H.A.R.P. - Investigating Mesolithic landscapes of life and death at the western edge of Europe

The Hermitage Archaeological Research Project (H|A|R|P) was founded in 2017 by UCD School of Archaeology graduate Dr Aimée Little, to build upon the fieldwork undertaken by ÆGIS Archaeology at Hermitage, Castleconnell (Co. Limerick, IE). The H|A|R|P team is an international group of archaeologists from both the ademic and commercial sectors, and features three UCD School of Archaeology staff members; Prof Graeme Warren, Prof Gabriel Cooney, and Dr Ben Elliott. Their work is published in the April issue of Antiquity, as a featured Project Gallery.

Hermitage is a unique site within Irish Prehistory. 9,300 years ago, on a high bluff overlooking the River Shannon, groups of Mesolithic hunter-gatherers congregated to cremate, bury and remember deceased members of their community in a very special way. These are the oldest recorded burials in Ireland, containing evidence for a complex set of funerary traditions which involved advanced pyrotechnology, the ritualised treatment of everyday objects and the building of grave markers. With the support of the Royal Irish Academy, H|A|R|P has undertaken a new survey project, in order to better understand the landscape context of these burials.


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