Boyne & Beyond Conference

Inspired by the legacy of the late Professor George Eogan this international conference examined the Boyne Valley monuments in the context of the wider prehistoric world.
Boyne and Beyond

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

Dr. Clíodhna Ní Lionáin - Exploring the life cycle of a forgotten monument, the Dowth Hall passage tomb excavation

Session 2: People of the Bronze Age

Professor Joanna Bruck - Bronze Age relations: genetics, kinship and gender in later prehistory

Dr. Stuart Needham - From barrowscape to fieldscape: the first fields in the Rother Region of the western Weald

Session 3: Image in stone and gold

Dr. Elizabeth Shee Twohig - Megalithic art in the Boyne Valley and beyond

Mary Cahill - Looking at lunalae-lines, lozenges and zigzags

Session 4: The prehistoric world

Alison Sheridan - Ireland in the wider prehistoric world, 4300-1500 BC

Dr. Neil Wilkin - Lives that bind: three stories from the world of Stonehenge

Boyne & Beyond Book

Boyne & Beyond Book

Boyne and Beyond: Essays in appreciation of George Eogan presents a selection of the papers from the conference, exploring the story of Knowth through time, megalithic art in the Boyne Valley and beyond, the Dowth Hall passage tomb, and Ireland in the wider prehistoric world, amongst other important aspects.

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Malcolm Noonan T.D. Minister of State for Heritage

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.

Boyne Valley Private Day Tour

Boyne Valley Tours
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. Book Now