Marcy Gurski

Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Smith, Fred H.

Degree Name

B.S. (Bachelor of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Anthropology


In the summer of 1996,1 participated in archaeological excavations at Mainistir Chiarain, a small monastic site located on the island of Inis Mor in County Galway, Ireland. The purpose of the excavations was to determine the age and function of the structure on, the south side of the site. The information gathered will be used to develop a better idea of how people lived within the religious community on the island in the Middle Ages. The surface structure, Building A was dated to the sixteenth or early seventeenth century based on pottery analysis. Further excavation led to the discovery of a subsurface structure, Building B, approximately dated to the fifteenth century, and two enclosing walls of indeterminate date. It is thought at present that Building E represents the last use of the grounds of Mainistir Chiarain as a religious community, and Building A represents the more recent use of the land for purely domestic purposes. The site of Mainistir may have at one time been an important religious center on the island, but it probably fell out of use during the Reformation. Further work will be done on the site in the summer of 1997. It is hoped that more subsurface remains will be found. These findings will help to establish a date for the establishment of the monastery and shed more light on the structure of Medieval religious society on Inis Mor.


Includes bibliographical references.


22, 8 pages, 8 unnumbered pages




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