Environmental remains from Arundel Square

Next Saturday I will be presenting at the Institute of Archaeologists of Ireland annual conference. The paper will draw on results from my own work on samples from Arundel Square, a medieval site in Waterford city, combined with the analyses carried out on wood (Lorna O’Donnell), charcoal (Ellen O Carroll) and insects (Eileen Reilly). It draws very heavily on Eileen’s work and we are presenting it in her memory.

Flot from C457 16E0601, Arundel Square (kiln deposit)

Abstract for the talk

This paper will focus on the environmental remains analysed from medieval and post-medieval deposits in Waterford, excavated by IAC Ltd in late 2016 and early 2017 at a site between Arundel Square, Sully’s Lane, and Peter Street. A rich variety of disparate environmental material was found, preserved by both charring and waterlogging. Drawing on findings from a range of different studies (particularly the analyses of charcoal, wood, insects and non-wood plant macro-remains) we will discuss the benefits of combining results from multiple environmental proxies in order to better understand the complex environmental content found in urban archaeological deposits. The results are also combined with previous work undertaken at similar sites to create and gain an understanding of past medieval landscapes and how these varied at different urban medieval centres in Ireland.

This paper will incorporate results from one of the last pieces of work completed by our friend and colleague Dr Eileen Reilly. Eileen was a strong advocate for the benefits of collaboration in environmental archaeology, and in archaeology more generally, and we offer this paper in her memory.