Waddell (John)

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Schot, Roseanne, John Waddell, and Joe Fenwick, “Geophysical survey at Rathcroghan 2010–2012”, Emania 23 (2016): 51–59.  

Following an extensive programme of geophysical survey at Rathcroghan published in 2009, five hitherto unexplored areas were surveyed using magnetic gradiometry in 2010–12. In an area south of Oweynagat a faint circular anomaly 20m in diameter and an equally faint arc some 8m across are of possible archaeological significance. Survey between the linear earthworks known as the Mucklaghs did not reveal any definite archaeological features but examination of Cashelmanannan demonstrates this is a complex multiperiod site. East of Rathcroghan Mound and its surrounding 360m enclosure, the geophysical evidence suggests that the avenue approaching the great mound does not extend beyond the enclosure limits. An area on the northwest was also investigated but apart from a semi-circular anomaly proved to be featureless. The latter, a possible ring-ditch, does indicate the possibility of significant features adjacent to and outside the enclosure.

Waddell, John, “The cave of Crúachain and the Otherworld”, in: Borsje, Jacqueline, Ann Dooley, Séamus Mac Mathúna, and Gregory Toner (eds), Celtic cosmology: perspectives from Ireland and Scotland, Papers in Mediaeval Studies 26, Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 2014. viii + 316 pp. 77–92.
Waddell, John, Archaeology and Celtic myth: an exploration, Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2014.  
Chapters: 1. Confronting ancient myth; 2. The Otherworld hall on the Boyne; 3. The elusive image; 4. In pursuit of the Otherworld; 5. The horse goddess; 6. The goddess of sovereignty; 7. Sacral kingship; Epilogue.
Many people are familiar with the Irish archaeological landscapes of Newgrange and the Boyne Valley, and the royal sites of Rathcroghan in Co. Roscommon, Navan in Co. Armagh and Tara in Co. Meath. In this book, John Waddell focuses on aspects of the mythology associated with these places, demonstrating that elements of pre-Christian Celtic myth preserved in medieval Irish literature shed light on older traditions and beliefs, not just in Ireland but elsewhere in Europe as well. Their mythological associations permit the exploration of the archaeological implications of several mythic themes, namely sacral kingship, a sovereignty goddess, solar cosmology and the perception of an Otherworld.
(source: Four Courts Press)
Waddell, John, “Continuity, cult and contest”, in: Schot, Roseanne, Conor Newman, and Edel Bhreathnach (eds.), Landscapes of cult and kingship, Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2011. 192–212.  
The degree to which pagan traditions influenced early medieval Irish literature has been the subject of some debate. The phrase a window on the Iron Age once encapsulated a view that epic tales in particular depicted a real prehistoric past. The general rejection of this thesis has accentuated a perception of a wide gulf between pagan and Christian Ireland. Archaeology now offers considerable evidence for continuity in funerary ritual, art and monument usage between pagan pre-Christian times and the early Medieval era. This is especially evident at archaeological complexes such as Teltown (Tailtiu), Rathcroghan (Cruachain) and Tara and in a number of literary references to pagan prophetic or divinatory practices at prehistoric burial mounds in Medieval times. The process of the Christianization of Ireland is often seen as an instance of religious syncreticism, a fusion of the old and the new, but the ready acceptance of a syncretic model obscures how complex, prolonged and contested this process may have been. {source: NUI Galway)
Waddell, John, Foundation myths: the beginnings of Irish archaeology, Bray: Wordwell, 2005.
Waddell, John, “The question of the Celticization of Ireland”, Emania: Bulletin of the Navan Research Group 9 (1991): 5–16.
Waddell, John, “Notes and queries: corrections: Rathcroghan”, Emania: Bulletin of the Navan Research Group 6 (Spring, 1989): 42.
Waddell, John, “Rathcroghan in Connacht”, Emania: Bulletin of the Navan Research Group 5 (Autumn, 1988): 5–18.


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