Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

ZOOM Series of Lectures: “Rocks Used by Our Ancestors” by Prof. Ian Sanders (Fellow Emeritus, TCD)

10 November, 2020 @ 7:00 PM - 1 December, 2020 @ 8:00 PM GMT

ZOOM Series of Lectures

“Rocks Used by Our Ancestors” by Prof. Ian Sanders (Fellow Emeritus, TCD)



(10th, 17th, 24th November and 1st December 2020)


In collaboration with the Institute of Archaeologists of Ireland



The Irish Geological Association has partnered with the Institute of Archaeologists of Ireland (IAI) to organise this short course of four lectures on the topic of “Rocks Used by Our Ancestors”.  Many thanks to Prof. Ian Sanders for putting so much time into preparing for this course, which will be of interest to both beginners and as a refresher for more experienced geologists. The inclusion of archaeology will definitely give us all a different perspective on the subject.

This series of four lectures aims to show how the stone materials used in the artefacts, monuments and buildings of antiquity can be identified, and to explain in non-technical language the geological background to the formation of those stone materials.

IAI Learning Outcomes 

Having completed the course, you will be able to:

  1. Describe the appearance and state possible distinguishing features of examples of the following kinds of rock. Sandstone, mudstone, shale, limestone, conglomerate, gypsum, flint, chert, vein quartz, basalt, dolerite, gabbro, andesite, granite, obsidian, tuff, slate, schist, porcellanite, quartzite, marble, soapstone.
  2. Outline the mode of formation of the above rocks and show in simple diagrams (a) the paths followed by rocks as they are changed from one kind to another by processes on and beneath the surface, and (b) how some igneous and metamorphic rocks have origins linked to plate boundaries.
  3. Name the geological eras and periods, state in millions of years the time elapsed since the formation of the solar system and of the 3 eras, and state the principles of measuring the age of granite by the uranium-lead method.
  4. State how information is depicted on the geological bedrock map of Ireland, and outline the main stages in Ireland’s geological history, mentioning how its topographic elevation, plate tectonic setting and latitude changed through time.


Ian Sanders has been in the Department of Geology at Trinity College since 1971, following his BA and PhD studies at Cambridge University. His current research is focused on the early years of the Solar System inferred from meteorites. His teaching interests include the promotion of geology in schools through the free distribution of rock samples.

Dates: 7 to 8 pm, weekly on TUESDAYS  (10th, 17th, 24th November and 1st December 2020).
REGISTRATION FOR IGA MEMBERS ONLY: please register for the course by e-mailing irishgeologicalassociation@gmail.com

The Zoom link will be sent to those registered on the day. 

(Non IGA members can join for 2021 if they wish to attend the lectures!).


10 November, 2020 @ 7:00 PM GMT
1 December, 2020 @ 8:00 PM GMT
Event Category: