Moynagh Lough Conference 2022

Thursday, October 27, 2022 - 13:15

On Thursday 1 and Friday 2 September 2022 the Department of History hosted a two-day conference on the Moynagh Lough Excavation Project in association with the Heritage Council and Meath County Council. The conference, which was dedicated to the memory of archaeologists John Bradley, George Eogan and Heather King, showcased research on various aspects of the remarkable archaeological site at Moynagh Lough carried out across six decades. Through the 1980s and 1990s, many individuals who would go on to hold the most senior offices in Irish archaeology – in universities, museums, the civil service and the private sector – cut their teeth trowelling back the years at Moynagh Lough. It turned out that this was an exceptional multi-period site with rich artefactual assemblages from multiple levels and phases. It is no exaggeration to state that Moynagh Lough is one of the most significant archaeological sites ever discovered in Ireland. Site Director John Bradley produced preliminary reports and published updates, but when he passed away in 2014 the main excavation report remained incomplete and unpublished. The archive is housed at MU, including some ten thousand artefacts, hundreds of notebooks and files, and thousands of plans, drawings and photographs. Some important specialist reports had been completed. Thanks to the support of MU and the Department of History in particular, in collaboration with UCD, this project resumed in 2018 under the directorship of Michael Potterton, with plans for full publication and deposition of the artefacts and archives with the NMI. Thanks primarily to the Archaeology Research Excavation Grants scheme, the Royal Irish Academy and the National Monuments Service, the Moynagh Lough Project has made very considerable strides in the past four years. Further external funding has been provided by Meath County Council, the Heritage Council and Creative Ireland. We established a core team and a steering committee, completed a scoping exercise and a finds database and initiated several strands of specialist research, some aspects of which were presented during the conference. Michael also gave a presentation online and in-person to the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland on 5 September (’Picking up the Pieces: The Moynagh Lough Excavation Project, Phase 3’).