Today, I met with the students in the one-week intensive experimental archaeology class at University College Dublin at the Centre for Experimental Archaeology and Material Culture. I was invited to guest teach because the entire day was focused on food and using the experimental approach to understanding food-related technologies in the past.
The day kicked off with a presentation by Seamas Caulfield who delivered an absolutely brilliant presentation on early grain production in Ireland. Following his presentation the students had the opportunity to try their hand at both a saddle quern and rotary quern to grind various grains. Seamas may be the most engaging speaker I have ever encountered – he can tell a story so expertly that you feel like you are actually there. This is an amazing talent, especially when trying to engage an audience and connect them with the past. Following Seamas is, without a doubt, a difficult task!
My presentation focused on the role of foraging for wild plants both in deep prehistory and the present.
Following the presentation I took the students on a foray through the UCD campus where they had an opportunity to identify and taste some of the wild plants growing all around them. Looking forward to many more experiences with UCD students this year!