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Excavation & Recording 4

4th July to 29th July 2022

SS106 + SS107: 12 ECTS / 6 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: 4th July – 29th July 2022
Duration: Four weeks
Cost: €4250

This course is fully accredited by the National University of Ireland, Galway, and students who successfully complete the course will receive 6 Semester Credits or 12 ECTS points.

  • SS106: Introduction to Archaeology of Ireland
  • SS107: Archaeological Field Studies

SS106: Introduction to Archaeology of Ireland (3 Semester Credits/6 ECTS Credits)
On site work during the first element of the course introduces the student to the basic techniques of archaeological excavation, including laying out trenches, removing overburden, and excavating archaeological deposits with a variety of hand tools. Lectures introduce the Chronology of Irish Archaeology whilst a series of workshops develop the students understanding of the principles of excavation.

SS107: Archaeological Field Studies (3 Semester Credits/6 ECTS Credits)
On site work during the second element introduces the student to the methods of onsite recording of archaeological features and deposits, including section drawing, elevation drawing, horizontal planning, working within a site grid, surveying, using an auto level and the EDM, and taking site photography. Lectures complete the Chronology of Irish Archaeology whilst workshops focus on post excavation skills such as managing site archives, writing stratigraphic reports and preparing AutoCad drawings.

At this time we only require an application from prospective students. A firm commitment, in the form of a deposit, will be required when your course is confirmed.

About the 2022 Dig Site

In 2022, the primary focus of work will be the excavation of two drystone houses at Tawnaghmore (translates as great meadow), a small enigmatic settlement, which probably dates to the late/post medieval period (AD1380-1900). Tawnaghmore is a nucleated settlement of 16 unplanned houses running in a linear fashion over 170m of ground at an elevation of 97m asl. The site is located on ground sloping gently south-eastwards, along the left and right banks of the Abhainabhaile (Townland River), which flows in a south easterly direction and enters the sea at Dooagh village. Access to Tawnaghmore from Dooagh is along the banks of this river, following a bog road, a narrow grass-covered track and a glacial ridge to reach the site. There is no visible road/track into the settlement. To the north east is a grass and bog covered linear settlement with an unknown number of houses called Caislean (small stone fort) which may suggest the presence of a Cathair (stone fort) in this area sometime in the remote past. A pollen core taken in 2005 indicated the presence of a deciduous forest in this area during the mid to late Neolithic (Caseldine, C. 2005, 169-178). The settlement 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 2022.

Tawnaghmore dig site, Dooagh, Achill Island
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