Dr Eugene Costello

Eugene Costello


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Arbetar vid Institutionen för arkeologi och antikens kultur
Telefon 08-16 10 53
Besöksadress Wallenberglaboratoriet, Lilla Frescativägen 7
Rum 221
Postadress Institutionen för arkeologi och antikens kultur 106 91 Stockholm

Om mig

I am a Postdoctoral Fellow in Environmental Human Sciences based in the Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies. My main interest is in the long-term socio-environmental dynamics of rural communities in Atlantic and Boreal Europe and their economic connections with the wider world. In particular, I am keen to further our understanding of farming people and practices during globalisation, both medieval and early modern, and how lessons from this time can help to guide informed adaptation in the Anthropocene. All of my research is characterised by a concern with the lives of non-elite, 'forgotten' members of society, and in uncovering the socio-economic meaning of their different gender roles. Methodologically, I like to use a combination of remote sensing, GIS, digital field survey, pollen records, historical research, placename studies and ethnography.

Currently, I am launching a new research project on the adaptability of upland farmers in northern Europe over the medieval-to-modern transition as they interacted with wider economic and climatic changes. This forms part of an exciting new cross-disciplinary initiative in Stockholm University which looks at the origins and implications of living in the Anthropocene from the perspective of humanities, law and social sciences (see

Before coming to Stockholm University, I was Visiting Lecturer in Archaeology at National University of Ireland, Galway, and prior to that a National Endowment for the Humanities postdoctoral fellow at University of Notre Dame, USA. I received my PhD in 2016 from National University of Ireland, Galway, an MA (Distinction) from University of Sheffield in 2012, and a BA (1st Class Hons) from University College Cork in 2011.



I have extensive experience teaching undergraduates and postgraduates, ranging from lectures to seminars and fieldwork settings. Currently I am teaching on the first-year Medieval and Historical Archaeology module (7.5 ECTS), and teach Masters students about human-animal relations as part of their Advanced Method in Osteoarchaeology module. I also teach on the interdisciplinary module, Spaces and Identities (5 ECTS), as part of the Doctoral School in Humanities. 

Moreover, through SU's Centre for the Advancement of University Teaching, I have completed the Professional Development in Teaching course 1, and will complete course 2 in 2020.


PUBLICATIONS (h-index: 5)

Peer-reviewed books:

Costello, E. 2020. Transhumance and the Making of Ireland's Uplands, 1550-1900Garden and Landscape History 7. Boydell & Brewer: Woodbridge. 256 pp. ISBN: 9781783275311. 35% OFF UNTIL 31 DECEMBER 2020 (ENTER 'BB135' AT CHECKOUT)

Costello, E. & Svensson, E. (eds.) 2018. Historical Archaeologies of Transhumance across Europe. Themes in Contemporary Archaeology 6. Routledge: London. 282 pp. ISBN: 9780815380320. DOI: 10.4324/9781351213394.


Peer-reviewed articles:

Costello, E. Planned. International food demands and the adaptability of livestock farmers in the uplands of northern Europe. Target: International Journal of Historical Archeology.

Costello, E. & Gearey, B. In prep. Long-term environmental change and the rationality of small-scale farming communities. Anthropocene.

Costello, E. Under review. Migration and environmental shift: comparing woodland exploitation by New English and Forest Finn settlers in Ireland and Sweden. Journal of Migration History (7,250 words) (Special issue on post-distaster mobility in early modern Europe, based on Prague workshop organised by Dr Tomáš Klír, Charles University, and Dr Jonas Lindstrom, Uppsala University).

Costello, E. 2020. The colonisation of upland environments in medieval agriculture: untangling the climate-agriculture-society web. Medieval Archaeology 64 (12,260 words.)

Costello, E. 2020. Hill farmers, habitats and time: the potential of historical ecology in upland management and conservation. Landscape Research 45 (7,830 words).

Costello, E. 2018. Temporary freedoms? Ethnoarchaeology of female herders at seasonal sites in northern Europe. World Archaeology 50(1), 165-184. DOI: 10.1080/00438243.2018.1472633.

Costello, E. 2017. Medieval memories and the reformation of religious identity: Catholic and Anglican interactions with parish church sites in County Limerick, Ireland. Post-medieval Archaeology 51(2), 332-353. DOI: 10.1080/00794236.2017.1377512.

Costello, E. 2017. Liminal learning: social practice in seasonal settlements of western Ireland. Journal of Social Archaeology 17(2), 188-209. DOI: 10.1177/1469605317708378.

Costello, E. 2016. Feirmeoirí faoi cheilt: dul chun cinn agus dúshláin sa taighde faoi ghnás an bhuailteachais [The hidden farmers: progress and challenges in the study of transhumance]. Béaloideas: Journal of the Folklore Society of Ireland 84, 191-210. EID: 2-s2.0-85017292904.

Costello, E. 2016. Seasonal settlement and the interpretation of upland archaeology in the Galtee Mountains, Ireland. Landscape History 37(1), 87-98. DOI: 10.1080/01433768.2016.1176437.

Costello, E. 2015. Post-medieval upland settlement and the decline of transhumance: a case-study from the Galtee Mountains, Ireland. Landscape History 36(1), 47-69. DOI: 10.1080/01433768.2015.1044283.


Peer-reviewed book chapters:

*Costello, E. In prep. You can’t eat scenery: placing upland settlement back in its environmental context, Murphy, M. & Tracey, R. (eds.), Past, Present and Future of Irish Historic Settlement Studies. Four Courts Press: Dublin.*Invited chapter.

Costello, E. Accepted. Fires, flocks and fish: identifying seasonal resource exploitation in medieval Ireland. In: P. Dixon, C. Theune, & M. Gardiner (eds.), Seasonal Sites and Settlements in Medieval and Early Modern Europe. Sidestone Press: Leiden. (6,300 words).

Costello, E. 2018. Morphology of transhumant settlements in post-medieval south Connemara: a case-study in adaptation. In: E. Costello & E. Svensson (eds.), Historical Archaeologies of Transhumance across Europe. Themes in Contemporary Archaeology 6. Routledge: London, 93-108.

Costello, E. & Svensson, E. 2018. Transhumant pastoralism in historic landscapes: beginning a European perspective. In: E. Costello & E. Svensson (eds.), Historical Archaeologies of Transhumance across Europe. Themes in Contemporary Archaeology 6. Routledge: London, 1-14.

Costello, E. 2016. Seasonal management of cattle in the booleying system: new insights from South Connemara, western Ireland. In: M. O'Connell, F. Kelly & J.H. McAdam (eds.), Cattle in ancient and modern Ireland: farming practices, environment and economy. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 66-74.


Short journal articles:

Murphy, D. and Costello, E. In prep. The hut sites and relict field systems of the upper Roughty river, Co. Kerry. Archaeology Ireland (4,350 words).

Murphy, D. and Costello, E. In prep. Excavation of cairn and short cist at Barnastooka, Co. Kerry. Archaeology Ireland (3,200 words).


Other publications:

Costello, E. 2019. Studying high places. The Blog: Centre for Global Knowledge Studies. 19 February. Available online at

Costello, E. 2017. Recent advancements in the study of past Irish transhumance practices. Áitreabh: Group for the Study of Irish Historic Settlement Newsletter 21, 19-20.

Costello, E. 2016. Book Review: S. Ó Síocháin, E. Slater, & L. Downey, (eds.) 2015. Rundale: settlement, society, and farming. Ulster Folk and Transport Museum, Cultra. Journal of Irish Archaeology 24, 195-196.

Costello, E. & Corcoran, M. 2016. A report on the Annual Conference, Belfast, 8-10 May. Áitreabh: Group for the Study of Irish Historic Settlement Newsletter 20, 18-20.

Costello, E. 2015. Booleying in the Galtee Mountains. Kilbehenny-Anglesboro Journal 24, 11-13

Costello, E. 2012. Beithígh ar buaile: transhumance in 19th and 20th century Ireland. Trowel: UCD Postgraduate Journal 13, 88-104.

Costello, E. 2011. Blossom Gate: a Late Medieval Gatehouse. Kilmallock Journal 8, 11-16


AWARDS & GRANTS (€312,700):

Albert & Maria Bergströms Foundation Fieldwork Grant 2019 (SEK 31,700)

Postdoctoral Fellowship in Environmental Humanities 2018-20, Stockholm Uni. (SEK 935,000)

Landscape Archaeology Conference Bursary 2018 (£195)

Ruralia 2017 Jean-Marie Pesez Conference Bursary (€500)

National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship 2016-17 ($60,000)

Society for Post-Medieval Archaeology Paul Courtney Student Travel Award 2016 (£45)

Sieg and Dunlop Bursary Award 2016 - International Congress on Medieval Studies (€1,500)

Irish Research Council New Foundations Award 2015 – funding session at EAA Glasgow on transhumance across Europe (€2,459)

Irish Federation of University Teachers 50th Anniversary Award 2015 (€2,000)

Group for the Study of Irish Historic Settlement Conference Bursary 2015 (€153)

Society for Medieval Archaeology Conference Bursary 2014 (£50)

NUI Galway Travel Bursary 2013/14 (€58)

NUI Galway Travel Bursary 2012/13 (€256)

NUI Galway Hardiman Doctoral Scholarship 2012-16 (€81,100 – of which I declined €60,825)

Irish Research Council Doctoral Scholarship 2012-15 (€60,825)

University of Sheffield Robert Kiln Bursary in Landscape Archaeology 2011/12 (£1,500)

Undergraduate of Ireland Award 2011

UCC College Scholar in Arts 2010/2011 (€1,000)

UCC College Scholar in Arts 2009/2010 (€1,000)

Colmcille Bursary for Irish learners of Scots Gaelic at Sabhal Mor Ostaig 2010 (£280)

National University of Ireland Dr. H.H. Stewart Literary Scholarship Award in Irish 2009

Student of the Year, Charleville C.B.S. 2008 (€600)

Senast uppdaterad: 22 juni 2020

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