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Visit by Minister Malcolm Noonan

On 30th May 2023, the team was delighted to share our research findings with Minister Malcolm Noonan, Minister of State for Nature, Heritage and Electoral Reform at the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage. Minister Noonan was accompanied by colleagues from his Department, including colleagues from the National Monuments Service, who are funding the INSTAR+ programme.

The FOODSEC team welcomed Minister Noonan to the laboratories at UCD School of Archaeology, where we helped him examine 3500-year-old cereal grains under the microscope. These grains were preserved because they had been burnt, perhaps falling into a fire when someone was preparing their dinner thousands of years ago. We also helped Minister Noonan learn how analysis of animal bone can provide key insights into past foodways.

Regulation of archaeological excavations by Minister Noonan’s department has enabled the team to access high-quality data from excavations across Ireland. We showed Minister Noonan how we are drawing upon this data to explore food-storage facilities in the distant past, and then consider findings in the light of more recent practices from folklife. The team also had the opportunity to discuss wider aspects of food security with Minister Noonan, reflecting on how we can learn from the past to better understand the present and plan for the future.

The project is funded by the Irish Research Council COALESCE Scheme (2022–2024; Strand 1L INSTAR+; Project ID: COALESCE/2022/1623)

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Contact UCD School of Archaeology

Newman Building, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.
T: +353 1 716 8312 | E: archaeology@ucd.ie