Crossing the battlefield: Archaeology, nationalism, and practice in Irish historical archaeology
Author(s): Audrey Horning
‘In other countries the past is the neutral ground of the scholar and the antiquary, with us it is the battlefield.’ The Nation, Dublin 1852. Questions of nationalism and identity are inescapable within Irish archaeology, with interpretations of all sites shaped by the convoluted relationship between Britain and Ireland. Nationalist rhetoric in the Republic ensured that archaeological research prioritised periods predating English control, while in Northern Ireland the unresolved conflict between the two traditions, rooted in early modern British expansion, frustrates attempts at nation building through evocation of agreed upon pasts. The recent development of later historical archaeology in Ireland is critically considered in light of the challenges of nationalism, identity, and politics. The ambiguous nature of the relationship between Ireland and Britain provides a useful space to consider new ways of addressing the relationship between colonialism, nationalism and identity of value to historical archaeology more generally.
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Crossing the battlefield: Archaeology, nationalism, and practice in Irish historical archaeology. Audrey Horning. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. 2014 ( tDAR id: 436965)
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