Interpreting ‘Irishness’ in the Archaeological Record: A Northern Ireland Perspective

Author(s): Rachel Tracey

Year: 2018


The northern Irish town of Carrickfergus, in the seventeenth century, was a thriving settlement; home to a mixed population of English and Scottish settlers, in addition to a local Gaelic-Irish population. As such, the excavated material evidence is particularly suited to considerations of how we interpret, and eventually ascribe, identity in the archaeological record. Cultural identity, and expressions of such identity – be that Irishness, Britishness, or Ulster Scottishness – lie at the heart of existing sectarian divides and political histories in Northern Ireland, stemming from contested interpretations of British expansion into Ireland in the late sixteenth/early seventeenth century. A selection of artefacts from Carrickfergus will be presented to discuss the identification of ‘Irishness’ in material assemblages and our understanding of Irish society in the early modern period, particularly in relation to the role of choice in the use and adoption of material culture, and in terms of cross-class, cross-ethnicity material hybridity.

Cite this Record

Interpreting ‘Irishness’ in the Archaeological Record: A Northern Ireland Perspective. Rachel Tracey. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 445078)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 22507