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CELTIC-L  September 2006

CELTIC-L September 2006

Subject:

RSAI Tara leture series: Call for papers

From:

Vincent Salafia <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

CELTIC-L - The Celtic Culture List.

Date:

Sat, 2 Sep 2006 04:18:31 -0700

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (191 lines)

[Please distribute the following call for papers]

Call for Papers

‘Tara of the Kings’ 

A series of lectures taking place at the Royal Society of Antiquaries
of Ireland (RSAI) in Autmun 2006, examining the nature, extent and
significance of the Hill of Tara national monument, including the
archaeological complex and historical landscape.

------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- -

"…an act of cultural vandalism as flagrant as ripping a knife through a
Rembrandt painting" 

– Professor Dennis Harding, Department of Archaeology, Edinburgh
University

------------ --------- --------- --------- --------- --------- -

This powerful metaphor comes closest to expressing the horror felt by
many at the prospect of Tara being brutally ‘excavated’ by machine, and
then straddled with a four-lane toll road and a fifty-acre interchange.

What is happening at is for many a line in the sand, a point of no
return. What exactly is so important about this place, that is has
sparked such a furore over the last six years, which only keeps growing
bigger, nationally and internationally? 

This is the topic that will be explored at a series of lectures to be
held every Saturday, in Autumn 2006, at the Helen Roe Theatre, Royal
Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, 63 Merrion Square, Dublin. Each
lecture will be followed by a guided bus tour to Tara.

Many leading Irish literary and academic figures have already committed
to giving papers, including Dr. Laim Leonard of NUI Galway Geography
Department, author of Green Nation: the Irish Environmental Movement
from Carnsore Point to the Rossport 5 http://tarawatch. org/?p=147 and
Dr. Dáithí Ó hÓgáin of UCD Folklore Department, and author of A
Stranger comes to Tara http://tarawatch. org/?p=151

The proceedings of the lecture series will be published and edited by
Pulitzer-prize- winning poet, Professor Paul Muldoon, of Princetown
University. ‘Tara of the Kings’, the title of the series, is inspired
his poem of the same title, which appeared in The Irish Times on
Saturday, 24 June 2006. http://tarawatch. org/?p=87

The Society was founded in 1849 in Kilkenny 'to preserve, examine and
illustrate all ancient monuments and memorials of the arts, manners and
customs of the past, as connected with the antiquities, language,
literature and history of Ireland.'

This lecture series is being organized by TaraWatch, with the venue 
being kindly made available by the Royal Society of Antiquaries of
Ireland (http://www.rsai. ie) Aideen Ireland, President of the Society,
recently wrote a letter to The Irish Times, 5 May 2005, (below) the day
Minister Roche gave his Directions to proceed with the current route of
the M3, stating:

“Over one hundred years ago this Society campaigned vigorously to have
ill considered excavations by the British-Israelites on the Hill of
Tara stopped. On that occasion the excavations ceased and the site was
preserved. It would be a scandal if Tara, saved on that occasion, were
now to be sacrificed in the interests of short-term progress.” *

TOPICS:

Papers should take no more than 30 minutes to deliver.

Arguments relating to the importance of Tara deal with matters such as
- The nature of the site. Is it a single unified monument, unified
landscape, a complex of monuments, or a collection of unrelated
monuments? What about the historical and ceremonial landscape?
- The extent of the site. Where does the
hill/landscape/ monument/ complex begin and end? 
- The national and international importance of the site in terms of
artistic, architectural, traditional, historical and archaeological
value. Prevalence in early and later Irish literature and mythology.
Importance to the political and legal history of Ireland.
- Contemporary importance of the hill as a cultural asset, tourist
destination, area of scenic beauty, rural environment, spiritual
retreat and sustainable resource.
- The prevalence of Tara in early Irish literature

==

Please address proposals to Vincent Salafia, [log in to unmask] org
TaraWatch, Suite 108, The Capel Building, Mary's Abbey. Dublin 7. 
http://www.tarawatch.org 

==

Letter to the Editor - The Irish Times, 5 May 2006

Dear Madam,

The Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland notes the commitment of
this Government to the enshrinement of Tara at the present Expo in
Japan. How fortunate for the Japanese, and other visitors to Expo, to
be able to experience this unique site. What should be their experience
should they ever come to Ireland to see the site and monuments for
themselves?

It is not yet too late for the Minister for the Environment to be
courageous in the matter of the proposed road through the greater
Tara/Skryne valley. Here great and total damage will be inflicted on
the archaeological monuments which lie adjacent to the proposed route
and interchange of the new road - if the road, as presently designed,
is allowed to go ahead.

Over one hundred years ago this Society campaigned vigorously to have
ill considered excavations by the British-Israelites on the Hill of
Tara stopped. On that occasion the excavations ceased and the site was
preserved. It would be a scandal if Tara, saved on that occasion, were
now to be sacrificed in the interests of short-term progress.
The Society further urges the Minister to declare the greater
Tara/Skryne valley an area of outstanding national and international
significance and to grant it the same degree of protection as is
afforded to the Boyne Valley.

The cases of Woodstown and Tara highlight the potential for conflict
between the perceived development needs of the country and the need to
preserve, document and research our physical heritage as represented by
the many thousand archaeological sites in the country. This Society
calls on the Minister to ensure that planning, development and cultural
policies preserve our rich archaeological heritage for present and
future generations of researchers and for the enjoyment and education
of the public. If this is not done then future generations will
castigate us as cultural vandals in the same way as we look back in
amazement at some of the 'improvement' actions of previous generations.
It is not yet too late for a courageous decision. Let us hope that we
do not have to travel to Japan to experience the real Tara!

Yours faithfully,
Aideen Ireland
President RSAI

===

TARA OF THE KINGS

By Paul Muldoon - The Irish Times - Saturday, 24 June 2006. 

WE MET AT THE SUMMER SOLSTICE
WHEN EVERYTHING STOOD STILL
HER SLOPING AWAY LIKE ISEULT
LEFT ME OVER THE HILL
I RAISED THE CHAMBER IN THE MOUND
THE OAK-FRINGED SACRED SPRING
THAT FEEDS THE STREAMS THAT RUN AROUND / TARA OF THE KINGS

SHE WAS THROUGH WITH CARBON DATING
STAKEHOLDERS WITH NO HAIR
SHE WAS THROUGH WITH MONSTER MEETINGS
IN FLATS OFF PARNELL SQUARE
SHE WAS THROUGH WITH CROWNED AND UNCROWNED
YEW TREES WITH COUNTLESS RINGS
THE DITCH THAT USED TO RUN AROUND / TARA OF THE KINGS

COULD WE WHO ENDURED THE PENAL
AND EDWARD POYNING’S LAWS
(NEVER MIND THE BEEF TRIBUNAL) 
NOW SOMEHOW BE IN AWE
OF A ROAD RUNNING THROUGH THE GROUND
ON WHICH STOOD OUR ALTHING
AND NOT ENSURE IT RUN AROUND / TARA OF THE KINGS?

WE KNOW THE STONE OF DESTINY
WAS SET UP IN THIS SOIL
NOW THE SOLDIERS OF DESTINY
ARE SET TO BANK THE SPOILS
AND LEST THEY WISH TO BE RENOWNED
FOR RAPE AND RAVISHING
THEY’LL NOT GIVE US THE RUNAROUND / ON TARA OF THE KINGS

WE’RE FATED TO BE REMEMBERED
AS SPOILERS OF THE DEAD

AND THOUGH WE SEEM QUITE UNHAMPERED
BY HONOUR OR BY DREAD
YET WE ARE DREAD- AND HONOUR-BOUND 
TO OUR UNBORN OFFSPRING 
TO ENSURE THE M3 RUN AROUND/ TARA OF THE KINGS


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