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Title: The Maritime Archaeology of Lough Swilly, Co. Donegal, in the post-medieval era
Author: Montgomery, Paul
ISNI:       0000 0004 7653 0921
Awarding Body: Ulster University
Current Institution: Ulster University
Date of Award: 2015
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The objective of this thesis is to investigate the post-medieval intertidal and coastal archaeology (1600-1850) of Lough Swilly, Co. Donegal in the Republic of Ireland. The primary goal of this research was to establish a baseline of information on the post-medieval intertidal and coastal archaeology of this formerly unsurveyed zone. The project also sought to define the social and economic activities that took place in this environment and their impact on the surrounding landscape. The research resulted in the discovery of a number of stone and wooden fish traps along the shore of the Lough. These discoveries have established the importance of intertidal fisheries in the post-medieval period. Analysis of the construction of the traps revealed a number of formerly unknown features such as the utilization of wood types, such as Scots pine {Pirns sp.) and Gorse {Ulex sp). The discovery of a composite (wood and stone) fish trap formally unknown in Ireland but common in Scotland (Hale 2005), suggests the possibility of the importation of a new fishing method to the area by Scottish immigrants in the post-medieval period. The investigation of the seaweed industry in the Lough, which covered an area of 828.9ha of the intertidal zone at its zenith, has highlighted the major role of seaweed in post- medieval agriculture and society. The discovery of a number of new monument types relating to seaweed propagation constitutes some of the largest man made monuments known in the intertidal zone, and represents an important addition to the archaeological record. This indicated the intensive utilisation of a range of seaweed and intertidal resources (shells and mud) in the rundale farming system, which was organised and regulated by farmers via customary law. The development of the post-medieval economy was shaped by the expansion of agriculture and prompted the reclamation of marginal land. Reclamation was a constant feature of landscape development in Lough Swilly in the post-medieval period. Finally, the thesis provides a comprehensive overview of a period in which changing technologies, ownership, settlement foci and the economic mode of production were actively reshaping the landscape and coastline of the Lough.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available