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Posted: 31 March 2006

UCD archaeology student wins international award for research on human settlements

The Medieval Settlement Research Group (MSRG) has awarded the John Hurst MA Dissertation Prize 2006 to Jonathan Kinsella a UCD archaeology student. This is the second time in the prize’s two-year history that a UCD student has won the award.

The MSRG is a group of archaeologists, geographers, historians and other academics who work co-operatively to advance our knowledge of human settlements of all kinds. The Group’s interest is concentrated on the period between the 5th and 16th centuries.

Kinsella’s dissertation titled Locating the Poor and Unfree of Early Medieval Ireland was commended by the MSRG panel for having ‘an extremely interesting angle and strong reflective analysis.’ is. A summary of this research, which he wrote as part of his MA in Landscape Archaeology, will be published in the MSRG Annual Report 2006.

Kinsella is currently employed as an archaeological researcher engaged in the excavations of the NRA/Meath County Council M3 motorway.

Last year, the prize was awarded to Tríona Nicholl (MA Archaeology of Art and Architecture) for her thesis titled The Use of Domestic Space in Irish Early Medieval Roundhouses: An Experimental Archaeological Approach. She is now pursuing her research topic to PhD level.

According to Dr Graeme Warren a lecturer at the UCD School of Archaeology ‘the fact that UCD students have won the prize two years in a row clearly demonstrates that our MA programmes are among the best internationally.’

Dr Aidan O’Sullivan, a senior lecturer at the UCD School of Archaeology, who supervised both of the award-winning dissertations, is confident that a UCD student could win the prize again next year. ‘I’m looking forward to future postgraduate research on early medieval and medieval topics’ he said.

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