This free audio book Meitheal: Stories from Early Medieval Ireland gives glimpses of life in a large settlement in early medieval Ireland, sometime around the sixth or seventh century. The stories are based on the results of the archaeological excavation that was carried out at Raystown in 2004 in advance of the construction of the M2 Finglas to Ashbourne Motorway.
On a long, low ridge in the small townland of Raystown near Ashbourne in County Meath, archaeologists discovered the remains of a large and complex site that was once part of the ancient kingdom of Brega. The excavations revealed a place where people worked the fields, milled grains, feasted, lived and buried their dead well over a thousand years ago. This large farming settlement was to endure for at least 600 years, and this discovery produced a wealth of new insights into life in Early Medieval Ireland. This audio book weaves a number of fictional tales, informed by the excavation, to help to introduce some of the people who lived at Raystown, and includes references to artefacts that were found during the dig. You’ll meet the lord or flaith of the settlement, his bóaire who managed the farms and mills, a slave, and a wanderer. You’ll enjoy a feast for a King, and hear the aftermath of a raid on a rival settlement.
Many of the details in the tales were inspired by the remarkable discoveries by the archaeologists, and we are indebted to Matthew Seaver and his excavation team for unearthing these glimpses into the past. You can discover more about this incredible site in the publication; Meitheal; The Archaeology of Lives, Labours and Beliefs at Raystown County Meath. For more information please visit TII.ie.
This audio book was produced by Abarta Heritage for Transport Infrastructure Ireland. The script was written by Neil Jackman of Abarta Heritage with the specialist insights of Matthew Seaver and Terry O’Hagan. The audio book was recorded and produced by Róisín Burke and Declan Lonergan, and narrated by Sarah Jane Scott, Sam Lucas Smith and Danny Kehoe.