Aoife Daly Biography

I am originally from Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin, Ireland, and I completed my Bachelor (archaeology and geography, 1988) and Master of Arts (archaeology, 1991) at University College Dublin. After a 2½ year stint at the Discovery Programme's North Munster Project, I moved with my family to Copenhagen, Denmark. I worked as a dendrochronologist at the National Museum of Denmark for seven years and since then as an independent freelance dendrochronologist. In 2003, I was awarded a grant from the Elisabeth Munksgaard Fund, Denmark, for the preparation of the paper 'The dendrochronological dating of timber crossings in west Jutland, Denmark', which is published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Wetland Archaeology, 2006.


I attained funding for my Ph.D. studies from the Danish Research Council, which I carried out fulltime for three years (2004-2007) at the University of Southern Denmark, and was awarded the degree in 2007. In my thesis, 'Timber, Trade and Tree-rings', I refined the method in which dendrochronology is used to determine the area of origin of timbers found in archaeological/historical contexts. I then examined the insights this provides us with, in the context of the history of Northern European timber trade.


I have worked with a range of research projects, particularly with a maritime and/or timber trade theme, in Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Germany, Scotland and Ireland. Recent projects include wood studies of the Drogheda Boat and its barrel cargo, dating and provenance determination of the wharf and shipwrecks from Oslo Harbour, dating and provenance of fine art (painted on oak panels) at the Danish National Gallery, and non-destructive dendrochronology, where industrial CT scanning of wood objects from the Norwegian Viking ship burials at Oseberg and Gokstad has enabled non-invasive dating and provenance studies of over 90 objects.


Due to a generous grant from the Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship (IEF), I have completed the project, Chronology, Culture and Archaeology (CCA). From June 2011 to June 2013 I carried out tree-ring studies of wood structures found in wetland contexts in Ireland, chiefly fishing structures on the inter-tidal zone of the Fergus Estuary, in Co. Clare. This work is allowing detailed chronology of the structures to be constructed, so that we can map the intensity of the medieval fisheries in these waters. Several publications are on their way, describing these new results.