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Excavation & Recording 1

24th June to 2nd August 2024

SS106 + SS107 + SS108: 18 ECTS / 9 Semester Academic Credits awarded. Course fees include tuition, accommodation in our superior, fully equipped self-catering building, materials, local transport, lectures and seminars as well as academic credit.

Dates: 24th June – 2nd August 2024
Duration: Six weeks
Cost: €5950

This course is fully accredited by the University of Galway, and students who successfully complete the course will receive 9 Semester Credits or 18 ECTS points.

  • SS106: Introduction to Archaeology of Ireland
  • SS107: Archaeological Field Studies
  • SS108: Data Analysis (3 Semester Credits/6 ECTS Credits)

SS106: Introduction to Archaeology of Ireland (3 Semester Credits/6 ECTS Credits)
Introduction to Irish archaeology based on lectures, fieldtrips and evening (guest) lectures. This course will include a series of lectures that provide an overview of Irish archaeology from the first colonisation during the Mesolithic period right up until the nineteenth century. Additional guest lectures will present cutting edge research being undertaken in Ireland by various friends and colleagues of the Field School.

SS107: Archaeological Field Studies (3 Semester Credits/6 ECTS Credits)
Foundational excavation and recording techniques and methods. This module provides information on the techniques of archaeological excavation and the conventions we use for recording. Archaeological excavation is a process of systematic destruction. Conducting an archaeological excavation is a responsibility and a privilege. No matter how carefully you excavate a site, if you do not record what you find, the exercise is pointless! Reporting on archaeological excavations is a legal obligation in Ireland. Under the terms of the archaeological licence we have a duty to file a final report on the excavation within one year after completing the excavation. But we also have a duty to the people who lived here in the past and the communities who live in Achill today.

SS108: Data Analysis (3 Semester Credits/6 ECTS Credits)
Programme will include:

  • Advanced on-site recording techniques
  • Introduction to artefact and ecofact analysis (including C14 sampling)
  • Advanced artefactual analysis, including pottery, glass etc.
  • Processing and cataloguing artefacts
  • QGIS course
  • Digitising drawings

Study Archaeology at the home of the Banshees

Achill Island, the home of Achill Archaeological Field School, was the main location for the 2022 award-winning movie The Banshees of Inisherin. The spectacular landscapes seen in the movie showcase the beauty of Achill Island, your location for your 2024 archaeology course. Read more about the Banshees of Inisherin locations on Achill Island.

About the 2024 Dig Site


In 2024, Achill Archaeological Field School will return to Caraun Point for a third season of excavation. The primary focus of the 2024 season will be two drystone houses and a shell midden which date to the post-medieval period, or earlier. The houses are in a dynamic coastal environment which is constantly evolving due to wind and wave action. Previous excavations on the site recovered a quantity of artefacts that included glass and pottery, along with animal bone and shellfish remains. Analysis of these objects give us an insight into the livelihood and diet of the people who lived here. One unexpected discovery was the presence of a probable Early-Medieval ringfort immediately to the west of our excavation. Habitation deposits associated with this site were evident beneath the post-medieval houses and some artefacts of 8th to 10th century date were recovered. This year’s excavation season looks like it will be fascinating.

We accept students of 17 years of age and upwards who must be physically fit, as fieldwork is quite strenuous.

Archaeology students working on the dig site at Caraun Point, Achill Island, 2018