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Excavation & Recording 7

22nd July to 2nd August 2024

SS107: 6 ECTS / 3 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.

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 6 ECTS points.

  • SS107: Archaeological Field Studies

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.

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 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