Stone boats, intertidal roads & kelp grids: new research into intertidal archaeology on Ireland’s west Coast

Lecture by Mick Gibbons

Friday 26 January 2024 at 8.00pm

Sligo Education Centre (on ATU Sligo campus)

Non-members of Sligo Field Club:  €5 entry


With an estimated sea-level rise on the west coast of up to 5 metres since the Mesolithic it is not surprising that our intertidal zone contains a wide variety of ancient monuments and artefacts dating back almost 10,000 years. Among the more significant finds are holy wells, trackways and the largest of all, giant kelp grids, dating from the kelp age of the 19th century. In addition, an array of intertidal walls, wooden platforms and a wide variety of fish traps are present. Among the earliest features to be encountered are log boats, Mesolithic middens and a number of Neolithic and Bronze Age burial monuments.

Michael Gibbons is an Independent Archaeologist and former co-director of the National Sites and Monuments Record, Office of Public Works where he was responsible for the preliminary archaeological survey of the following Connaught Counties: Sligo, Leitrim, Mayo and Roscommon. He previously served on both the Archaeology Committee of the Heritage Council and the Folklore of Ireland Council. He has a specialist interest in Coastal and Upland archaeology. He is also keenly interested in cultural resource management in Ireland including the complex question of monument authenticity as it pertains to the conservation and reconstruction of our National Monuments, in particular the World Heritage sites of Sceilg Mhichíl (Skellig Michael) and Newgrange. He is a long-term member of the Institute of Archaeologists of Ireland and also runs an archaeological travel business throughout Ireland.