Archaeological Publications

Archaeological Consultancy Services and its staff have contributed to a wide variety of publications in the last twenty years. Here are some of the more significant of these publications.



Corrstown: A Coastal Community. Excavations of a Bronze Age village in Northern Ireland by Victoria Ginn and Stuart Rathbone presents the results of the excavation and analysis of 76 Bronze Age structures excavated by Archaeological Consultancy Services between 2002 and 2003. Along with the well-publicised Bronze Age village, an Early Christian rath and rock-cut souterrain were investigated, together with the recovery of a small collection of Neolithic pottery. The excavation which was funded by the Kennedy Group was highly commended in the developer funded archaeology category of the British Archaeological Awards in 2004. The British Archaeological Awards are recognised as the UK's most prestigious in the field and are designed to celebrate the work of both amateur and professional archaeologists on a biennial basis. The publication of the excavation was funded by Archaeological Consultancy Services and Oxbow Books. Check Robert Chapple's blog for an in depth review of the book which can be purchased direct from Oxbow books or Amazon.



The Archaeology of Life and Death in the Boyne Floodplain, The Linear Landscape of the M4 by Neil Carlin and Linda Clarke of Archaeological Consultancy Services and Fintan Walsh of IAC Ltd. was published by the National Roads Authority in August 2008, and brings together the results of the extensive archaeological work that was undertaken on the M4 Kinnegad–Enfield–Kilcock motorway scheme (M4 KEK) prior to the commencement of construction. Archaeological Consultancy Services were awarded two of the three advance archaeological contracts. This publication represents a substantial contribution to our understanding of the early medieval period in particular but also of the early Iron Age and of later developments. The great scope of work presented in this monograph is indicative of the professionalism and enthusiasm of all of the archaeologists involved in the project. An accompanying CD-ROM to the publication incorporates various final excavation and specialist reports. It can be purchased directly from Wordwell Books.



Places along the way First Findings on the M3 edited by Mary Deevy (NRA) and Donald Murphy (ACS) presents substantial accounts of and reflections on eight of the most significant sites excavated by Archaeological Consultancy Services on the M3 Clonee to North of Kells motorway scheme between Dunboyne and Navan in County Meath—an area incorporating the broader landscape around the Hill of Tara. While the evidence from the sites concentrates heavily on the early medieval period, there are also substantial traces of prehistoric and later medieval activity. The book also contains an important contribution to the documentary evidence for later medieval settlement. For more details see the review and purchase information at Wordwell Books.


Generations Archaeology Book Page 1

Generations: The archaeology of five national road schemes in Co Cork (edited by Ken Hanley & Maurice Hurley) deals in two volumes with the results of the archaeological excavations carried out in advance of five national road schemes in Co. Cork. Three of these schemes, the M8 Rathcormac/Fermoy Bypass, the N22 Ballincollig Bypass and the N25 Youghal Bypass were carried out by ACS between 2001 and 2004. ACS staff have contributed significantly to this publication and the final archaeological reports for all the sites are included on a cd rom which comes with the book. For further details and to purchase copies of the publication see




Monumental Beginnings, The archaeology of the N4 Sligo Inner Relief Road by Ed Danaher is an account of the archaeological excavations carried out along the N4 route by Archaeological Consultancy Services. The excavations revealed significant archaeological activity dating back some 6,000 years and included a large ceremonial enclosure at Tonafortes and a causewayed enclosure at Magheraboy. More details can be found online at Wordwell books.



Clanricard's Castle, Portumna House, Co. Galway edited by Jane Fenlon is a richly illustrated book that brings together ten essays by experts in the fields of architecture, history, archaeology and art history, each throwing light on a different aspect of the planning, development and features of one of Ireland’s most important seventeenth-century buildings. Chapter 5, Portumna: the excavations by Donald Murphy & Victoria Ginn gives a full account of the excavations carried out at the castle between 1997 and 2009. The excavations were funded by the National Monuments Section and directed by Donald Murphy of Archaeological Consultancy Services. More details can be found on our Projects Page and the book itself can be purchased directly from Four Courts Press.


Clonmacnoise Studies

Donald Murphy of Archaeological Consultancy Services details the results of his excavation of a portion of the monastic enclosure at Clonmacnoise, Co. Offaly in Chapter 1 of Clonmacnoise Studies, Volume 2 edited by Heather A King. The excavation was carried out in 1999-2000 in advance of the construction of the new tourist office for the Midlands East Regional Tourism Authority. Finding the location of the vallum or enclosing ditch around a monastic site is often quite difficult in itself and archaeological excavation of these features are very rare. The enclosing ditch here was found to be very substantial measuring some 6m in width and 3.7m in depth. Taken together with a bank that would have been constructed from the excavated soil on the inside of the ditch, this would have been a very impressive rampart in its day. Radiocarbon dating of material recovered from the ditch indicated that it was backfilled in the eight/ninth century at a time that the monastery was expanding rapidly. A number of other features were also exposed during the excavation including two female inhumation burials. The book which includes ten other papers on various aspects of the Clonmacnoise monastic site can be purchased directly from Wordwell Books.


Settlement Early Medieval Ireland

Settlement in Early Medieval Ireland in the light of recent archaeological excavations (Edited by Christiaan Corlett and Michael Potterton) includes three papers on sites excavated by Archaeological Consultancy Services staff. The first of these by Ed Danaher (Chapter 8) details the excavation results of an Early medieval settlement at Curraheen, Co. Cork which was discovered and excavated by Archaeological Consultancy Services as part of the N22 Ballincollig By-pass Project. The second paper by Anne Marie Lennon et al (Chapter 15) reports on the Archaeological excavation of an early medieval enclosure at Leggetsrath West, Co. Kilkenny which was discovered and excavated by ACS in advance of the construction of the N77 Kilkenny Ring Road extension. The third paper by Donald Murphy (Chapter 17) gives an account of the Excavation of a multiperiod settlement site at Colp West, Co. Meath which was carried out on behalf of Shannon Homes in advance of the construction of the Grange Rath housing estate outside Drogheda. The book includes another twenty papers on various aspects of early medieval settlement and can be purchased directly from Wordwell.


Death and Burial

Linda Clarke and Tara O Neill of Archaeological Consultancy Services present two separate papers in Death and Burial in Early Medieval Ireland in the light of recent archaeological excavations (edited by Christiaan Corlett and Michael Potterton). Linda details the results of the excavation of Johnstown 1, Co. Meath: a multi period burial, settlement and industrial site where 461 inhumation burials were excavated in advance of the construction of the M4 Kinnegad Enfield Kilcock Motorway Scheme by ACS. The burial site was enclosed and was also used for settlement and industrial activities. Tara's paper deals with The changing character of early medieval burial at Parknahown 5, Co. Laois where Tara directed the ACS excavation of an early medieval enclosure containing 425 inhumation burials and a further 428 collections of disarticulated remains. The site at Parknahown was excavated as part of the M7/M8 Portlaoise to Cullahill Motorway Scheme. The book contains another 19 papers on early medieval burial and can be purchased directly from Wordwell.


Cois tSiuire

Cois tSiúire - nine thousand years of human activity in the Lower Suir Valley edited by James Eogan and Elizabeth Shee Twohig includes several contributions by ACS staff. Archaeological Consultancy Services carried out the excavations along Contract 1 of the N25 Waterford City By-pass and among other sites discovered the substantial remains of an early medieval vertical watermill at Killoteran and the internationally significant Viking settlement at Woodstown. This book includes details on all the excavated sites and the final archaeological and specialist reports are included on an accompanying CD. Cois tSiúire can be purchased directly from Wordwell Books.


Tara from the past to the future

Tara from the past to the future by Muiris O Sullivan, Chris Scarre and Maureen Doyle (eds) published in September 2013 includes a paper by Donald Murphy and Victoria Ginn on the M3 Motorway Excavations and Tara (Chapter 18). The excavations were conducted by Archaeological Consultancy Services between 2004 and 2009. The book builds on earlier research and includes significant insights about the human footprint on the hill and its hinterland. For a full list of papers and more details on the publication see


Co Louth Archaeological Journal

Volume 14 (Part 1, 1997) of the Journal of the County Louth Archaeological & Historical Society includes an article by Donald Murphy on the excavations which he conducted in 1994 on the site of the medieval Dominican Friary at The Magdalene Tower, Drogheda, Co. Louth. The article gives a full illustrated account of the excavations which revealed part of the original church and south chapel and associated burials, ten of which were found in situ and another 52 in a disarticulated state. For more details on how to purchase copies of the journal see the Society's website here.