Over the last 10 years Ireland has been abuzz with archaeological activity – a positive (and now sadly missed) benefit of the ‘Celtic Tiger’ construction boom. Dining and Dwelling is the sixth monograph to be published in this series by the National Roads Authority (NRA), and it must be also be a world first in that it firmly establishes a developer, albeit a semi-state body, as the foremost publisher of a nation’s archaeological work.
The monograph presents the proceedings of the NRA National Archaeology Seminar, an annual seminar series catering specifically for a non-specialist audience. These papers were delivered in 2008, and as in previous years, the event focussed on a particular theme, assessing the recently discovered evidence from highways projects for food production, processing and consumption, with rural settlement sites ranging in date from the Neolithic to the 19th Century.
One of the main criticisms levelled at the commercial archaeological sector is that it remains focussed on producing inaccessible client reports – the so called ‘grey literature’ – at the expense of non-specialist syntheses and rigorously researched publication. The NRA Monograph series shows what can be achieved when the developer takes an active role in ensuring that the public benefit from their considerable investment in excavation.
Dining and Dwelling – Archaeology and the National Roads Authority Monograph Series No. 6
(National Roads Authority)