Geoarchaeology of a Dunefield Shell Midden Site in County Sligo, Ireland


This paper presents the preliminary results of a geoarchaeological investigation of an expansive shell midden site in a dunefield blowout area known as the Shelley Valley in Carrowdough, Co. Sligo, Ireland. Based on the results of the various geophysical and archaeological methodologies we employed at this site during the summer of 2015, we examine changes through time in the ways people utilized the seashore and its resources. Western Ireland is an ideal location in which to study temporally diverse human-marine interactions because of the long-standing reliance on coastal resources in the region. This research focuses on temporality of subsistence and usage practices at the site to examine long- and short-term processes of human-environmental relationships. We present zooarchaeological analyses of core samples and surface counts as well as the radiocarbon dates we obtained from burnt hearth material and animal bones from the site. We also present our geophysical survey results, which illuminate the ancient landscape buried under this dunefield and illustrate the use of such technologies for sand dune site zonation studies.

Cite this Record

Geoarchaeology of a Dunefield Shell Midden Site in County Sligo, Ireland. Katharine Napora, James Bonsall, Stuart Rathbone. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 405340)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections


Spatial Coverage

min long: -11.074; min lat: 37.44 ; max long: 50.098; max lat: 70.845 ;