DfC Historic Environment presents an annual HERoNI Lecture Series, providing an insight into our local heritage, archaeology and more.

All of the HERoNI events are free to attend and will be hosted on Zoom at the date and times listed.

In line with government advice, most upcoming events are being moved online where possible. As we anticipate social distancing measures will be in place for some time, we have taken the decision to conduct a short series of HERoNI lectures online for the coming season.

The Topography of a Tall Tale: local history and folklore sources for the topographic aspects of Táin Bó Cúailnge

Friday 15 January 2021, 1pm
Speaker: Paul Gosling, an archaeologist who lectures part-time in the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology.

Existing studies of topography in Táin Bó Cúailnge (TBC) are largely predicated on published editions of Recensions I-III of the story as preserved in manuscripts such as Lebor na hUidre, the Book of Leinster and Egerton 93. However, local histories and folklore also contain information regarding the movement of Queen Medb, Cúchulainn and the Ulster army in TBC. This lecture identifies the existence of ‘route-lore’ as a specific category of information in these sources. Their significance for the study of TBC is evaluated, including the question of the origination of this material.

Burials and Society in Early Bronze Age Ireland

Friday 12 February 2021, 1pm
Speaker: Dr Cormac McSparron, Department of Archaeology and Palaeoecology, Queen’s University Belfast

Just before the start of the Bronze Age, around 2200BC, in what archaeologists call the Copper Age, a new type of burial appeared in Ireland. These were the burials of individuals with the remains usually placed in a stone box, or cist, and accompanied by a funerary pot. Over the next six hundred years this basic funerary ritual changed and developed, with new funerary practices added to this set of burial rituals, more frequent and opulent grave goods, and over time a gradual replacement of unburnt inhumation by cremation burials. It is likely that this increasing sophistication in the variety of funerary practice indicates an increasingly complex structuring of society, and during this period complex societies with powerful elites may have emerged.  This lecture will describe the changes to the funerary practices of the era, how this shows the changing nature of society in Ireland at this time, and what factors may have been behind these changes.

The 18th and 19th century fanlight families of Northern Ireland

Friday 23 April 2021, 1pm
Speaker: Nessa Roche, Architectural Historian

This talk will look at the designs of fanlights, which contain numerous interesting variations on basic themes, with some unusual or extraordinary outliers only ever made for one terrace or a single house. It will also look at what they are made of and what we know of who designed and made them. In reality fanlight designs do not recognise any borders: I will emphasise that when they were in their heyday there was no border and fashions were island-wide – and indeed took inspiration from GB too.

Celtic Crosses, Identity and Symbolism in late 19th and early 20th Century Belfast

Friday 4 June 2021, 1pm
Speaker: Bronagh Patricia Murray, Archaeologist

This lecture investigates identity and ideology in late 19th and early 20th century Belfast, by analysing the use and symbolism of the Celtic cross in the city’s graveyards. This lecture will examine the religious and cultural identities of the deceased and those who commemorated them.

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