Last evening lecture’s was a tour de force by our speakers, Damian Shiels and Paul O’Keeffe. Damian kicked off by explaining what ‘conflict archaeology‘ is and aims to do. He listed several battlefield sites around the world which have been examined, including Teutoburger Wald (AD 9), Culloden (1741) and Little Bighorn (aka Custer’s Last Stand) (1876). The Irish Battlefields Project is now looking at various sites in Ireland. Sadly only one such site is protected in Ireland, that is, the site of the Battle of the Boyne on Oldbridge Farm. Paul then took the lectern to tell us how the site of the siege of Kinsale was found through the use of desktop technologies married with historical sources. The scarcity of resources available to do these investigations was remarked as well as the enormous heritage tourism potential. Obviously there is a tension between identification of sites and potential planning difficulties: (in this writer’s opinion) this is an issue that needs to be resolved in order to release the opportunity for virtual access by heritage tourists, archaeologists and historians.
Damian has posted material relating to IBP on academia.edu. Google “Irish Battlefield Project” for more items such as podcasts, etc.
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