Inspired by the legacy of the late Professor George Eogan this
international conference examines the Boyne Valley
monuments in the context of the wider prehistoric world.
Conference presentations from the National Monuments Service Annual Archaeology Conference,
Recorded on 2 October 2022, The Printworks, Dublin Castle.
The UNESCO World Heritage site of Brú na Bóinne in the Boyne Valley is home to Ireland's
finest passage tomb complexes of Knowth, Dowth and Newgrange. Knowth in particular was
the focus of many years of work by the late Professor George Eogan, whose excavations
have provided significant contributions to our understanding of this monument and
landscape through the millennia, and of wider prehistoric Ireland. Inspired by Professor
Eogan's legacy, this international conference took a step back to examine the
Boyne Valley monuments in the context of the wider prehistoric world.
Session 1: The Boyne Valley
Dr Kerri Cleary, Editorial & Research Manager, Archaeological Consultancy Services Unit.
Exploring the life cycle of a forgotten monument-the Dowth Hall passage tomb excavation.
Dr Clíodhna Ní Lionáin, Project Archaeologist at Devenish; Adjunct Research Fellow, UCD School of Archaeology.
Session 2: People of the Bronze Age
Bronze Age relations: genetics, kinship and gender in later prehistory.
Professor Joanna Bruck, School of Archaeology, University College Dublin.
From barrowscape to fieldscape: the first fields in the Rother Region of the western Weald.
Dr. Stuart Needham, Honorary Research Fellow of Amgueddfa Cymru-National Museum Wales.
Session 3: Image in stone and gold
Megalithic art in the Boyne Valley and beyond.
Dr Elizabeth Shee Twohig, lecturer (retired), University College Cork.
Looking at lunalae-lines, lozenges and zigzags.
Mary Cahill, former Keeper of Antiquities at the National Museum of Ireland
Session 4: The prehistoric world
Ireland in the wider prehistoric world, 4300-1500 BC.
Alison Sheridan, Former Principal Archaeological Research Curator in the Department of Scottish History and Archaeology, National Museums Scotland.
Lives that bind: three stories from the world of Stonehenge.
Dr Neil Wilkin, Curator of Early Europe (Neolithic and Bronze Age collections), British Museum.
Malcolm Noonan T.D. Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform
You are all very welcome to our 5th annual National Monuments Service Archaeology
Conference, organised by Archaeology Ireland in collaboration with the Office of Public Works.
It is wonderful to be back in person in the beautiful surroundings of Dublin Castle
following two years of hosting online only. By connecting virtually again this year we
have greatly increased participation across the globe. Last year's conference explored the
different types of connections between communities and monuments. This year, we
set out to examine the remarkable archaeological heritage of the Boyne Valley
in the context of the wider prehistoric world.
The UNESCO World Heritage property of Brú na Bóinne is home to one of Ireland's
finest passage tomb cemeteries and includes the Great Mounds of Knowth,
Dowth and Newgrange.
The work of the late Professor George Eogan, particularly at Knowth, has augmented our knowledge of prehistoric
Ireland immensely, providing significant contributions to our understanding of the monuments and their landscape through the millennia.
As a testimony to Professor Eogan and his work, and that of the many other experts who have devoted their time to exploring
this heritage, we will explore the monuments within their landscape, including through a prism of connections
with Scotland, Wales and England. Through the distinctive art that adorns the tombs and objects, we gain insights into the lives and
minds of those who crafted it and who lived here. The landscape of Brú na Bóinne, now cared for by communities and the state, by
farmers and landowners, is a very special one which continues to reveal yet more archaeological wonders, as we see at Dowth Hall.
We hold dear our obligation to ensure these profoundly inspiring monuments and their landscape are protected and enjoyed by
so many for generations to come. It is fitting that we celebrate our World Heritage today as we work now to further develop potential
UNESCO World Heritage properties around the country based on a new Tentative List announced this summer. Earlier in the year,
we published our new ten-year heritage plan - Heritage Ireland 2030 - and this conference fulfils a key commitment in that
vision document to provide greater opportunities to engage with heritage. I would like to acknowledge Archaeology
Ireland for their expertise and ability in bringing this conference together. I thank all
the speakers and all of you attending, in person or online, in this celebration of our
wonderful archaeological heritage that enriches our lives immeasurably.
I wish you all a wonderful conference.
Malcolm Noonan T.D.
Immerse yourself in the rich heritage and culture of the Boyne Valley with our full-day private tours.
Visit Newgrange World Heritage site, explore the Hill of Slane, where Saint Patrick famously lit the Paschal fire.
Discover the Hill of Tara, the ancient seat of power for the High Kings of Ireland.