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The Irish Fieldschool of Prehistoric Archaeology
Megalithic Tombs of the Burren, Co. Clare.
Field Director: Dr Ros Ó Maoldúin
Academic Director: Dr Carleton Jones
The Irish Fieldschool of Prehistoric Archaeology is the only archaeological fieldschool in Ireland singularly focused on Ireland’s prehistory. We have just completed a three year campaign excavating Chalcolithic to Early Bronze Age megaliths – wedge tombs. This project is now in its post-excavation phase and during 2018 we will commence a new campaign targeted on barrows – burial monuments of the later Bronze/Iron Age.
During 2018, we will concentrate our efforts on surveying and excavating the prehistoric ceremonial complex on Knockloon Hill, in the Burren, Co. Clare. Known remains include a large later prehistoric barrow, and three recently discovered circular enclosures, at least one of which is likely to represent a large palisaded enclosure.
We offer three courses: a four-week excavation course, a two-week survey course and a one-week experimental archaeology course. It is possible to combine any two or three consecutive courses.
The four-week excavation course will cover techniques of archaeological excavation, drawing, digital photography, photogrammetry, total station survey, 3D modelling, context recording, osteoarchaeology and environmental sampling. Students will receive weekly lectures and tutorials from visiting professors, as well as from our fieldschool staff. In 2018, we will excavate the first barrow ever excavated in Co. Clare and place trenches across several other enclosures identified in our 2017 geophysical survey. We expect to find human bone and students will likely get first-hand experience of its excavation, recording and analysis.
The two-week survey course will cover drawing, digital photography, photogrammetry, total station survey, 3D modelling, an introduction to QGIS and an introduction to geophysical survey. It will also include visits to some of Ireland’s most famous prehistoric sites, the National Museum and several of our less-well-known prehistoric gems.
The one-week experimental archaeology course will concentrate on later Bronze Age materials and include workshops on bronze casting and pottery production. All materials will be provided and students will be allowed take a selection of what they make away with them.
Applicants must be 17 or over, reasonably fit and willing to learn.
High quality self-catered accommodation is provided in a nearby village, Lisdoonvarna. Transfers from Ennis town or Shannon airport, both easily accessible from Dublin or Galway, can be arranged. On weekends students are free to explore the nearby Burren, or visit Ennis town and Galway City.
Session 1: May 21 – June 1, 2018 (3 Semester Credits/6 ECTS Credits) Course title: Irish prehistory and archaeological survey (2 weeks)
Session 2: June 4 - June 29, 2018 (6 Semester Credits/12 ECTS Credits) Course title: Archaeological excavation and recording techniques (4 weeks)
Session 3: July 2 – July 6, 2018 (3 Semester Credits/6 ECTS Credits - with essay) Course title: Experimental archaeology and the material culture of the Irish later Bronze Age (1 week)
Session 4: July 16 - August 10, 2018 (6 Semester Credits/12 ECTS Credits) Course title: Archaeological excavation and recording techniques (4 weeks)
Session 5: August 13 - August 24, 2018 (3 Semester Credits/6 ECTS Credits) Course title: Irish prehistory and archaeological survey (2 weeks)
Further details: www.prehistoricfieldschool.ie
Phone +353 (0)87 0940034