The European Association of Archaeologists awards the 2021 Student Award to

Karen O’Toole of the University College Dublin

for her paper

Bog Butter in Ireland: A Study through Time and Space

Covid has shaken the world in the last 18 months, and archaeology has been strongly affected along a number of different axes. Students in particular have suffered from lack of access to resources, reduced mobility, and difficulties in launching or carrying out planned fieldwork. In her paper “Bog butter in Ireland: A study through time and space”, Karen O’Toole faces these challenges with grace and ingenuity and manages to use them to launch a creative new study into a well-known, but not always well recorded archaeological find type. O’Toole presents a pilot study of bog butter deposition in six Irish counties which was both a work-around developed to test the quality and affordances of legacy data when museums were not accessible and also an initial attempt to situate bog butter within the larger corpus of Irish bog finds, alongside a range of other artefacts from different periods. Through a series of GIS analyses, she explores some of the limitations of the modern data, including various taphonomic processes that may create patterns in the data subsequent to different deposition events. O’Toole’s research highlights how common bog butter deposition must have been in the past—from prehistory to the 19th century. This provides a useful jumping off point for her own doctoral research, but it is also a good reminder to the rest of us that many of our most remarkable finds were just ordinary parts of past people’s everyday lives. We congratulate Karen O’Toole and look forward to the publication of her paper. Dr. Catherine J.

Frieman Chair of the European Association of Archaeologists’ Student Award Committee