new blog posts

Testing new tools

NB: This is work in progress!

I am adding data from sites to a timeline and maps to see if digital tools can help me to gain new insights into archaeobotanical datasets.

Created using the Open Knowledge Foundation timeline tool – TimeMapper (

This works as a sort of slide-show timeline. Hover over the right or left edges of each entry and an arrow will appear, allowing you to move on to the next site.

Deciding on start and end dates for a dataset is a challenge as many sites are multi-period. At the moment I tend to put in the entire radiocarbon date range for the site (where these are available) but that is obviously not ideal.

And going back through old reports, noticing mixed tenses, commas in the wrong place, etc. that’s not so easy either.

From garden to gut…

My most recent research efforts have been focused on developing ideas about gardening and food in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. This has been prompted by some work on the plant remains from excavations at Rathfarnham Castle in late 2014 and early 2015. The samples dated from the 1690s, plus or minus 30 years.
Continue reading “From garden to gut…”

Interactive digital oral history maps

I am just back from visiting the new (not quite finished yet) visitor centre at the North Chapel, the Cathedral of St. Mary and St. Anne, where the outreach hub of the Cork Folklore Project will soon be based. I was there for a fairly informal launch of this year’s issue of The Archive, the Project’s journal. In the room, which will be open to visitors, there is an interactive whiteboard displaying the latest iteration of the Cork Memory Map, which I worked on for my PhD. There are niggles, but it was exciting to see it on display!
Continue reading “Interactive digital oral history maps”

After the viva

My Viva voce was last week. It was a strange experience and I am still occasionally kicking myself for not saying things in certain ways. I used the final chapter of John Finn’s book, Getting a Phd, to prepare. He lists a set of general questions that are commonly asked in vivas. I used this, getting my husband to ask me the questions, which forced me to verbalise the thesis. This was quite good preparation and I would recommend it to anyone else in the same situation. Continue reading “After the viva”