Feb 02 2010 Posted: 00:00 GMT
The archaeology of 19th century Ireland, a subject of growing interest, will be the topic of a free public lecture hosted by the discipline of Archaeology at NUI Galway on Monday, 8 February. Specifically, the talk will look at 'The Art and Archaeology of the 19th Century Farmhouse Interior'. The lecture will be delivered by Professor Charles E. Orser Jr. and will take place at NUI Galway's Moore Institute at 4pm. Professor Orser is Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Illinois State University and Curator of Historical Archaeology at the New York State Museum. He has also served as an Adjunct Professor at NUI Galway. He is an historical archaeologist and uses anthropology and archaeology to investigate the lives of men and women, often ignored by official written history, and their interactions with people of power. According to Professor Orser: "Taken by themselves, the analysis of archaeological findings and works of art can provide valuable information about the material culture of 19th century rural Ireland. The union of both sources of information is even more powerful for offering a more complete picture of the material lives of farm families. In this talk, I present examples of the ways in which the two sources can be used together as a way of demonstrating what we can learn from them". Professor Orser's textbooks are used to train archaeologists in many countries and he has carried out fieldwork in Latin America, the US and Ireland. For over a decade his field research has focused on the west of Ireland in the 19th century. Maggie Ronayne, Lecturer in Archaeology at NUI Galway, who has organised the lecture said: "We are delighted to host this distinguished international scholar. Historical archaeology of our more recent past, especially when professionals work in partnership with the community whose heritage it is, can make a vital contribution, here in Ireland and globally, to our appreciation of the collective human endeavour of our ancestors, and the often miraculous accomplishments of tenant villages. With this knowledge we may better understand and support communities today who defend their culture and heritage".