finn-iconThis cultural landscape project, focused on Ireland, Isle of Man and Scotland, is a collaboration between landscape archaeology, geology, wildlife ecology, place-names and Celtic literature. It proposes that the mythological border hero, Finn mac Cumaill, is a personification of kings’ lands dedicated to elite threshold practices including assembly, battle and hunting on the boundaries of territories. These lands, onto which mythologies of Finn were layered, are identifiable by their striking topographies, atypical bedrock, natural resources, prehistoric monuments and early churches. The project has important consequences for understanding how territories were created and how their natural and cultural resources were identified and controlled in the past. The results will be published in journal papers and as an atlas.

Contact: elizabeth.fitzpatrick@nuigalway.ielough-leane


Core Team

Prof Elizabeth FitzPatrick NUI Galway (director; archaeology)
Dr Ronan Hennessy UCC (geology and GIS)
Dr Paul Naessens (aerial survey)
Dr Liam Ó hAisibéil NUI Galway (place-names)
Colette Allen (field and desk-based research)
Sam Kinirons
Richard Long
Helen Riekstins

Advisors and Collaborators

Dr David Caldwell (Finlaggan project Islay)
Dr Ruth Carden (wildlife ecology)
Prof Stephen Driscoll University of Glasgow (historical archaeology)
Dr Stuart Jeffrey, Glasgow School of Art (Staff project: heritage visualisation)
Dr Peter McNiven, University of Glasgow (place-names)
Prof Joseph F. Nagy, Harvard (Celtic literature)