Rathlin Landmark Publication 4 July 2012
Rathlin celebrated in landmark publication
Rathlin Island, Northern Ireland’s only inhabited offshore island, is celebrated in a stunning new publication launched today. ‘Rathlin Island: An Archaeological Survey of a Maritime Landscape’, explores the rich heritage of the island which has been inhabited continuously for over 7,000 years.
Published by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency, the book presents a comprehensive account of the archaeological, maritime and natural heritage of Rathlin Island and of the people who shaped its landscape.
The Department of Environment’s Permanent Secretary Leo O’Reilly visited the island to launch the book. Mr O’Reilly said: “This book is a celebration of the richness of island life. Its broad range explores stone–age tools to early medieval religious sites to the skin and wooden boats that enabled Rathlin to make contact with the outside world. “It also documents the fishing, farming and kelp industries that sustained island life and presents us with an understanding of how people have lived and worked on the island over the millennia.” Mr O’Reilly added: “This book is a fitting addition to the Agency’s internationally recognised, award–winning publications on archaeology and maritime archaeology. The principal authors, Wes Forsythe and Rosemary McConkey, and a host of specialist contributors deserve credit for providing such a broad ranging and fascinating portrait of island life.
”Author Wes Forsythe added: “Rathlin occupies a unique and enigmatic place in Irish archaeology, situated at a crossroads of cultural contact between Ireland and Scotland it has an incredible richness of archaeological remains and yet lacks some of our more common monuments – this work represents an attempt to come to grips with this complex and fascinating place.
The book is lavishly illustrated and its photographs, maps and drawings depict Rathlin in all its rugged beauty. It is written in an accessible style which will be of interest to the specialist and general reader alike.