Lorna O'Donnell

Lorna O’Donnell

BSc, Palaeoecology and Archaeology, The Queens University of Belfast, 2001


Association for Environmental Archaeology (AEA)
Institute of Archaeologists of Ireland (IAI)
Irish Wood Anatomists Association (IWAA)
International Association of Wood Anatomists (IAWA)

E-mail: odonnell.lorna@gmail.com
Phone +353-87-9626039


  • Wood and charcoal analysis
  • Sampling strategies

Secondary expertise

  • worked wood analysis


I am an environmental archaeologist specialising in wood and charcoal analysis from archaeological sites. After finishing my degree in Belfast, I gained some excavation experience in Dublin. I subsequently worked for six and a half years for Margaret Gowen & Co. Ltd., working on wood and charcoal from a broad range of sites, including the Mesolithic fishtraps at Spencer Dock and the Iron Age revetment at Clancy Barracks, both in Dublin. I am currently working as a freelance wood and charcoal specialist.

I am currently pursuing my PhD in UCD entitled People and woodlands: an investigation of wood and charcoal remains as indicators of cultural selection and local environment in Bronze Age Ireland. In 2008 and 2009 I have worked as a research assistant on the WODAN project in the Discovery Programme, aiming to develop a wood and charcoal database for use in Ireland and Europe.

My main interests are the analysis of archaeological wood and charcoal, particularly the methodological aspects of charcoal analysis. I am also interested in worked wood and analysis of tree rings.


O’Donnell, L. (2009) Charcoal analysis, pp. 113-124. In C. Baker The Archaeology of Killeen Castle, Co. Meath. Wordwell, Bray.
Johnston, P. & O’Donnell, L. (2008) Appendix V Analysis of the charred plant remains and charcoal, pp. 128-148. In G. Stout & M. Stout (eds) Excavation of an Early Medieval Secular Cemetery at Knowth Site M, County Meath. Wordwell, Bray.
O’Donnell, L. (2008) Analysis of the charcoal, pp. 272-274 (in C. Baker, ‘Excavations within the manor of Merrion Castle, Co. Dublin’). In S. Duffy (ed) Medieval Dublin VII. Four Courts Press, Dublin.
Grogan, E., O’Donnell, L. & Johnston, P. (2007) The Bronze Age Landscapes of the Pipeline to the West: An integrated archaeological and environmental assessment. Wordwell, Bray.
Mc Quade, M. & O’Donnell, L. (2007) Late Mesolithic Fishtraps from the Liffey Estuary, Dublin, Ireland. Antiquity  81,  569-584.
O’Donnell, L. (2007) Appendix V Analysis of the charcoal, pp. 125-126. In C. Baker, ‘Excavations at Cloncowan II, Co. Meath’. The Journal of Irish Archaeology XVI, 61-133.
O’Donnell, L. (2006) Charcoal, pp. 11-12. In G. Hull, ‘Excavation of a Bronze Age round-house at Knockdomny, Co. Westmeath’. The Journal of Irish Archaeology XV, 1-14.