Tuesday, 27 August 2013

7 Years, 1 Ba and 1.5 MA's....

So it has been 7 years since I got my A-Level results and so I have done a little bit of reflecting.  Nothing has turned out quite as I had planned, other than I am well on the road to crossing off all the qualifications I aimed to get.  It all started with those results, I got what I needed and my career in heritage could begin...couldn't it? Not quite! I packed my stuff and off I went to Lampeter, I was certain I would study archaeology, get my degree and run off to Greece moving from site to site and having a ball. Within a month I knew Greece was not for me and neither was Italy (backup plan) instead it was all about the Neolithic.  This new and exciting period that was a complete mystery to me, was to be my future.  By my second year this had changed too, a module on the Minoans took me back to Greece, though this was short lived.  The third year took me through a journey I will never forget and forever be grateful for having.  It was not easy and it without doubt changed me, but it brought back my desire and made it clear that the Iron Age was for me.  But not any old Iron Age, it had to be British! My theory based dissertation took me on adventures to museums, with imagery and impressions of the period being scrutinised, something I will revisit one day.  This took me to the end of my 4 years in the middle of nowhere and lead me straight into a year in Canterbury, and cemented my love of my period.  A long year of hard work paid off and I ended with a grade I only dreamed of when I began the course. And never for one minute did I think a tiny corner of Kent could become so focal in my life. The return home was not easy and the year of unemployment was even harder.  The cards had been dealt and I have ended up in a military museum as a museum assistant.  This has taken me into distance learning, and a second masters, this time in Museum Studies.  Although removed archaeology creeps in at every possible opportunity and this is not something I am about to change as I ponder how to keep it in the next dissertation.

So I have not become and archaeologist and I cannot say I am happy about this, but I cannot say I have given up on the idea either.  I do not yet have the PhD that 17 year old me was determined to get, but again I have not given up on that either, just moved my time frames around a little.  But I have learnt that I can teach and more importantly that I love to teach.  So that is the new aim, to teach preferably within a museum and even more preferably a museum that involves an archaeological collection.  Finding advice on this is more difficult than archaeology on it's own, but, when did that ever stop me? I am not against undertaking a PGCE it is the decision as to which one, Primary, Secondary History or Post 16, Google it seems currently has no answers!

So what does all this mean? I suppose it means I have been dealt cards that 17 year old me did not foresee. I never thought teaching would be for me, until I was put in the position of doing it, discovered that I was pretty good at it and that actually it was the best bit of my job. Who knows what will happen next but it has made me consider what I really want to do/achieve so here we have a Bucket List....

In the short term though, I need to prepare a wonderful presentation to take to my beautiful Isle in order to share my thoughts of her archaeology to her residents at the end of September.  It has seemed so far away fro so long it is hard to believe that it has finally come around!

It has been a super busy Summer and I have let my poor blog slide a little, but I am pleased to say that we have crept over the 8,000 views marker and I can't quite believe it, so Thank You for reading and here is to the next 8,000!!!

Thursday, 20 June 2013

The Future is Bright...The Future is Grey

I am writing this post as I make the long journey home from the First Annual Student Archaeology Conference in York! The conference was an interesting experience and not quite what I thought it would be...not that I really know what I thought it would be. All I can say is what it was wasn't what I was expecting!

There were fewer students, given the potential platform of such conferences for meeting other like minded students and such I was shocked that so few were there. I as also amazed by the distinct lack of prehistory, there were a few papers but it was very much a historical focus, maybe this is due to the location with York providing such a rich record. A traditional speaker presents then end of session a discussion happens, I appreciate the need to run to time, however, I often felt like the discussion was the point of the conference and it was very much a secondary focus. Hindsight suggests that having session run similar to seminars may have worked better, there would've fewer papers but there would be more time available to discuss issues. After all an open forum allows for greater learning doesn't it?

I felt my paper went well, it was the first of the after lunch session and there were a few light moments. I ran a little over and had to cut the paper short which is frustrating on my part, an extra few minutes and the audience may have had a better grasp of what I was trying to demonstrate. Much was made in a paper following my own about disjointed archaeology and snobbery within academic archaeology. A lack of willingness to merge science and arts, something I have rarely experienced. However what I have noted is the divide between the academic and the professional field archaeologist. Here there lies strained working relations and I feel that the use of Grey Literature allows this gap to be bridged. At the end of the day it is the field archaeologists that encounter the majority of our archaeology, yet we very rarely consult their reports or consider their sites in our research and paper writing. I used this very valuable resource during my time in Kent and am hoping that a PhD will soon be in the pipeline, furthering my existing research and working in a close capacity with units and trusts than I did the first time around...call it the benefit of experience.

The overwhelming theme within the conference was the need for community engagement, yet the focus of this was children, with exception to the homeless project. This is something that was also discussed in the community engagement day school in Oxford and it is refreshing to see new audiences being engaged with the past and integrated within the heritage family. However as mention above field and academia needs uniting, they are a little like divorced parents and archaeological research, I feel, is suffering as a result. The fault for this lies largely with academics, they bring the new generation of archaeologists through and if they do not discuss the commercial world a student cannot learn. Along with worrying about adding new members to our archaeology family with community projects I feel we need to take care of existing members. Without the commercial sector my dissertation could not have happened, it is that simple. It is sad to think of the discoveries that are lying in archive boxes waiting for someone to uncover them once more.

I truly believe that Grey Literature has a place in academic archaeology and that field archaeologists also have their role to play too. We both seek to understand, preserve and where possible protect the past world we simply go about it in different manners.

I hope delegates were able to take away the ideas from the last two days and apply them in real situations that they have seen or heard about. I love theory but it can create a beautiful safe bubble.

I am ending this post with the continue notion that the future is bright and the future is grey...even if it only for my beautiful little Isle for now....

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Making a Difference

Hello All,

This one is not heritage related, but, it is people related! This year myself and some friends are taking part in Race for Life, we appreciate that money is short for everyone but sadly Cancer does not understand this and continues to affect people everyday.  We want to do our bit to help and we would be very grateful if you would kindly sponsor us.  Everything helps and we would be over the moon if you could help even 50p would make our day and bring us closer to defeating cancer.  We have our just giving page and I will not bother you with this again.


Thank you for taking the time to read this

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Repatriation: The View From Here...

A week or so ago I posed you the question of repatriation and through BAJRFed you formed  a debate, thank you.  So now it is my turn, many will agree and many will not, but that is the beauty of archaeology.

Firstly I would like to make it clear that repatriation can be the answer, I am not anti it as a concept, but do worry about it being abused.  There are clear cut cases when Westerners have 'explored' countries around the world and in one way or another taken elements of their indigenous culture.  To many indigenous peoples these are not artefacts or objects of curiosity, they are their ancestors, their culture, their world.  As such they have every right to determine what happens next and I would encourage museums and archaeological units (where necessary) to work alongside indigenous groups to portray and protect their cultures and ancestors.

In Britain I feel the situation is different.  Our ancient peoples would not recognise any element of our modern lands, yes we have maintained monuments such as Stonehenge and many landscapes portray aspects of our ancient past.  However, religious philosophies are multiple, there are few who rely on the land for a livelihood and technology has changed what we prioritised.  As such deciding the fate of our ancient dead is complex.  We are unsure as to their views on life, death, afterlife, faith and much more.  To allow this understanding to grow museums, archaeologists, osteologists and many more try to piece together clues.  Finding a prehistoric structure is common, postholes, pits and ditches are well known within the archaeological record, however what does that tell us about people?  Not a great deal and there is nobody to ask, this makes the remains of our ancient dead essential to furthering our understanding of the life and death of the ancient man, woman and child.  Without studying human remains we would be unaware of how multi-cultural prehistoric societies were, how far people moved and how ideas we able to spread so rapidly in world without Facebook!  Now do not get me wrong I am not pro everyone going out to find themselves human remains to experiment on and I do not believe in exhuming the dead unless their burial place is at risk.  Many are found during commercial archaeology and I believe it is better for them to be exhumed than built upon and be forever forgotten.

Much of the reading I undertook for my essay pointed me in the direction of Pagan groups and the one which jumps out is Honouring the Ancient Dead.  Now I am all for everyone maintaining their desired faith and others respecting it.  However, I feel HAD make the world of heritage seem dirty, seedy and underhanded.  They often imply that archaeologists and museum professionals do not care about the remains of the ancients and that they are treated as scientific specimens to be wheeled out of collection stores when the next big idea comes along or museum visitor number are dropping.  I feel this to be an absurd notion, I know from my own experience that the study of human remains is to allow the ancient peoples to once more inhabit the landscapes that are being studied.  I agree that museum displays and archaeological texts can be lacking the human touch from time to time, but I feel this is improving.  It will not change over night, the science and the peopling of the past have reached a balance and now that is beginning to shine through in articles and displays.

So why are human remains displayed?

I honestly believe that human remains can lead to a new level of understanding when people visit museums.  Seeing material culture is interesting and allows them to see what was there but it does not bring people into the equation.  There is often a critique for not peopling the past, yet when ancient remains are displayed in Britain that is not right either...it seems we cannot win!

Living in the technical age is of huge benefit to us in matters such as these.  I do not believe that human remains should be handled on a regular basis, the display which they become a part of is essentially their new burial place and as such commands a level of respect.  This is obvious to me regardless of your faith, culture or any other inclinations you may have.  However, technology would surely allow is to create replicas, this can then satisfy both sides of the coin, remains are removed from display but replicas allow education to continue.  In terms of Britain, even with the use of replicas I do not believe that our ancient dead should all be immediately reburied as I feel as science continues to develop they will allow us to learn more about our ancient lands.

What about overseas?

Overseas, is another questions and I do not profess to have all the answers...not by a long shot.  However, if American museums worked more with Native American communities to develop exhibitions relating to their culture rather than seeing them as having the potential to remove elements of their collections, relations would improve.  Both sides are trying to protect what is important to them, however, I often feel that people are forgotten when culture is mentioned.  America is a huge multi everything nation and museums should reflect this.  Each ethnic group has the potential to experience issues, yet, Native Americans appear to be perceived as something that has past and is no longer part of the world.  This may not be the case, however, it is the way it has always come across to me.  Museums should promote their past as much as any other element of American society, however, it should be presented in an ongoing manner and the communities should have vast input on how this is achieved.  The museum should be a place that Native Americans take their children to learn about their past and the wider past of the country.  Improved relations will ultimately integrate America and it will become culturally richer as a result. 

In the case of America the discussion relating to display and storage is, I feel, a personal dialogue between museums and related communities.  It is a two way street and it could lead to a fulfilling and vibrant learning environment for all.  However, I fear it will be along time before that is the case.  The ancient remains held in American Museums are far more traceable to modern communities than is the case in Britain.  As a result consultation and collaborative working is essential if conflict is to cease and celebration is to begin.

As I have previously stated, I do not profess to have all the answers, but, I often feel that a little bit of common sense, some compassion and the patience to listen could ease the pressure of the repatriation debate and allow everyone to develop a plan for the future.  The people of the present cannot undo the wrongs of the past, they cannot even apologise as it was not them that instructed or carried out the acts.  However, they can put steps in place to ensure that such wrongs do not occur again and that everyone has a say in what happens to their ancestors and all aspects of their material culture.  After all it is their story to tell....

Thank you again for forming a debate, I am sure my opinions are likely to cause more reaction, but, it is important that such topics are considered and discussed.  The more we make it taboo the longer that poor practise will continue and that is something that no party wants.

Want to learn more?

Honouring the Ancient Dead http://www.honour.org.uk

James, N. 2008 Repatriation, Display and Interpretation Antiquity Vol. 82 770-777

Jenkins, T. 2011 Contesting Human Remains in Museum Collections Routledge: New York and Oxon   

Monroe, D,L. and Echo-Hawk, W. 1991 Deft Deliberations Museum News. July/August 55-58

Mor, H. 2010. The Obscure Ownership of Archaeological Material British Archaeology Vol. 114 http://www.archaeologyuk.org/ba/ba114/feat2.shtml [accessed March 20 2013]

Moshenska, G. 2009 The Reburial Issue in Britain Antiquity Vol. 83 815-820

Payne, S. 2010. A Child’s Gift to Science British Archaeology Vol. 112 http://www.archaeologyuk.org/ba/ba112/science.shtml [accessed March 20 2013]

Pickering, M. 2011 ‘Dancing through the minefield’: The Development of Practical Ethics for Repatriation in Marstine, J (ed) The Routledge Companion to Museum Ethics: Redefining Ethics for the Twenty-First-Century Museum Routledge: Oxon 256-274

Sunday, 17 March 2013

To Repatriate or not to Repatriate?

Repatriation is probably one of the most contested and emotive issues within heritage.  It comes with far more questions than it ever does answers, yet for a paper I about to write as part of a course I'm currently doing I am seeking for answers.

The question I have is so broad the 2500 words seems like it can only ever be an introduction! After completing a fair bit of background reading I still do not know if I fully agree or disagree with the notion.  I have however reduced it down to human remains and more specifically of ancient Britons.  There seems to be a lot of focus on the repatriation of indigenous peoples and rightly so, but, I have found very little on the repatriation of Britons from Britain's museums.  There are Pagan and Druid groups that are making calls for museums to return Britons to their locales and to be re-interred.  However, this has problems of its' own, from where to place them, how to place and what sort of ceremony should occur.  I can't even decide when the term ancient Briton no longer applies!

As you can see I have found myself a mine field, but, I am not put off by it! Instead I thought I would try and gather the thoughts of others, so it is over to you...if you have strong views, good articles, case studies anything at all really get in touch and broaden my horizons.

Looking forward to hearing from you all :0)

Monday, 4 February 2013

The Tale of King Richard...

With Leicester University's announcement that the human remains discovered in a carpark in September 2012 are in fact those of Richard III, it only seems right I should blog about him!

Richard was born on 2nd October 1452 at Fotheringhay Castle, Northamptonshire.  He was the youngest child of Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York and Cecily Neville. During his early years Richard was housed at Middleham Castle, Wensleydale; here he was under the tutelage of Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick, who was also his cousin.  He seemed to flourish in the environment and developed friendships, it is also where he first met Anne Neville, but we will come back to that later.

At the tender age of 8 Richard's father and older brother, Edmund, Earl of Rutland both died during the Battle of Wakefield.  He and another elder brother George, later Duke of Clarance, were sent to the Low Countries where they remained until the end of the Battle of Towton and the Coronation of their Eldest brother Edward IV in 1461.  By now Richard had his own titles, despite being 9 he was named Duke of Gloucester, became a Knight of the Garter and a Knight of the Bath.  He then returned to Middleham Castle to undertake training as a knight, where he stayed until he was 12.

Throughout his young life the Wars of the Roses raged and he played his part, King Edward made him the Commissioner of Array for the Western Counties at 11 and by 17 he had taken full command.  At the age of 18 he had fled once more, this time with his brother and King, to the Low Countries and later Burgandy.  1470 was the year and Richard Neville, the man that arguably raised him was the cause, he changed his political alleigances.  This was a common occurance during the period, but, in this instance unexpected.  Richard and his brother returned, he played an active role in the Battle of Barnet and the Battle of Tewkesbury and Edward IV was back on the throne by spring 1471.

It is following the vicotory at the Battle of Tewkesbury that Anne Neville returns to the tale, her husband was Edward of Westminster and son of Henry VI.  He lost his life during the battle and she and Richard were soon to marry.  This was not a straightforward affair either and his brother George disapproved of the match.  This was purely financial, he was married to Anne's sister Isabel, being the only children they were to share an inheritance that George was keen to recieve.  It is said the Richard signed a pre-nuptual agreement before marrying Anne in York on 12th July 1472.

Richard and Anne had a child in 1473, Edward of Middleham, he would go on to become the Prince of Wales.  Richard also acknowledged two illegitamate children, a son, John of Glouster and a daughter Katherine who went on to marry William Herbert, 2nd Earl of Pembroke.

Life took another dramatic turn for Richard, on 9th April 1483 his brother, King Edward IV died, the cause of his death is unknown, but pneumonia and typoid are often suggested, as is poison.  By 1483, the Lancastrian line was desimated and he ruled in peace, Henry Tudor was the only one left and he lived in exile, suggesting natural causes may have been more likely.

His death meant that his heir Edward V was to take the throne, however Edward was only 12.  This is too young to rule the land and Richard was named Lord Protector, to ensure that things went in the interest of himself and his family Richard moved to London to be with the young King and minimise the influence that his mother's family had over him and his rule. 

This is where it gets messy and Richard is painted in a far from pleasant manner.  Many were arrested and taken to Pontefract Castle, they were accused of plotting to assassinate Richard and subsequently sentenced to death.  After this Richard moved the young King and his brother, also called Richard, though this time Duke of York, to the Tower of London.  Shortly after it is said that clergymen approach Richard and tell him that his brother's marriage to Elizabeth Woodville was unvalid as Edward had earlier relations with Eleanor Butler.  In short this meant that the young King and his younger brother were illegitemate and as such neither could take the throne.  On the 22nd June 1483 this was declared in a sermon outside St Paul;s Cathederal and Richard was declared the rightful heir to the throne.  On 26th June Richard accepted throne and his corronation took place at Westminster Abbey on 6th July 1483.

This is where the Princes disappear, they are never seen and are often said to have been murdered by Richard.  There is little direct evidence for this, in 1674 the remains of two children are discovered in the White Tower when King Charles II does a spot of redecorating.  He believes them to be the little Princes and has them buried at Westminster Abbey.  The tale is still told at the Tower of London and their ghosts are said to still walk the Tower.

Rumours of the princely deaths was bad news for the now King Richar III, Henry Stafford, 2nd Duke of Buckingham had plenty of things to say.  Mainly that Henry Tudor should be brought out of exhile, handed the throne and Elizabeth of York's hand in marriage; Elizabeth was the elder sister of the princes.  Henry Stafford was prepared to raise an army from his estates within Wales and the Marches.  All was set to happen, Henry Tudor was on his way, with the support of the Breton prime-minister and Stafford was organised, then the weather turned, Henry Tudor had to turn back and when faced with Richard III's army his men deserted.  Richard had a heavy prince of Stafford's head and one of 'his men' happily turned him in for the reward.  He was charged with treason and later beheaded in Salisbury.

The threat of Henry Tudor was not quashed, he built up an army in France and by the summer of 1485  he was ready for battle once more.  This time he landed in Pembroke, his birth town and as he travelled through Wales and the Marches he once more gathered support and increased his invasion force.

King Richard III and Henry Tudor finally met on 22nd August 1485 at Bosworth Field.  Richard is said to have had 8,000 men while Henry only had 5,000, the exact numbers will never really be known.  As the Battle raged it is thought that many of Richard's supporters deserted him and joined Henry's cause.  This is said to have caused Richard to lead a cavalry charge, killing Henry's standard bearer and coming within reach of Henry.  However, the once loyal Stanley's surrounded him and famously killed him in the field.  It is said that Richard had fought bravely that day, but, the outcome was death, with the Burgundian chronicaler Jean Molinet claiming that it was a Welshman that dealt the fatal blow, with a halberd.  He claimed the violence was so much that the King's helmet was driven into his skull.  It said that he was then buried in Greyfriars Church, Leicester and that in 1495 the then King Henry VII paid for a stone monument to mark the spot of his burial, it is later meant to have been destroyed and the resting place of Richard III lost.

This was all to change in September 2012, Leicester University conducted an excavation in what is now a carpark, this discovered a grave with the remains of an individual within it.  Much like Richard the skeleton showed a curved spine and visible trauma to the skull.  With the location and the characteristics speculation was immediate and the archaeological world was excited by the find.  Since then Leicester Uni and a hugely talented team have conducted various tests and studied the remains closely.  Today they announced that beyond resonable doubt they believe they have in fact found the remains of King Richard III of England.

Radiocarbon dates have placed the remains within the period 1455-1540, Dr Jo Appleby has conducted oesteology studies and is confident that they are the remains of a male, in his late 20's or early 30's; Richard was 32.  He had also suffered many injuries, 8 were to the skull and 2 had the potential to be fatal, all occurred near to or at the time of death.  One such wound was created by a blade that plunged some 10cm into his skull, Dr Appleby concludes that if this had gone 7cm into the brain he would have died instantly. 

Some of his injuries are thought to have occurred after his death, in a routine of humiliation and dissent, one of which created a pelvic injury.  This is thought to have been caused through a weapon being thrust through the buttock. 

The Tudors often describe him as being deformed, the skeleton clearly reveals that he suffered from scoliosis, but there is little to say that he suffered with other described ailments.

His grave was poorly cut, the sides were too short and the head was forced forwards; suggestive that it was either done at speed or without care.  The arms were crossed, which is unusual and could indicate that they remained bound.  The church itself was destroyed during the Reformation, however, local enthusiasts located the area that it would have been in and also located documented relations of Richard's.  This was crucial for DNA and a gentlemen from Canada, Michael Ibsen, carries the matriarchal gene, passed from mother to child.  The timing of the discovery is lucky, Joy, Michael's mother has sadly passed away and her daughter has had no children, meaning the line is about to come to a natural end.  A DNA sample was taken from the teeth of the skeleton and it was hoped it would have survived well enough for analysis.  Thankfully it has and was tested against samples provided by Michael and found by Dr Turi King to be a match.

With the church no longer in place, Richard III's remains cannot be reburied there.  As such a tomb will be prepared and he is likely to be reburied at Leicester Cathedral in due course.

Influential Reading

Hipshon, D. 2010 Richard III (Routledge Historical Biographies Routledge

BBC news articles and Leicester University Press Conference

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Welcome to...National Museum Ireland

Well I haven't tried this before, at least not in blog form, so here it is a museum review!

I visited the National Museum Ireland in January and concentrated my efforts on the Archaeology building, it was a duel purpose, I wanted to see the lovely Broighter Boat; but I was writing an assessed article about the British Museum and her Britishness too.  I have no doubt that researching national identities affected my perspective of the museum and its' displays, but, it does provide this review with a little bit of focus.

The outside of NMI is nothing to write home about, it is classical in appearance and seems understated until you walk into the reception area.  A beautiful mosaic floor greets you with a spectacular dome above; it provides a wow before you even see an artefact!  (Sadly I cannot share a photo as they are only allowed for personal use, hopefully I will receive some permissions soon and I will edit them in!)

As you walk through the main doors into the galleries you cannot miss the array of Irish gold which forms the centre of the ground floor...it has another wow factor and I still haven't really seen anything.  I always have a prehistory agenda, so I knew I would get to all that gold, but it could wait a little longer...I had pottery to see.

The outer boundary of the gallery follows Ireland's prehistory, it is clearly presented in simple cases, designed to allow you to truly appreciate examples of everything, rather than full to bursting.  Labelling can be a little hit and miss, it is always there, but aretefacts are not always numbered, which is a shame as the information is well structured and easily understood.  I spent a great amount of time admiring some beautiful lithics, before the gallery relating to the Hill of Tara began to take my attention.  Having been fortunate enough to visit Tara in 2009 it was a particularly rewarding gallery.  It clearly explains and demonstrates the multi-period nature of Tara from prehistory to present, but is careful to avoid politics.  This is something I feel deserves praise, it would have been easy to detract from the world significance and indeed the Irish significance of Tara by providing politics and the curators should be applauded for the manner in which it is handled.

After my visit to Tara I went back on myself a little to see the astonishing log boat, it is covered, but, not in a case.  I am undecided as to how I feel about this, but, on the whole I think it is positive.  The wall behind the boat details discovery, use, preservation and methods of excavation; successfully identifying the stages of boats life.

A particularly impressive gallery is that of the Iron Age, it covers life and death throughout the period in an accessible manner.  The sensitive subject of human remains is dealt with particularly well, the gallery is now home to four bog bodies.  Each is cleverly surrounded in a chamber, with information placed on the outer wall, thus leaving it open to the individual to decide whether or not to view them.  I did, but, was shocked at how many did not.  The display is peaceful and respectful, there are no gimmicks, sounds, additions, simply the encased individual in low lighting.  I have mixed views on the display of human remains, but, this is a tactful display which many better funded museums could learn a lot from.

The mass of gold artefacts are generally parts of, if not entire, hoards.  They are of course impressive and the workmanship is amazing; I am sure metal smiths of modern times would appreciate the complexity far more than I, but I was blown away!  The most impressive pieces, including the beautiful Broighter Boat are tucked away in the Treasury, this gallery alone made for a worthwhile trip.  The gallery name suggests that it is simply a treasure trove, however, this is not the case.  Aretfacts and periods are very well represented and ample interpretation is provided. 

The upper galleries are a little different, there is a taste of Ancient Egypt and Ancient Cyprus makes a worthy appearance too.  Although taking away from the Irish story the artefacts are impressive and the mummies are displayed with their outer lids open, but, enclosed within inner layer, again a well thought out display.  The remainder of the upper gallery houses the Vikings, a popular aspect of Dublin's history, but, possibly under-represented within this museum.  This is possibly due to the overlap with the National History Museum though.  There is a small section on Christianity and the loss of Pagan traditions, but this is far smaller than I thought it would be, again likely to be due to the overlap.

So what did I think? I loved it!  I left feeling very away of Ireland and her proud history.  The layout of galleries is suggestive of a prehistoric bias, obviously I enjoy this, but, I think it is largely related to the multi-site nature of Ireland's National Museum family.  I did note that there is nothing representing Northern Ireland, but, considering they too have a National Museum I was not shocked.  Gaelic is included within all signage and adds to the experience of an outsider, at least in my opinion.  There are family activities dotted around the museum, but I was pleased by the lack of interactives, as I feel they often detract from the artefacts.  The museum is not perfect, but, it is not far off so I would happily give it a 9/10 and recommend it to anyone that is planning a visit to Dublin.  I saw every gallery at comfortable speed in about 2 hours.

So that is that, first one done! Thought it best to start on a pleasant one...as ever share your thoughts in all the usual ways. 

Happy Discovering