Dun Ailinne: Excavations at an Irish Royal Site, 1968-1975, by Susan A. Johnston & Bernard Wailes

Dun Ailinne: Excavations at an Irish Royal Site, 1968-1975, by Susan A. Johnston & Bernard Wailes

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The site of Dún Ailinne, in County Kildare, is one of four major ritual sites from the Irish Iron Age, each said to form the centre of a political kingdom and thus described as ‘royal’.

Excavation has produced artefacts ranging from the Neolithic (about 5,000 years ago) through the later Iron Age (fourth century AD), when the site was the focus of repeated rituals, probably related to the creation and maintenance of political hegemony.

 A series of timber structures were built and replaced as each group of leaders sought to claim ancient descent from a deep past and still create something unique and lasting.

Pam J. Crabtree and Ronald Hicks provide analyses on, respectively, biological remains and Dún Ailinne's role in folklore, myth, and the sacred landscape, while Katherine Moreau and Elizabeth Hamilton examine artefacts found at the site.