pastoral, and agrarian subsistence, were hailed by nationalist advocates as representing an authentic Irish cultural identity uncorrupted by the impacts of British colonialism, racism, modernity, or new consumer markets. Great Blasket’s population decreased as emigration to America or to the mainland towns of the Republic drew families away in the 1900s. This field school will contribute to research examining the cultural landscapes across time and the archaeological record of resident lifeways. Additional information and an application form are available online at http://www.histarch.illinois.edu/Blasket/

This field school is presented through a collaboration with Micheal De Mordha, director of the Great Blasket Cultural Center in Dunquin, Ireland, and Frank Coyne, co-director and principal archaeologist of Aegis Archaeology, in Limerick. Many thanks to the University of Illinois for hosting this field school, and to the University of Chicago for funding support.

Christopher C. Fennell, PhD, JD, RPA

Assoc. Prof. of Anthropology and University Scholar

Department of Anthropology, University of Illinois

Visiting Professor of Law, University of Chicago

UIUC: http://www.anthro.illinois.edu/faculty/cfennell/

UC: http://www.law.uchicago.edu/faculty/fennell-c

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