Programma conferenza Bobbio / Announcing the Bobbio Conference 21-22 Nov. 2015

Siamo lieti di annunciare la terza conferenza del progetto europeo Making Europe: Columbanus and his Legacy dal titolo “L’ereditá di san Colombano. Memoria e culto attraverso il medioevo” che si svolgerá a Bobbio sabato 21 e domenica 22 novembre 2015.

We are delighted to announce the third and final conference in the 2015 Columbanian Series celebrating the 1400th anniversary of the saint.

The conference will take place in the Auditorium Santa Chiara, Bobbio, on the 21st and 22nd of November. The theme is the Legacy of Columbanus, memory and cult in the medieval period)

Introduction to conference theme: Presentazione convegno – introduction to the conference (Italian; translation to follow)

Il programma si trova al seguente link (click on this link to view the programme): new Programme BOBBIO 2015

For registration, payment, and practical information please follow this link:

Arca san colombano_trattata

For any other queries please email /per informazioni contatti:


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Making Europe: Columbanus and His Legacy Conference Series: Luxeuil September 16-20

This conference has been a huge success and a report will be added shortly.

Click on this link (programme colloque luxeuil 2015) to view the programme for the Luxeuil-les-Bains 2015 conference.

The programme may be subject to change, so please do drop back from time to time for up-dates.

The Conference Registration and Accommodation and Meals Form is appended to the programme and should be completed as soon as possible and returned to:

A Word version of this form is available here: fiche inscription colloque Luxeuil

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Making Europe: Columbanus and his legacy Conference Series: Bangor May 22-24

2376457687_a5a1d5ca0c_bClick on this link Conference Programme  to view the final programme for the Bangor 2015 Conference.

The programme is being updated regularly, so please check back from time to time.

For on-line registration and tickets for the conference excursions and dinner, please click here.

Accommodation at Bangor is booked through the Bangor Visitor Information Office at  (ph 0044 28 9127 0069)

For all other queries:

An A4 poster advertising the Conference Series is available at: Bangor conf poster . Please feel free to download it and circulate it as widely as possible.

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Bobbio Field School, February 2015


The second Columbanus: Life and Legacy field school at Bobbio has just wrapped up in the last few days with a quite spectacular discovery. The field school, organized by the Università del Piemonte Orientale, Dipartimento di Studi Umanistici, revolved around excavation in the Basilica di San Columbano. (opposite Prof. Destefanis conducts public talk on excavations)
The excavation was planned thanks to an agreement signed between the Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici dell’Emilia Romagna (the regional district office of the Italian Ministry of Culture and Heritage ) who granted permission for the work, and Università del Piemonte Orientale, which carried the field school and the organization of the excavation, directed by Roberta Conversi and Eleonora Destefanis.

Postgraduate students from Ireland, Italy, France and the USA participated in the school. In addition to the excavation experience and training, they had workshops from Thomas Chenal (University of Besançon) on 3D digital imaging, Yolande O’Brien (NUI 064_2015.02.21, us 34BGalway) on digital predictive modelling, and on the Bobbio and Clonmore reliquaries with Conor Newman and Cormac Bourke. As guests of Dr Roberta Conversi of the Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici dell‘Emilia-Romagna, they had study visits to Travo (Piacenza) and Parma.

The position of the cutting was guided by georadar survey in 2014 organised by Sebastian Bully (who excavated at Luxeuil and Annegray DSC02500and runs the Annegray Field School) on behalf of the Scientific Committee of the international Making Europe: Columbanus and his Legacy Project. At a depth of about 1.80m below the level of the nave of the Basilica, the excavators came down onto the threshold (above), jambs and façade of an earlier, possibly Romanesque, church. Among the finds are fragments of frescoes, stucco fragments and inscribed bricks.

DSCN4676Clearly, there is a lot more to be discovered at Bobbio.: the excavation has not yet reached the level of the famous mosaic floor in the crypt of the present church. We hope to find the resources to do this over the next few years. Meanwhile, the project is indebted to the Andrew Mellon Foundation for sponsoring the students to participate in this and the other field schools associated with the project.

The excavations were not just of academic interest; there was a constant stream of visitors from the locale to the excavations. In addition to daily guided tours, the numbers of people who attended the final public exposition of the work is perhaps the most eloquent declaration of the enduring attraction of the past and its legacies to the future.
DSCN4671Excavation in the nave of the Basilica is the fulfillment of dream for the researchers Columbanus and his legacy in Bobbio. Very many thanks are due to Don Mario Poggi and the parishioners of Bobbio  for putting up with the inconvenience of an archaeological excavation in the nave of their beloved Basilica. Dr. Roberta Conversi, Prof. Eleonora Destefanis, Dr Nadia Botalla Buscaglia, and Davide Casagrande.

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Cleenish Field School 2

The second field school at Cleenish was organised around the completion of the geophysical survey and the opening of two test cuttings across features revealed in last year’s survey, including an enclosing fosse. Post-ex analysis is still under way, so these results are very preliminary. Topsoil (Ap(?) horizon) is thin across the two cuttings with


the result that there is very little horizontal stratigraphy over this side of the site. Instead, what was found, in addition to the enclosing fosse, was a number of shallow cut features, including a OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAvery shallow burial. Although it was comparatively narrow and shallow, the diggers of the fosse  took full advantage of the quite steep slope at this side of the site to create an effective barrier to traffic from the river side. Spill from the inside (up-slope) lip of the fosse seems to indicate the former presence of a bank but further analysis will be needed to confirm this.


Students from France, Italy, Ireland, the UK and the USA participated, and thanks are due to the landowners, once again, for their patience and hospitality, and to the Historic Environment Division of the Northern Ireland Environment Agency: Built Heritage and the Enniskillen Castle Museums for providing temporary storage of finds and samples from the excavation. The School was directed by Dr Ros Ó Maoldúin, and the geophysical survey and training was by Dr Roseanne Schot. Funding was from the Andrew Mellon Foundation without whose support this project would not have achieved a legacy of international collaboration and friendships.

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Cleenish Field School October 2014

The second international field school sponsored by the Columbanus: Life and Legacy Project will take place over two week from 20th October 2014. Once again students from Italy, France and Ireland will participate, this time building on the work of the 2013 field school. Activities will include completion of the geophysical survey and ground-truthing some of the features with test excavation. The field school would not be possible without the help of the Historic Environment Division of the Northern Ireland Environment Agency: Built Heritage and the Fermanagh County Museum.


Proposed is a test trench across part of the enclosure (see above) mapped last year in geophysics. The purpose is to confirm the nature of the feature and, if we are lucky, to get some dating evidence.

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Launch of Making Europe: Columbanus and His Legacy Project, Saturday 20th September 2014, Luxeuil-les-Bains

The draft programme for 2015 of the  the Making Europe: Columbanus and His Legacy Project was launched on the 20th of September in Luxeuil-les-Bains by the Mayor of Luxeuil, Michel Raison, the President of Les Amis de Saint Colomban Jacques Prudhon and the Chairperson of the International Scientific Committee Professor Jean-Michel Picard. Coordinators of the three conferences planned for Bangor (22-24 May 2015), Luxeuil (18-20 September 2015) and Bobbio (21-22 November 2015) introduced the themes of each conference. For a copy of the draft programme follow this link: Préprogramme colloques 2015_Bdef


From left: Martine Bavard (Conseillere Municipale de Luxeuil) Michel Raison (Maire de Luxeuil), Sébastien Bully (CNRS), Jean-Michel Picard (University College Dublin), Eleonora Destefanis (l’Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale “Amedeo Avogadro”), Jacques Prudhon (President of Les Amis de Saint Colomban), Conor Newman (National University of Ireland, Galway).

The Making Europe: Columbanus and His Legacy Project is the international iteration of the Columbanus: Life and Legacy Project based at the Moore Institute, NUI Galway.

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