Module 6 (31 July-11 Aug. 2017)

Archaeological Fieldwork on Achill Island

July 31, 2017
Two Weeks
3 Semester Credits or 6 ECTS points


Achill Field School, Dooagh, Achill Island   View map


Modular Courses

Module 6

SS108: 6 ETCS / 3 Semester Academic Credits Awarded. Course fees includes tuition, accommodation in our superior, fully equipped self-catering building, materials, local transport, lectures and seminars as well as academic credit.

Dates: 31st July to 11th August 2017 (2 Weeks)
Cost: €1975

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This module is ideally suited for university students looking for an intensive experience with the maximum amount of training possible fitted into a two week period.

The Excavation:

Students taking Modules 6 will participate in the excavation of the multi-period ‘Cromlech Tumulus‘ site on the slopes of the iconic Slievemore mountain. The Cromlech Tumulus is a 3200 year-old Middle Bronze Age (MBA) house with the superimposed remains of a number later medieval and post-medieval hut sites. The MBA house forms part of a much broader prehistoric landscape including an early Neolithic court tomb and an enigmatic pre-bog wall known as the Danish Ditch.  Achill Archaeological Field School has been excavating at the Cromlech since 2014, and the site has yielded some intriguing finds, notably a beach pebble with a carved face, that we call the ‘Slievemore man’.

What the Course Covers:

  • The course provides an intensive introduction to the theory and practice of archaeological excavation and recording. Students will be introduced to the skills of excavation and basic post-excavation analysis.
  • Students will participate in an specialist workshop in photogrammetry led by digital heritage expert Gary Dempsey.
  • Module 6 includes two weekly lectures on Irish archaeology as well as an evening guest lecture from a visiting expert.
  • Students will also undertake two full-day field trips to visit some of the spectacular archaeological sites on and around Achill Island. Optional weekend tours to a selection of Ireland’s premier archaeological sites are also open to students.
  • During the duration of this course the students will undertake their own study on an aspect of Irish archaeology they find interesting and prepare a short paper on the subject, with extensive guidance from the Director of Fieldwork.

Learning outcomes:

This course will enable students to:

  • Understand the theory and practice of archaeological excavation, including the single context recording system, site grid, stratigraphy, and the Harris Matrix.
  • Excavate an archaeological feature.
  • Carry out archaeological recording including, context sheets, scaled drawings, and photographs.
  • Excavate, retrieve, bag and record archaeological objects (artefacts and ecofacts).
  • Carry out basic environmental sampling.
  • Understand the process of post-excavation analysis.
  • Digitise site drawings.
  • Process archaeological finds. Know the correct procedures for cleaning and labelling artefacts.

This course is fully accredited by the National University of Ireland, Galway, and students who successfully complete the course will receive 3 Semester Credits or 6 ECTS points:

  • SS108: Data Analysis

Questions About This Course?
Please get in touch, we’re here to help and would love to hear from you. Contact Us

Please use the ‘Apply for this course’ link below to begin your application. If you have already applied and been approved, please proceed to Payment For This Course.

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