Prof Frank Prendergast

Lecture Weds 19th September – Prof Frank Prendergast, Dublin Institute of Technology – “From Neolithic to Iron Age—three case studies in Irish archaeoastronomy”

For the season opener we are very pleased to welcome Prof Frank Prendergast from Dublin.

 In his presentation, Frank will focus on contrasting prehistoric monuments where he has made significant discoveries. 
  • The Iron Age post enclosure at Lismullin, Co. Meath, discovered by top-soil stripping associated with the recent development of the M3 motorway, was an extraordinary ceremonial and ritual complex. It is now ranked as one of the most important Irish archaeological discoveries in recent years. The timber structure was the embodiment of structural perfection and symmetry and had an important astronomical alignment, indicative of its importance to the community that built it around 455 BC. 
  • The Neolithic passage tomb at Slieve Gullion, Co. Armagh is now known to be aligned on the setting sun at the winter solstice and is annually celebrated as a cultural heritage event of growing importance. The survey methodology used to make this discovery will be described, as will the broader cultural context and symbolism of the phenomenon. 
  • The third case study will present the author's findings relating to Ireland's largest stone circle located at Grange in Co. Limerick. This Neolithic monument was built  around 2,900 BC and embodies all the hallmarks of a ceremonial complex. But was it used as a calendrical device as is popularly believed? The speaker will confront those questions head on!                 

Doors open about 7.15pm. There is free parking available on the campus in the evenings. Admission Free, including light refreshments. We are located in the Bell Theatre, Department of Mathematics and Physics, QUB – details here……

With thanks to the Astrophysics Research Centre, QUB, for assistance with this event.

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