An IT Sligo archaeologist’s landmark study of the archaeology of caves in Ireland has won a prestigious UK Book of the Year award.
“The Archaeology of Caves in Ireland”, written by Dr Marion Dowd, was named Book of the Year at the 2016 Current Archaeology Awards in London. It was one of just six books to make the shortlist.
This is the first time that a book written by an Irish archaeologist – and a book on Irish archaeology – has won this prestigious accolade.
Dr Dowd lecturers in Prehistoric Archaeology at IT Sligo, and her book was the culmination of more than 10 years research.
Published by Oxbow Books, Oxford, “The Archaeology of Caves in Ireland” is the first book to examine how caves in any European country have been used through time.
Tracing how caves have been used over the 10,000 years of human occupation of Ireland, it starts with the oldest known ritual site in the country, Killuragh Cave in Co. Limerick.
The book features several of Dr Dowd’s excavations including a small cave on Knocknarea Mountain in Co Sligo where the dead were placed over 5,000 years ago to allow the corpses to decompose. Following this, the bones were brought to a secondary burial place.
Her work in Glencurran Cave in Co. Clare is also included. An excavation led by Dr Dowd uncovered the largest Viking necklace found in Ireland in 2004.
IT Sligo lecturer Dr Marion Dowd with her Current Archaeology Book of the Year Award 2016, which she received in London last Friday.