Performance, place and power at Dún Ailinne, a ceremonial site of the Irish Iron Age

Susan A. Johnston, Pam J. Crabtree, Douglas V. Campana

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Dún Ailinne is one of the major ceremonial sites of the Irish Iron Age (600 bce-ce 400), a time when society was becoming increasingly centralized. We argue that these sites were a focus for the process of centralization, facilitated by performance though the site's construction and use. Physical movement in the context of ritual has been shown to affect the perception of social relationships. These would have been experienced through performance, including movement through the landscape, the visual dominance of the hill and the site located on it, the hierarchical arrangement of spaces within the bank and ditch, and the resulting ways in which movement and access are gradually more constrained through time. Experienced through the medium of ritual performance, these various aspects would have reinforced ideas of power and elite status, providing a context in which such constraints could have been created, justified, maintained and perhaps resisted.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)206-223
    Number of pages18
    JournalWorld Archaeology
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - Mar 2014


    • Dún Ailinne
    • Irish Iron Age
    • Irish archaeology
    • Performance
    • archaeology of ritual
    • royal sites

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Archaeology
    • Archaeology
    • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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