Rathgall Hidden Heritage Project

An upcoming project under the title of ‘Hidden Heritage’ seeks to make our existing information about Rathgall Hillfort accessible to wider audiences via a range of digital technologies and provides an exciting opportunity for interested groups and individuals to become involved. We had an introductory zoom meeting about this project on 22nd February 2021 which was attended by representatives from the West Wicklow Historical Society, the Carlow Historical society and local interested individuals.

Katharina Becker, editor of the Rathgall excavations monograph, UCC, Andy Wilson of Bradford University and James O’Driscoll, Aberdeen University gave an overview of  the richness of the  archaeological landscape at  Rathgall  and described the potential for innovative technologies to transform how we view and understand our heritage.

About the project

We aim to reveal ‘hidden’ heritages via digital means. Focusing on a number of trial landscapes we will explore how modern technologies can help to make knowledge about places – be it archaeological, built heritage, natural heritage or folk histories and local stories – accessible to all. We are also looking at the potential of cutting edge technologies to make these places accessible to those who cannot visit via virtual walking tours, 3D scans and similar. Similarly, sites may located be on private land and not accessible – virtual tours and images may allow ‘virtual’ visits. We will experiment with technologies that will allow the visitor of the place to access different narratives of sites, including interpretations of the excavation record or information on the finds from these sites that reside in the Museum.

The project will be a space for local communities to contribute their stories and memories of the place and actively engage in shaping its representation and future. One of our case study regions is Co. Wicklow, specifically the site of Rathgall and its landscape. We are looking to make the excavation results and finds virtually accessible and undertake remote survey via drone with a multispectral camera that will reveal subsurface archaeology. It would be great to link in with local community groups, specifically on the heritage (archaeological, folklore, natural) of the place to tell the many stories of this place – including those of the locals who partook in Barry Raftery’s excavations in the 1960is/70’s. If there is a desire on the side of the local community to make this part of a broader regional heritage action, we are interested in having a chat to explore options.

The project team are looking to engage with interested groups and invdividuals, if you would like to join our e mail list for updates please e mail dburns@wicklowcoco.ie 


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