Do you want to learn to dig in one of Ireland’s most spectacular archaeological landscapes? Located on Achill Island off Ireland’s rugged Atlantic coast, the Achill Archaeological Field School is a study abroad experience like no other. From May to September we run excavation and survey courses fully accredited by the National University of Ireland Galway. We offer two- to twelve-week courses with up to 9 Semester Credits or 18 ECTS. Our Excavation and Recording archaeology courses provide a solid grounding in archaeology theory and practice. We provide the best possible hands-on technical and academic training for students from around the world (for a list of schools we have worked with please see our International University List). Our unique Trainee Supervisor Course provides a higher tier of training for more experienced students.
Since 1991 the Field School has been engaged in a diachronic investigation of Achill’s archaeological landscapes, from the remains of the earliest Neolithic settlers to Famine-era vernacular settlements. In 2021, our field school will focus on a settlement of 16 houses at Tamnaghmore, a short walk from our centre in Dooagh. This enigmatic nucleated settlement probably dates to the late/post medieval period (AD1380-1900). It appears on maps dated to 1809 and 1838 but little is known about its period of occupation or abandonment. The houses are relatively large, have some unusual features and are sub-rectangular in shape. We look forward to an exciting project in 2021.
The Field School headquarters is in the Folklife Centre in Dooagh, Achill Island. Our facility includes a computer lab, office space, a lecture hall and library. Students are accommodated next door in our purpose-built self-catering residential block. The School is just 3km away from a noted surfing and wind-surfing beach and overlooked by the spectacular Slievemore and Croaghaun mountains and rugged Minnaun cliffs. Achill is a popular tourist destination, and the summer has a packed festival schedule ranging from the Achill Half Marathon and Dooagh Day to Scoil Acla, an acclaimed traditional music festival, and the Heinrich Böll weekend, in memory of the German Nobel laureate.