History of Project

The Burren Landscape Through Time project was established under INSTAR (Irish National Strategic Archaeological Research) funding in Spring 2008. It was designed as a mechanism for the exploration of Burren archaeology and the creation of a research framework for future archaeological study in the region. Relevant research is being undertaken by Carleton Jones, Michelle Comber, Elizabeth FitzPatrick, and Stefan Bergh.
Research Burren landscape through time
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Central Research Themes

This project has identified six key themes relevant to the Burren cultural landscape. These can be applied to remains from every period, and in every part of the Burren. They provide the necessary framework for investigating Burren archaeology, and potential implications outside of the region.

 One of the central themes that this project addresses is the spatial relationships and interactions between secular and ritual/ceremonial activities in the Burren landscape, from prehistory into the early modern period. This can occur both within chronological periods, and between periods. Another core question concerns the rich survival of boundaries and land divisions in the Burren and how those remains can be used to advance an understanding of past land-use and social organisation through time.

In a landscape which, from the modern onlooker’s view, seems remarkably inaccessible, a third central research topic examines how people in the past moved in and out of the Burren as well as within that region. Like the land divisions and borders, the inhabitants of the region were far from static and isolated. An additional concern explores how Burren archaeology reflects social organisation in different time periods, and how this may have changed through time. The wealth of Burren archaeology from many different periods also prompts an investigation of the extent to which early cultural landscapes influenced later settlement developments. The modern view of the Burren sees it as a marginal place. This project’s sixth central theme studies the position of the Burren in relation to wider exchange and contact networks.