The Materiality of Cultural Resilience: The Archaeology of Struggle and Transformation in Post-famine Ireland
Author(s): Stephen Brighton
Cultural resilience or collapse has been the focus for the study of prehistoric and proto-historic societies. Little, if any work in historical archaeology, or the archaeology of the modern world, has linked the impact of traumatic natural events and social, economic, and political structures to how cultural groups respond. In this paper, cultural resilience theory is employed to discuss the capacity of a culture to maintain and transform its world-view, cultural identity, and critical cultural knowledge. In this context, extreme events, challenges, and societal or cultural stressors inhibit or test the structure of a culture. Such is the context of the decades following Ireland’s Great Hunger. This presentation details the on-going research on Ireland’s cultural resilience in terms of the impact of the mid-nineteenth century Great Hunger. This paper focuses on the author’s archaeological research in Skibbereen, County Cork seeking to find the material manifestation of cultural resilience in the decades following the Great Hunger. The aim is to use the material remains to illustrate how Ireland’s cultural structure once on the brink of collapse was resilient enough to transform after losing half its population to either emigration or death.
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The Materiality of Cultural Resilience: The Archaeology of Struggle and Transformation in Post-famine Ireland. Stephen Brighton. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 445076)
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min long: -13.711; min lat: 35.747 ; max long: 8.965; max lat: 59.086 ;
Abstract Id(s): 22075