School of Archaeology
I am an environmental archaeologist specialising in wood and
charcoal analysis. I
graduated from Queens University Belfast with joint science degree in
Archaeology and Palaeoecology in 2001. After gaining some excavation experience,
I worked in the commercial
and research environmental archaeological sector for eleven years. I have
analysed charcoal and wood from over 400 sites, primarily while working for
Margaret Gowen & Co. Ltd from 2002 to 2008. During this time, I co-edited The Bronze Age
Landscapes of the Pipeline to the West: An integrated archaeological and
environmental assessment, with Dr. Eoin Grogan and Penny Johnston. This published the archaeological and environmental
results from the 335km long pipeline route, which was unprecedented in
Working as a freelance environmental archaeologist from 2008, I have been involved in a number of research projects.
From 2008 to 2010 I worked part time as a research assistant on the Irish National Strategic Research Archaeological Research (INSTAR) funded WODAN project in the Discovery Programme. The principal investigator was Dr. Ingelise Stuits. This project developed an online wood and charcoal database for both archaeological and biological material. The online nature of the database, along with flexible query builders means that it is a powerful tool for future research into past environments, climate change and cultural selection of wood.
During 2010 and 2011 I was employed as a charcoal specialist on the INSTAR funded Neolithic and Bronze Age Landscapes of North Mayo project, which was managed by Dr Graeme Warren (UCD) and Prof. Seamus Caulfield. This project aims to bring to full publication critically important excavations and survey from the Céide fields region.
The project entitled, From landscape to streetscape, what
insects tell us about urban life in Viking Age Dublin, was funded by the
Environment Fund in 2011, with Dr. Eileen Reilly and Dr. Patrick Wallace as principal
investigators. This concentrated on environmental analysis from the world
My doctoral research was completed in 2011 in the
Honours and Awards
| Year: 2006.
Title: Pollen analysis of samples related to a fulacht fiadh at Jigginstown, Co. Kildare
|Association: Association of Environmental Archaeology , Function/Role: Member|
|Association: International Association of Wood Anatomists, Function/Role: Member|
|Association: Irish Palaeoecology and Environmental Archaeology Network , Function/Role: Member|
|Association: Irish Wood Anatomists Association, Function/Role: Founding member|
|Association: Institute of Archaeologists of Ireland , Function/Role: Graduate member|
| Employer: Margaret Gowen & Co. Ltd
Position: Environmental Services Manager
| Year 2001 Institution: The Queens University of Belfast
Qualification: BSc Subject: Archaeology and Palaeoecology
| Year 2011 Institution: University College Dublin
Qualification: PhD Subject:
|Reilly, E., Lyons, S., OCarroll, E., O'Donnell, L., Stuijts, I., Corless, A. (2014) ''Building the towns: the interrelationship between woodland history and urban life in Viking Age Ireland'' In: Broderick, L., Grau, I., Jervis, B (eds). Urban Life in Medieval Europe: Environmental and Artefact-based Approaches. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press. [Details]|
|Davis, S.R., Lewis, H., Turner, J., Foster, G., O'Donnell, L., Collins, B., McClatchie, M., Allen, M.J. and McCormick, F. (2015) 'Environmental evidence from Knowth and its landscape setting' In: Eogan, G. and Cleary, K (eds). Excavations at Knowth Volume 6. Dublin: Royal Irish Academy. [Details]|
|O'Donnell, L. (2014) ''Chapter 8.4, Charcoal and wood analysis from Knowth'' In: Eogan, G. and Cleary, K (eds). Excavations at Knowth 6: The Neolithic archaeology of the large passage tomb at Knowth, Co. Meath. Dublin: Royal Irish Academy. [Details]|
|Allen, R., O'Donnell, L., Reilly, E., Overland, A., O'Connell, M. (2012) ''Palaeoenvironmental analyses'' In: Bourke, E., Hayden, A., Lynch, A (eds). Skellig Michael, Co. Kerry: The monastery and the South Peak. Dublin: www.worldheritageireland.ie. , pp.291-413 [Details]|
|Lyons, S. and O'Donnell, L. (2011) ''Appendix 8 Vol. 2. Integrated wood report for Site 34, Newrath Townland, Co. Kilkenny. Licence no. 04E0319'' In: Eogan, J. and Shee Twohig, E (eds). Cois tSiúire- nine thousand years of human activity in the Lower Suir Valley. Archaeological excavations on the N25 Waterford City Bypass. Volume 1. NRA Scheme Monographs 8. Dublin: National Roads Authority. [Details]|
|O'Donnell, L., Halwas, S. and Geber, J. (2009) ''The environmental and faunal evidence'' In: Mc Quade, M, B. Molloy, B. and Moriarty, C (eds). In the shadow of the Galtees. Archaeological excavations along the N8 Cashel to Mitchelstown. Dublin: National Roads Authority. , pp.241-286 [Details]|
|O'Donnell, L. (2009) ''Charcoal analysis'' In: Baker. C (eds). The Archaeology of Killeen Castle, Co. Meath. Dublin: Wordwell. , pp.113-124 [Details]|
|Mc Quade, M. and O'Donnell, L. (2009) ''Late Mesolithic fish traps from the Liffey estuary, Dublin, Ireland'' In: S. McCartan, R. Schulting, G. Warren and P.Woodman (eds). Mesolithic Horizons: Papers presented at the Seventh International Conference on the Mesolithic in Europe, Belfast 2005. Oxford: Oxbow Press. , pp.889-894 [Details]|
|Johnston, P. and O'Donnell, L. (2008) ''Appendix V. Analysis of the charred plant remains and charcoal'' In: Stout, G. and Stout, M (eds). Excavation of an Early Medieval Secular Cemetery at Knowth Site M, County Meath. Dublin: Wordwell. , pp.128-148 [Details]|
|O'Donnell, L. (2008) ''Analysis of the charcoal' in C. Baker, 'Excavations within the manor of Merrion Castle, Co. Dublin'' In: S. Duffy (eds). Medieval Dublin VII. Dublin: Four Courts Press. , pp.272-274 [Details]|
|O'Donnell, L. (2008) ''Appendix I. Charcoal analysis'' In: Grogan, E (eds). The Rath of the Synods, Tara, Co. Meath: excavations by Seán P. Ó Ríordáin. Dublin: Wordwell. , pp.133-140 [Details]|
|Lynch, L. and O'Donnell, L. (2007) ''Cremation in the Bronze Age: Practice, process and belief'' In: Grogan, E., O'Donnell, L. and Johnston, P (eds). The Bronze Age Landscapes of the Pipeline to the West: An integrated archaeological and environmental assessment. Dublin: Wordwell. , pp.105-114 [Details]|
|Grogan, E., O'Donnell, L. and Johnston, P (Ed.). (2007) The Bronze Age Landscapes of the Pipeline to the West: An integrated archaeological and environmental assessment. Dublin: Wordwell. [Details]|
Peer Reviewed Journals
|Reilly, F., Brown, A.G., Davis, S.R., O'Brien, C.E. and O'Donnell, L. (2013) ''Possible evidence of textile processing at a burnt stone mound at Coonagh West, Co. Limerick''. The Journal of Irish Archaeology, 58 :57-84. [Details]|
|Warren, G., McDermott, C., O'Donnell, L. & Sands, R. (2013) ''Recent Excavations of Charcoal Production Platforms in the Glendalough Valley, Co. Wicklow''. The Journal of Irish Archaeology, 21 :85-112. [Details]|
|Mc Quade, M. and O'Donnell, L. (2007) ''Late Mesolithic Fishtraps from the Liffey Estuary, Dublin, Ireland''. Antiquity, 81 :569-584. [Details]|
|Baker, C., Powers, N., Pipe, A., Lynch, L., Johnston, P.,O'Donnell, L., Moriarty, C., Milken, S. and Brindley, A. (2007) ''Appendix V Analysis of the charcoal' in Baker, C. Excavations at Cloncowan II, Co. Meath'. The Journal of Irish Archaeology, XVI :125-126. [Details]|
|Hull, G, Johnston, P. and O'Donnell, L. (2006) ''Charcoal.' In Hull,G. Excavation of a Bronze Age round-house at Knockdomny, Co. Westmeath'. The Journal of Irish Archaeology, XV :11-12. [Details]|
|Stuijts, I., O'Donnell, L., Corns, A., Mc Auley, J., Shaw, R., Bunce, A. and O'Sullivan, K (2010) ''WODAN, a database for wood and charcoal identifications'' Archaeology Ireland 24 (4) :40-42. [Details]|
|Stuijts, I., O'Donnell, L. and Lyons, S (2008) ''WODAN, an archaeological wood and charcoal database'' TEA 30 :4-6. [Details]|
|Mc Quade, M. and O'Donnell, L. (2006) ''Summary report on charcoal analysis from Knockhouse Lower (03E1879)'. In Mc Quade, M. Archaeological Excavations of Pre-historic Settlement Sites at Knockhouse Lower and Carrickphierish Co. Waterford' Decies. Journal of the Waterford Archaeological and Historical Society 62 :43-46. [Details]|
|O'Donnell, L. (2011) 'People and woodlands- an investigation of charcoal remains as indicators of cultural selection and local environment in Bronze Age Ireland' Sagvntvm. Papeles del laboratorio de arqueología de Valencia Extra- 11. 5th International meeting of charcoal analysis the charcoal as cultural and biological heritage Valencia, Spain, , pp.97-98 [Details]|
|Veal, R., O'Donnell, L. and Mc Parland, L. (2011) 'Measuring burn temperatures from charcoal using the reflectance method, first results from an Irish Bronze Age cremation site' Sagvntvm. Papeles del laboratorio de arqueología de Valencia Extra- 11. 5th International meeting of charcoal analysis the charcoal as cultural and biological heritage Valencia, Spain, [Details]|
|Stuijts, I. and O'Donnell, L. (2011) 'Working with WODAN- an online charcoal database' Sagvntvm. Papeles del laboratorio de arqueología de Valencia Extra- 11. 5th International meeting of charcoal analysis the charcoal as cultural and biological heritage Valencia, Spain, , pp.17-18 [Details]|
| People and woodlands: an investigation of charcoal remains as
indicators of cultural selection and local environment in Bronze Age Ireland.
Specifically, the research will draw out four main interrelated areas for further investigation:
1. New guidelines and procedures for the interpretation of charcoal data, especially from
large infrastructural developments in temperate environments.
2. A critical review of the integration of charcoal analysis with other environmental data for
effectively reconstructing woodland dynamics and its implications for understanding wider
themes such as Bronze Age climate change.
3. The use of charcoal data as a source of information about wood and woodland use in the
Irish Bronze Age.
4. Understanding cremation as a burial practice during the Irish Bronze Age.
| Dr. Rob Sands who co-supervised my PhD is my
project mentor. Dr. Sands undertook his PhD research on Bronze and Iron Age
woodworking, based on waterlogged wood from