The Archaeology of Early Medieval Ireland. Nancy Edwards.

The only problem with this book is that everything it says is important. You can’t actually underline everything. It took me months to read, mostly because I had to stop every few pages to let my brain process the chockfull o’ goodness facts. I may well have to read it again to hope to get a good grasp on what’s here. Because it’s all here. What archaeology tells us about housing, food, clothing, artisans, artwork, weapons and fighting techniques, church architecture, and agriculture in early medieval Ireland.

I do wish there were a newer edition of the book. It was originally published in 1990 and a great deal has been discovered in the two decades since. Like Linn Duachaill. Indeed, her description of how little we know about Viking settlement in Ireland, particularly outside areas that developed into large cities (i.e. Dublin, and to a lesser extent Waterford) underscores the importance of the Linn Duachaill discovery.

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