The Líos: ephemera

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The Lios – Information Sheet

Letter to Emma Johnston of the Triskel Arts Centre,
16th September, 2004

Email from Diarmuid Ó’Giolláin,
6th August, 2003
“The word is ‘lios’ (gen. ‘leasa’, pl. ‘liosanna’). It is commonly used in English, particularly in the south, and appears in the anglicized versions of place-names as ‘Lis(s)-‘. It is one of several words for what archaeologists call ‘ringforts’. They are also commonly called ‘raths’ (Ir. ‘ráth’) or ‘(fairy) forts’. Ringforts are dated between the 5th and 10 th centuries AD and were enclosed farmsteads (the circular shape is from the earthen bank and the dyke). Nearly 50,000 have been identified. You’ll find a brief and succinct overview in the Atlas of the Rural Irish Lanscape (ed. Aalen , Whelan and Stout), pp. 44-47. [read more]

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