Cormac McSparron‌

Excavation Director

Telephone: 028 90 973819



Cormac McSparron graduated with a BA in Archaeology and Modern History from QUB and an Mphil degree at QUB entitled "The Medieval Coarse Pottery of Ulster". He worked for the Environment and Heritage Service on excavation and post-excavation projects from 1991 to 1995 and was active in private sector rescue archaeology from 1997 to 2001 before joining the Centre for Archaeological Fieldwork as a Fieldwork Director in 2002. He has directed and published a number of important excavations of varying types and periods and has a wide range of research interests, including the early Irish Neolithic, early and later Medieval Coarse Potting Traditions and the application of radiocarbon dating to archaeological problems.



  • Member of  Past Cultural Changes Research Cluster



Chapters in Books

McSparron, C. (2011) 'Appendix 1: An analysis of the Radiocarbon Dates from Corrstown, Co. Londonderry', in Ginn, V. and Rathbone, S. (eds.), Corrstown: a Coastal Community. Excavations of a Bronze Age Village in Northern Ireland, Oxbow Books, Oxford.

McSparron, C. (2008) 'An Overview of the pre-historic and early historic archaeology of the north of Ireland' in N. J. Whitehouse, H.M. Roe, S. McCarron and J. McKnight (eds) North of Ireland: Field Guide, Quaternary Research Association and Irish Quatenary Association.

McSparron C. (2003) 'Excavation of a Neolithic house at Enagh, Co. Derry', in I. Armit, E. Murphy, E. Nelis & D. Simpson (eds) Neolithic Settlement in Ireland and Western Britain, Oxbow Books, Oxford.

Journal Articles

McSparron, C. and Williams, B. (2012) "'...and they won land among the Picts by friendly treaty or the sword': how a re-examination of early historical sources and an analysis of early Medieval settlement in north Co. Antrim confirms the validity of traditional accounts of Dál Riatic migration to Scotland from Ulster", Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland.

McSparron, C. (2012) 'The medieval coarse pottery of Ulster', Journal of Irish Archaeology 20.

McSparron, C. and Patterson, R. (2009) 'Excavations near the site of the Medieval Cistercian abbey of Clarus Fons, Macosquin Co. Derry / Londonderry', Ulster Journal of Archaeology, 68, 110-123.

McSparron, C. (2008) 'An excavation at Castle Curlews, Kirlish, Co. Tyrone', Ulster Journal of Archaeology, 67, 136-141.

McSparron, C. (2009) 'Excavation of Medieval structures at Duleek Co. Meath' in M. Potterton and C. Corlett, Medieval Rural settlement in Ireland in light of recent excavations: Research papers in Irish Archaeology No. 1, Wordwell.

McSparron, C. and Williams, B. (2009) 'The excavation of an Early Christian rath with later Medieval occupation at Drumadoon, Co. Antrim', Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy, Section C.

McSparron, C. (2007) 'Excavations at Terryhoogan, Co. Armagh', Ulster Journal of Archaeology, Vol. 66.

McSparron, C. (2004) 'Excavations at Church Street, Belfast', Ulster Journal of Archaeology Vol. 63, 114-122.

Hurl, D. and McSparron, C. (2004) 'Excavations at the Dorsey, Co. Armagh', Ulster Journal of Archaeology Vol. 63, 41-51.

Williams, B. and McSparron C. (2004) 'A brief, interim, account of excavations at Drumadoon, Co. Antrim, 2003', The Glynns: Journal of the Glens of Antrim Historical Society,32, 9-13.

McSparron, C. (2003) 'The excavation of a Neolithic house and other structures at Enagh, Co. Derry', Ulster Journal of Archaeology Vol. 62, 1-16.

McSparron C. (2002) 'A note on the discovery of two probable booley houses at Ballyutoag, County Antrim', Ulster Journal of Archaeology Vol. 61, 154-155.

McSparron C. (2001) 'The excavation of an unenclosed house of the Early Christian period at Drumadonnell, Co. Down', Ulster Journal of Archaeology Vol 60, 47-56.

General Reader Publications

McSparron, C. (2011) 'As Above So Below', Archaeology Ireland, Summer 2011, Vol. 25, No. 2. 

McSparron, C. (2009) 'Gulliver's Earthworks: how aerial photography has unveiled new sites on Cavehill, near Belfast', Archaeology Ireland Winter 2009, Vol. 23, No. 4.

McSparron, C. (2009) 'A potted history: Medieval Ulster coarse pottery', Archaeology Ireland, Spring 2009, Vol. 23, No1.

McSparron, C. (2008) 'Have you no homes to go to: calling time on the early Irish Neolithic', Archaeology Ireland, Autumn 2008, Volume 22 No. 3.


McSparron, C. (2006) The Medieval Coarse Pottery of Ulster, unpublished Mphil Thesis, QUB.

Internal Reports

McSparron, C. (2011) CAF Monitoring Report No. 219, First Presbyterian Church, Londonderry.

McSparron, C. (2007) CAF Data Structure Report No.48: Excavations at Macosquin, Co. Derry / Londonderry.

McSparron C. (2004) CAF Data Structure Report No. 28: Terryhoogan, Scarva, Co. Armagh.

Williams, B. and McSparron C. (2004) CAF Data Structure Report No. 23: Excavations at Drumadoon, Co. Antrim.

Lynn, C., McSparron C. and Moore P. (2003) CAF Data Structure Report No. 13: Navan Fort, Co. Armagh.

Hurl, D., McSparron C. and Moore P. (2003) CAF Data Structure Report No.4: Excavations at the Dorsey, County Armagh.