Date Thesis Awarded


Access Type

Honors Thesis -- Access Restricted On-Campus Only

Degree Name

Bachelors of Arts (BA)




Audrey Horning

Committee Members

Martin Gallivan

Patricia Wesp


Northern Ireland rests on the bones of a colonial project known as the Ulster Plantation, begun in the seventeenth century by an English government looking to reestablish control over the island of Ireland. The legacy of those fraught beginnings has echoed through the centuries and is consistently drawn upon in the current ethno-religious conflict in the area. Outreach programs that utilize archeological research on this period (such as the Corrymeela Community) seeking to bridge the divide between these communities find unifying historical narratives within the two dominant groups they are attempting to connect with, typically identified as Catholic Nationalist Republicans (CNRs) and Protestant Unionist Loyalists (PULs). In general terms, the Nationalists remember the plantation period as one of great pain and suffering for their ancestors, when they were displaced from their homes and stripped of their culture. The Unionists remember the founding of Ulster as the beginning of their residency on the island, perhaps even going as far as to consider their ancestors as the tamers of a vast, uncivilized wilderness. These perspectives are fundamentally at odds, creating conflict between two groups who both see themselves as the rightful occupants of the land. The historical memory of Northern Ireland is one of division between Catholics and Protestants since the introduction of English rule during the plantation period. What happens when archeological evidence blurs that dichotomy?

On-Campus Access Only