Brewer Michaela Charles, food historian and curator Tasha Marks and drinks researcher Susan Boyle drink beer using straws. In ancient Egypt vessels were communal and people would sip from straws. Photograph: Tasha Marks

I’m standing in the middle of an early-medieval Irish round house. Its basket-like construction arches above me. The room is dark but shards of sunlig(...)

Bill Schindler (foreground) with Jason O’Brien (left) and Aidan O’Sullivan at the Centre for Experimental Archaeology & Material Culture, at UCD Belfield, Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

I’m sitting on a large log in a reconstructed early medieval roundhouse in the middle of suburban Dublin. There’s a fire burning in the middle of the (...)

Would a more pragmatic, creative solution not be both less expensive and less destructive of the National Museum of Ireland’s capacities? Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

The National Museum of Ireland in Kildare Street, Dublin, is one of our premier cultural heritage institutions. It is the treasure house of our nation(...)

Brendan O’Neill  at work on his early medieval round house on the UCD campus. Photograph:  Nick Bradshaw

How did our ancestors create the world they lived in? How did they survive without the modern accoutrements that make our lives easy? The question is(...)