The Diachronic Landscape of Ceremony at the Irish "Royal" Site of Dun Ailinne

Author(s): Zenobie Garrett

Year: 2018


The site of Dún Ailinne (Knockaulin) in County Kildare is one of four major ceremonial sites of the Irish Iron Age. Although numerous ceremonial centers of various size dotted the Irish landscape, Dún Ailinne, along with Teamhair (Tara), Emain Macha (Navan Fort), and Crúachain (Rathcroghan,) stand out due to their size and location. These characteristics indicate that the sites would have been major foci of ceremonial activity, and would have impacted the ceremonial activity itself. Although excavations have largely focused on the sites themselves, archaeologists have long acknowledged the importance of the larger "sacred" landscape in which these major ceremonial sites are situated, postulating that their proximity, visually and physically, to other sites in the landscape would have had an important effect on the performance and experience of ritual and ceremony. As such, these landscapes are not "monolithic" entities of sacredness, but have unique developmental trajectories that may have played an important role in shaping and reflecting emerging ideas in the local community. This paper seeks to understand how the development and evolution of the larger landscape would have impacted the local performance and experience of ritual and ceremony at Dún Ailinne.

Cite this Record

The Diachronic Landscape of Ceremony at the Irish "Royal" Site of Dun Ailinne. Zenobie Garrett. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 444597)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -26.016; min lat: 53.54 ; max long: 31.816; max lat: 80.817 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 21576