, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 35-48
Date: 26 Apr 2006

Social Archaeologies of “Utopian” Settlements in Ireland

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In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century a number of “Ideal” or “Utopian” type settlements were established across Ireland. These tended to be religious groupings or “model” communities associated with industry. In the southwest a number of short-lived cooperative communities were established along Owenite principles which continue to play an integral part in the radical histories of the country. This paper examines the archaeologies of these sites and analyses the role of individual in their formation and collapse and addresses the social archaeology of their construct and layout. It is suggested that contemporary hierarchical norms were actually reproduced in these communities and this segregation is reflected in the physical morphology of the settlements.