Archaeological conference to examine links between sacred places, community and heritage

The connection that people and communities feel to sacred places are among the themes to be explored at a conference on sacred sites and the significance of pilgrimage to be held in Dublin Castle on Saturday 5 October 2019.

The conference, Encountering the Sacred, the archaeology and heritage of pilgrimage, is presented by the National Monuments Service of the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht in partnership with the Office of Public Works and organised by Archaeology Ireland.

The one-day conference will bring together archaeologists, historians and experts in culture and heritage to discuss how pilgrimage is understood through the ages as both a spiritual and a cultural experience. It will examine the wider archaeological and heritage contexts of pilgrimage and the part that sacred sites and monuments play in creating a sense of place and community.

Some Irish pilgrimage sites are known worldwide but many others are remembered only within a small area or are forgotten and seldom visited.

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Josepha Madigan TD said:

“Many of the places of ancient pilgrimage on this island are some of the most revered and wonderful monuments in our care. They span thousands of years, from the earliest origins of society and ritual belief to the medieval Christian period.

As we look to a future in which perhaps we will increasingly find ourselves seeking places of quiet retreat, recreation and rest, we must hold dear our obligation to ensure that these places are protected for generations to come.”

Scholars and religious practitioners from Ireland, the UK, Europe and the United States will present a wide range of papers on pilgrimage across the island, the globe and through the ages.

The conference takes place on Saturday, 5 October 2019, in The Printworks, Dublin Castle.

For details of speakers, see https://archaeologyireland.ie/encountering-the-sacred/

Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, 23 Kildare Street, Dublin , D02 TD30. Tel: 01 631 3800 / LoCall: 1890 383 000

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