The Early Medieval Corn-Drying Kiln Database

The genesis of this collaboration was an MPhil thesis that was undertaken between 2009 and 2011 and awarded in the same year. This thesis explored the archaeobotanical assemblages from early medieval corn-drying kilns in Ireland and addressed issues relating to;

  • The form and function of corn-drying kilns
  • Distribution of remains within the overall structure
  • Crop processing activities carried out based on archaeobotanical assessments

This thesis was conducted under the supervision on Michael A. Monk who was the first to investigate the role of corn-drying kiln technology in the Irish archaeological landscape in the 1980’s. The sites from which samples for analysis have been selected are described in detail along with the various methodologies utilised in the completion of the research. Kiln typologies are discussed in light of recent development lead excavations and possible chronological frameworks are explored. The cereals of the early medieval period are explored in terms of local, regional and chronological variations where possible. Cereal dominance is also considered in light of documentary sources. Through the analysis of the archaeobotanical remains in this thesis, literary biases which underplay the role of arable agriculture in the early medieval period were¬†redressed.