Ireland and Isle of Man - Excavation and Survey

This listing expired on May 31, 2014. Please contact for any updated information.

Ireland graveyard recording and Isle of Man digging
Irish graveyard recording in a ruined medieval church2014 Isle of Man excavation with mountains in background
Digging a late prehistoric ditchWorking with excavation records for projects

Location: Ireland

Season Dates: June 7, 2014 - July 19, 2014
Application Deadline: May 9, 2014



Program Type
Field school

Affiliation: University of Liverpool, UK

Project Director: Harold Mytum, University of Liverpool, UK

Project Description

This field school is based in two beautiful Celtic countries: Ireland and the Isle of Man, which lies between Ireland and Britain. It is designed to give students training and experience in a range of field techniques. A programme of training in all aspects of graveyard survey will take place in Ireland at a variety of historic burial grounds. Students will then be transferred to the Isle of Man where excavation and geophysical survey training will take place for at a choice of settlement sites dating to the late prehistoric and historic periods. There are also visits to museums and sites of all periods from the Neolithic to historic.

The field school consists of three two-week parts: Data capture: Survey, in Ireland. Training in surface survey on historic church sites using EDM theodolite, and recording historic gravestones at burial grounds using forms, measurements, rubbings and photographs. Data capture: Excavation, in the Isle of Man. Training in a wide range of excavation and recording methods, preliminary processing of finds and environmental samples inlcuding flotation and wet screening. Students will obtain experience in geophysical survey using a gradiometer and a resistivity meter. Data analysis, in the Isle of Man. Students continue fieldwork, but concentrate on a project of their choice, using data from survey or excavation, on which they produce a report. This lets students see the whole process from survey through excavation and recording to ordering and analysis of results.

Many students have used aspects of their field training and data they have collected for assignments back at their home universities, and many have carried onto Masters and doctoral programs. Students from the field school are now employed in universities, museums, contract archaeology. The director is often requested to write support references which carry weight as we know students so well.  The field school allows participants to work with Irish and UK students in both Ireland and in the Isle of Man, and to discover the culture, landscape and history of these two Celtic countries, creating an educational but highly rewarding experience.

Period(s) of Occupation: Late prehistoric, historic

Project Size: 1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: 6 weeks

Minimum Age: 17

Experience Required: None required; experienced students will be able to concentrate on new skills

Room and Board Arrangements

Ireland: shared house with all meals provided (group self-catering); Isle of Man: camp site, individual tent and inflatable mattress provided for every student, all meals provided (group self-catering).

Cost: £2,150 (about $3,300) for room, board as stated, tuition, transfers between Ireland and Isle of Man

Academic Credit
Name of institution offering credit: University of Liverpool, UK
Number of credits offered: 30 credits in UK system at Level 1, equal to 15 ECTS and 12 US Credit Hours
Tuition: Small group teaching on site

Contact Information
Gill Wilson
Archaeological Field School Administrator, Centre for Manx Studies, University of Liverpool, The Stable Building, The University Centre, Old Castletown Road
Douglas, Isle of Man IM2 1QB
Phone: +44 1624 695777

Recommended Bibliography

Harold Mytum, editor, Global Perspectives on Archaeological Field Schools: Constructions of Knowledge and Experience, 2012, New York
Harold Mytum, Mortuary Monuments and Burial Grounds of the Historic Period , 2004, New York
Harold Mytum, The Origins of Early Christian Ireland , 1991, London
Barry Cunliffe, Iron Age Communities of the British Isles, 4th edn, 2005, London

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