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Muiris O Suilleabhain

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Biography

Professor Muiris O'Sullivan is Associate Professor of Archaeology at UCD and is a former Head of the UCD School of Archaeology (2004-2008).  He acts as  international coordinator for the UCD College of Arts and Celtic Studies, serves on the UCD Global Engagement Group and is Co-Director of the European University Centre at Peking University.  Currently Dean of Arts, he has previously been Chair of the BA Programme Board (2005-2007) and Director of the UCD International Summer School (1999-2002).  In 2008, Professor O'Sullivan was appointed to the Expert Committee advising the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government on the Review of Archaeological Policy and Practice in Ireland.

Research
Megalithic tombs lie at the heart of Professor O'Sullivan's research and he has published extensively in this area, dealing with some of the more iconic complexes of prehistoric Ireland, such as the Boyne Valley and Tara.  He directed the excavations at Knockroe, county Kilkenny, Haynestown, county Louth and Ballyvanran, county Tipperary.  Other major interests include Irish archaeology in modern society and the survival of archaeological features in the living landscape.  His papers on various aspects of Neolithic art and riitual are to be found in journals, conference proceedings and thematic volumes published in Ireland, Britain, Germany, France, Spain, Portugal and the United States of America.


He is author of The Mound of the Hostages (Wordwell 2005), academic editor of Eoin Grogan's  Tara (Wordwell 2008) and lead editor of the volume Tara - From the Past to the Future (Wordwell 2013).  The Mound of the Hostages volume  forms the basis of the exhibition Idir Bheatha is Bás - The Story of an Excavation, opened at the National Museum of Ireland in 2007 and still running today.  The volume Tara - From the Past to the Future (M. O'Sullivan, C. Scarre & M. Doyle, eds, 2013) is a pioneering multi-author review of the evidence from Tara.  The monograph on his research excavations at Knockroe passage tomb, county Kilkenny, is currently being finalised.

He was the lead author of the seminal Heritage Council report Archaeological Features at Risk (2000) and one of three co-authors of Archaeology 2020: Repositioning Irish Archaeology in the Knowledge Society (2006).  He is joint author, with Liam Downey, of the 'Know Your Monument' series in the quarterly journal Archaeology Ireland, contributing four articles per annum since 2003.  The series was conceived originally for the benefit of the general public but has become an important source of reference for archaeological colleagues.

 

Teaching
Having previously taught as a primary and secondary teacher, Professor O'Sullivan has  been teaching at UCD since the late 1980s.  In addition to normal university teaching he ran a succession of Adult Education programmes in Archaeology from 1989 until 2002 and set up the first structure tutorial system for first year Archaeology students in 1989.  He was heavily involved in the introduction of new BA teaching structures around 2005, serving as chair of the BA programme board and participating on several university committees in the realm of teaching and learning.  He currently serve on the University Undergraduate Programme Board and the Academic Regulations Forum.

Publications

Books

Cooney, G., Downey, L. and O'Sullivan, M.; (2006) Archaeology 2020: Repositioning Irish Archaeology in the Knowledge Society. Dublin: UCD. [Details]
Muiris O'Sullivan; (2005) The Mound of the Hostages, Tara. Dublin: Wordwell. [Details]
Muiris O'Sullivan, David O'Connor and Laurence Kennedy; (2000) Archaeological Features at Risk - A Survey Measuring the Recent Destruction of Ireland's Archaeological Heritage. Kilkenny: The Heritage Council. [Details]
Muiris O'Sullivan; (1997) An Illustrated Guide to Seir Kieran, County Offaly. Clareen, County Offaly: Seir Kieran Project. [Details]
Muiris O'Sullivan; (1993) Megalithic Art in Ireland. Dublin: Country House. [Details]

Book Chapters

Muiris O'Sullivan (2011) 'Knockroe Passage Tomb: Archaeological Description' In: Margaret Quinlan Architects (eds). Conservation Plan: Knockroe Passage Tomb. Dublin: Office of Public Works. [Details]
Muiris O'Sullivan (2011) 'Knockroe Passage Tomb: Preliminary Report on the 2010 Excavation Season' In: Margaret Quinlan Architects (eds). Conservation Plan: Knockroe Passage Tomb. Dublin: Office of Public Works. [Details]
Muiris O'Sullivan, Stephen Davis and Geraldine Stout (2012) 'Henges in Ireland: New Discoveries and Emerging Issues' In: Alex Gibson (eds). Enclosing the Neolithic: Recent Studies in Britain and Europe. Oxford: Archaeopress: BAR International Series 2440. , pp.37-53 [Details]
O'Sullivan, M. (2012) 'R.A.S. Macalister' In: Próinséas Ní Chatháin and Siobhán Fitzpatrick with Howard Clarke (eds). Pathfinders to the Past: The Antiquarian Road to Irish Historical Writing. Dublin: Four Courts Press. , pp.161-171 [Details]
Muiris O'Sullivan (2013) 'Megalithic Art and other Neolithic remains at Lismullin, Co. Meath' In: Muiris O'Sullivan, Chris Scarre and Maureen Doyle (eds). Tara - From the Past to the Future. Sandyford: Wordwell in association with UCD School of Archaeology. , pp.417-422 [Details]
Alex Bayliss and Muiris O'Sullivan (2013) 'Interpreting chronologies for the Mound of the Hostages, Tara, and its contemporary context in Neolithic and Bronze Age Ireland' In: Muiris O'Sullivan, Chris Scarre and Maureen Doyle (eds). Tara - From the Past to the Future. Sandyford, Dublin: Wordwell in association with UCD School of Archaeology. , pp.26-104 [Details]
Muiris O'Sullivan (2013) 'Introduction' In: Muiris O'Sullivan, Chris Scarre and Maureen Doyle (eds). Tara - From the Past to the Future. Sandyford, Dublin: Wordwell in association with the UCD School of Archaeology. , pp.1-12 [Details]
Eoin Grogan, Helen Roche, Farina Sternke, Muiris O'Sullivan & Orla Scully (2013) 'Appendix 4: Prehistoric Pottery, Lithics, Decorated Stone and Metal-Detected finds' In: Eoin Grogan, Helen Roche, Farina Sternke, Muiris O'Sullivan & Orla Scully (eds). Harvesting the Stars: A Pagan Temple at Lismullin, Co. Meath. Dublin: The National Roads Authority. [Details]
O'Sullivan, M. (2012) 'The Spirituality of Prehistoric Societies: A View from the Irish Megaliths' In: Kathryn Rountree, Christine Morris and Alan A.D. Peatfield (eds). Archaeology of Spiritualities. New York and London: Springer. , pp.3-23 [Details]
Cooney, C. Bayliss, A. Healy, F. Whittle, A. Danaher, E. Cagney, L. Mallory, J. Smyth, J. Kador, T. and O'Sullivan, M. (2011) 'Ireland' In: Alasdair Whittle, Frances Healy and Alex Bayliss (eds). Gathering Time: Dating the Early Neolithic Enclosures of Southern Britain and Ireland. Oxford, England: Oxbow Books. , pp.562-669 Available Online [Details]
O'Sullivan, M. (2011) 'Megalithic Tombs and Storied Landscapes in Neolithic Ireland' In: Martin Furholt, Friedrich Luth & Johannes Muller (eds). Megaliths and Identities: Early Monuments and Neolithic Societies from the Atlantic to the Baltic. Bonn: Dr. Rudolf Habelt GmbH. , pp.53-66 [Details]
O'Sullivan, Muiris; (2009) 'Preserved in stone: Material and ideology in the Neolithic' In: Blaze O'Connor, Gabriel Cooney & John Chapman (eds). Materialitas: Shaping Stone, Carving Identity. Oxford: Oxbow Books. , pp.19-28 [Details]
Muiris O'Sullivan; (2009) 'Living stones: Decoration and ritual in 4th and 3rd millennium BC Ireland' In: R. de Balbín Behrmann, Primitiva Bueno Ramirez, Rafael González Antón & Carmen del Arco Aguilar (eds). Grabados rupestres de la fachada atlántica europea y africana. Oxford: Archaeopress. , pp.5-12 Available Online [Details]
Muiris O'Sullivan; (2009) 'The Life and Legacy of R.A.S. Macalister: a century of archaeology at UCD' In: Gabriel Cooney, Katharina Becker, John Coles, Michael Ryan and Susanne Sievers (eds). Relics of Old Decency - A Festschrift for Barry Raftery. Dublin: Wordwell. , pp.521-530 [Details]
Eoin Grogan and Muiris O'Sullivan; (2008) 'Radiocarbon dates from the Rath of the Synods' In: Eoin Grogan and Muiris O'Sullivan; (eds). The Rath of the Synods, Tara, Co. Meath: Excavations by Seán P. Ó Ríordáin. Dublin: Wordwell. [Details]
Muiris O'Sullivan; (2007) 'Resting in Pieces: Deposition Practices at the Mound of the Hostages, Tara, Ireland' In: David A. Barrowclough and Caroline Malone (eds). Cult in Context: Reconsidering Ritual in Archaeology. Oxford: Oxbow Books. , pp.167-172 [Details]
O'Sullivan, M.; (2006) 'La Boyne et autres sites: une revue de l'art mégalithique en Irlande' In: Roger Joussaume, Luc Laporte and Chriss Scarre (eds). Origine et développement du mégalithisme de l'ouest de l'Europe. Bougon: Musée des Tumulus de Bougon (Deux-Sevres). , pp.651-687 [Details]
Muiris O'Sullivan; (2004) 'Little and large - comparing Knockroe with Knowth' In: Helen Roche et al (eds). From Megaliths to Metal - Essays in Honour of George Eogan. Oxford: Oxbow Books. [Details]
Muiris O'Sullivan; (2003) 'Beyond the gap - Knockroe passage tomb and the people of the Slate Quarries' In: Joe Fenwick (eds). Lost and Found - Discovering Ireland's Past. Dublin: Wordwell. , pp.35-49 [Details]
Muiris O'Sullivan; (1996) 'Five thousand years of unwritten history' In: M. O'Dwyer (eds). Coolagh - History and Heritage. Callan: Coolagh Local History Society. [Details]

Edited Books

Muiris O'Sullivan, Chris Scarre and Maureen Doyle (Ed.). (2013) Tara from the Past to the Future - Towards a New Research Agenda. Dublin: Wordwell. [Details]
Muiris O'Sullivan (Ed.). (2008) Rath of the Synods, Tara. Dublin: Wordwell. [Details]
O'Sullivan, M (Ed.). (2006) The Music of the Ash - A History of the Seir Kieran GAA Club. Clareen, County Offaly: Seir Kieran GAA Club. [Details]

Peer Reviewed Journals

Muiris O'Sullivan (2010) 'Tales from the trenches at Tara'. Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, 140 :15-21. [Details]
Muiris O'Sullivan; (2009) 'Review of IMAGE AND AUDIENCE; RETHINKING PREHISTORIC ART (Richard Bradley, Oxford University Press)'. . Available Online [Details]
Muiris O'Sullivan; Laurence Kennedy;; (1998) 'The survival of archaeological monuments: Trends and attitudes'. IRISH GEOGRAPHY, 31 (2):88-99. [Details]
Muiris O'Sullivan; (1997) 'On the meaning of megalithic art'. Brigantium, 10 :23-35. [Details]
Muiris O'Sullivan; (1996) 'Art et Symboles du Megalithisme Européen'. :81-96. [Details]
Muiris O'Sullivan; (1996) 'Megalithic art in Ireland and Brittany: divergence or convergence'. Revue archéologique Ouest, 8 :81-96. [Details]
Muiris O'Sullivan; (1993) 'Recent investigations at Knockroe passage tomb'. Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, 123 :5-18. [Details]
Muiris O'Sullivan; (1987) 'The art of the passage tomb at Knockroe, county Kilkenny'. Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, 117 :84-95. [Details]
Muiris O'Sullivan; (1986) 'Approaches to passage tomb art'. Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, 116 :68-83. [Details]

Other Journals

O'Sullivan, M. and Downey, L. (2012) 'Know your Monuments: Henges' Archaeology Ireland 26 (101) :34-37. [Details]
O'Sullivan, M. and Downey, L. (2012) 'Know your monuments: Passage tombs and megalithic art' Archaeology Ireland 26 (1) :36-40. [Details]
O'Sullivan, M. and Downey, L. (2012) 'Know your monuments: Martello and signal towers' Archaeology Ireland 26 (2) :46-49. [Details]
O'Sullivan, M. (2012) 'Rock art and the Kerry-Galicia connection' Journal of the Kerry Archaeological and Historical Society 11 :5-22. [Details]
Muiris O'Sullivan & Liam Downey; (2011) 'Know your monuments: Stone circles' Archaeology Ireland 25 (95) :17-20. [Details]
Muiris O'Sullivan and Liam Downey; (2011) 'Know your monuments: Archaeological alignments - stone rows' Archaeology Ireland 25 (96) :32-35. [Details]
Muiris O'Sullivan and Liam Downey; (2011) 'Know your monuments: Summit cairns' Archaeology Ireland 25 (97) :20-23. [Details]
O'Sullivan, M. and Downey, L. (2011) 'Know your monuments: Rock art' Archaeology Ireland 25 (4) :15-18. [Details]
Muiris O'Sullivan, Frank Prendergast and Geraldine Stout; (2010) 'An intriguing monument' Archaeology Ireland 24(1) (91) :20-22. [Details]
Muiris O'Sullivan & Liam Downey; (2010) 'Know your monuments: The archaeological imprint of agricultural drainage systems (Part 1 - Traditional drains and ditches)' Archaeology Ireland 24(1) (91) :31-34. [Details]
Muiris O'Sullivan and Liam Downey (2010) 'Know your monuments: Seaweed and kelp' Archaeology Ireland 24 (3) :37-40. [Details]
Muiris O'Sullivan and Liam Downey (2010) 'The archaeological imprint of agricultural drainage systems (Part 2 - Early modern drains)' Archaeology Ireland 24 (2) :36-39. [Details]
Muiris O'Sullivan; (2010) 'Megalithic tombs and storied landscapes in Neolithic Ireland' http://www.jungsteinsite.de/ :1-18. [Details]
Muiris O'Sullivan and Liam Downey; (2010) 'Know your monuments: Wedge Tombs' Archaeology Ireland 24 (94) :36-39. [Details]
Muiris O'Sullivan & Liam Downey; (2009) 'Know your monuments: Archaeology and farming practices' Archaeology Ireland 23(1) (87) :31-34. [Details]
Muiris O'Sullivan & Liam Downey; (2009) 'Know your monuments: Charcoal production sites' Archaeology Ireland 23 (4) :22-25. [Details]
Muiris O'Sullivan and Liam Downey (2009) 'Know your monuments: Medieval fisheries' Archaeology Ireland 23 (3) :30-33. [Details]
Muiris O'Sullivan and Blaze O'Connor; (2009) 'Megalithic art in county Tipperary' Archaeology Ireland 23 (4) :17-19. [Details]
Muiris O'Sullivan & Liam Downey; (2009) 'Know your monuments: Tower-houses and associated farming systems' Archaeology Ireland 23(2) (88) :34-37. [Details]
Muiris O'Sullivan & Liam Downey; (2008) 'Know your monuments: Post-Medieval fieldscapes (Part 3): Field Enclosures' Archaeology Ireland 22(4) (86) :34-37. [Details]
Muiris O'Sullivan & Liam Downey; (2008) 'Know your monuments: Post-Medieval fieldscapes (Part 1): Clachans' Archaeology Ireland 22(1) (83) :36-38. [Details]
Muiris O'Sullivan and Liam Downey (2008) 'Know your monuments: Post-Medieval fieldscapes - Part 2: Rundale' Archaeology Ireland 22 (3) :22-25. [Details]
O'Sullivan, M. and Downey, L.; (2007) 'Know your monuments: Ridges and furrows' Archaeology Ireland 21(2) (80) :34-37. [Details]
O'Sullivan, M.; (2007) 'A phase in the afterlife of a flint artefact' Archaeology Ireland 21(2) (80) :32-33. [Details]
O'Sullivan, M. and Downey, L.; (2007) 'Know your monuments: Ringforts' Archaeology Ireland 21(3) (81) :32-35. [Details]
O'Sullivan, M. and Downey, L.; (2007) 'Know your monuments: Mottes' Archaeology Ireland 21(1) (79) :19-21. [Details]
Muiris O'Sullivan and Liam Downey; (2007) 'Know your monuments: Fieldscapes: Anglo-Norman Footprints' Archaeology Ireland 21 (82) :32-35. [Details]
O'Sullivan, M. and Downey, L.; (2006) 'Know your monuments: Holy wells' Archaeology Ireland 20 (1) :35-37. [Details]
O'Sullivan, M. and Downey, L.; (2006) 'Know your monuments: Watermills' Archaeology Ireland 20(3) :36-38. [Details]
Muiris O'Sullivan and Liam Downey; (2006) 'Know your monuments: Quern stones' Archaeology Ireland 20(2) :22-25. [Details]
O'Sullivan, M. and Downey, L.; (2006) 'Know your monuments: Moated sites' Archaeology Ireland 20(4) :34-36. [Details]
O'SULLIVAN Muiris ; DOWNEY Liam ;; (2005) 'Know your monuments: Lime kilns' ARCHAEOLOGY IRELAND 19(2) :18-22. [Details]
O'SULLIVAN Muiris ; DOWNEY Liam ;; (2005) 'Know your monuments: Corn-drying kilns' ARCHAEOLOGY IRELAND 19(3) :32-35. [Details]
O'SULLIVAN Muiris ; DOWNEY Liam ;; (2005) 'Know your monuments: Crannogs' ARCHAEOLOGY IRELAND 19(4) :34-36. [Details]
O'SULLIVAN Muiris ; DOWNEY Liam ;; (2005) 'Know your monuments: Middens' ARCHAEOLOGY IRELAND 19(1) :38-43. [Details]
O'SULLIVAN Muiris ; DOWNEY Liam ;; (2004) 'Know your monuments: Fulachta fiadh' ARCHAEOLOGY IRELAND 18(1) :35-37. [Details]
O'SULLIVAN Muiris ; DOWNEY Liam ;; (2004) 'Know your monuments: Souterranins' ARCHAEOLOGY IRELAND 18(4) :34-36. [Details]
O'SULLIVAN Muiris ; DOWNEY Liam ;; (2004) 'Know your monuments: Prehistoric field boundaries' ARCHAEOLOGY IRELAND 18(3) :38-39. [Details]
Muiris O'Sullivan and Liam Downey (2004) 'Know your monuments: Coastal promontory forts' Archaeology Ireland 18(2) :18-20. [Details]
Muiris O'Sullivan and Liam Downey (2004) 'Know your monuments: Fulachta Fiadh' Archaeology Ireland 18(1) :35-37. [Details]
O'SULLIVAN Muiris ; DOWNEY Liam ;; (2003) 'Know your monuments: Booley huts' ARCHAEOLOGY IRELAND 17(4) :34-35. [Details]
O'SULLIVAN Muiris ; DOWNEY Liam ;; (2003) 'Know your monuments: Boulder burials' ARCHAEOLOGY IRELAND 17 (3) :30-31. [Details]
Muiris O'Sullivan; (2001) 'The past may not always be with us - Archaeological remains on farmland' Tearmann - The Irish Journal of Agri-Environmental Research 1 :55-63. [Details]
Muiris O'Sullivan; (1997) 'On the meaning of megalithic art' Brigantium 10 :23-35. [Details]
Dan Bradley and Muiris O'Sullivan; (1997) 'Tracing our ancient ancestors' Archaeology Ireland (39) :18-20. [Details]
Muiris O'Sullivan; (1996) 'Knockroe and the Neolithic settlement of Munster' Irish Historic Settlement Newsletter 6 :1-5. [Details]
Muiris O'Sullivan; (1996) 'A platform to the past - Knockroe passage tomb' Archaeology Ireland (36) :11-13. [Details]
Muiris O'Sullivan; (1995) 'The eastern tomb at Knockroe' Old Kilkenny Revue 47 :11-30. [Details]
Muiris O'Sullivan; (1991) 'Transformation in the passage tomb art of Western Europe' Journal of Indo-European Studies 19 :15-27. [Details]

Conference Publications

Muiris O'Sullivan; (2006) The Boyne and beyond: a review of megalithic art in Ireland . In: Roger Joussaume, Luc Laporte and Chris Scarre eds. Origin and development of the megalithic monuments of western Europe Bougon, France, , 26-OCT-02 - 30-OCT-02 , pp.651-688 [Details]
Muiris O'Sullivan; (2002) Archaeology in the Irish landscape - a legacy for the future . In: Luiz Oosterbeek eds. Seminário Internacional 'Gestao do Território na Europa [Details]
Muiris O'Sullivan; (1999) An overview of Irish megalithic art . In: Anna Rosa Cruz and Luiz Oosterbeek eds. Perspectivas em Diálogo - 1 Curso Intensivo de Arte Preé-Histórica Europeia , pp.301-329 [Details]
                       

Abstract

Muiris O'Sullivan; (2011) Knockroe - The Prehistory of a Valley near Slievenamon. Dublin: Abstract [Details]
                                                               

Research

Research Interests

The area for which I am best known internationally is Neolithic Ritual and Art, specialising in the Irish material but setting it in an international context.  I have spoken at various specialist international symposia on these topics, organised themes at international events,  published in refereed journals and conference proceedings, written or edited books, and acted as external examiner for PhD theses and European projects.  In particular I am the author of The Mound of the Hostages, Tara (Wordwell, 2005), an internationally refereed monograph setting out the results of the excavaitons at a passage tomb, the earliest of the upstanding monuments in the great ceremonial landscape at the Hill of Tara in Ireland.  I am also author of Megalithic Art in Ireland (Country House, 1993).  I have directed the excavations at Knockroe passage tomb and written extensively on the megalitic art in the Boyne Valley.

I have a strong secondary interest in the role of archaeology in contemporary society.   I conceived and directed the Archaeological Features at Risk (AFAR) project, published by the Heritage Council (O'Sullivan, O'Connor & Kennedy 2000), and co-authored Archaeology 2020: Repositioning Irish Archaeology in the Knowedge Society (Cooney, O'Sullivan & Downey 2006). With students from UCD, I conducted a survey of the monastic site at Seir Kieran, Co. Offaly, leading to the publication of an Illustrated Guide to Seir Kieran (O'Sullivan 1997) and I am joint author of a series entitled Know your Monuments, running since 2003 in the quarterly magazine Archaeology Ireland.

Other projects in which I have been involved include the excavation of a ringfort at Ballyvanran, county Tipperary (1991 and 1992); excavation of Iron Age and Medieval complexes at Haynestown, county Louth, in advance of a motorway construction projects (1993); field survey at Rathcroghan (1980s); and excavations at Knowth (1980s).