Interactive Digs

September 10, 2018

Achill Island 2018: Week 14

Week 14 is our last week of excavation on Caraun Point for 2018. As well as finishing off the last of our excavation, drawing, and recording, we had an open day on Monday, a guest lecture on Tuesday and a day-long animal bone workshop on Wednesday!

Our open day was on Monday from 2-6pm. We were delighted that it formed part of the program of the local village festival Féile Tóin an tSeanbhaile. Over 100 visitors young and old came to see the excavation, most of them from the adjacent Valley village. The open day was a chance for us to share our findings and to get to know people from the local community. We continued our socialising on Tuesday with a guest lecture from Dr Colin Breen from the University of Ulster. There was a full house for Colin’s lecture on Gaelic maritime lordships of later medieval Ireland.

We finished our excavation towards the middle of the week, reaching the bottom of the occupation layers inside the building. The original hearth—consisting of an area of fire-scorched clay and burnt turf—turned up on the centre of the building under the cross wall. Outside of the building we bottomed out our sondages at arbitrary levels and drew the stratigraphy of the section faces.

On Wednesday we had a day-long animal bone workshop with zoo-archaeologist Robert Falvey. Rob’s workshop introduced students to the theory and practice of zoo-archaeology, before guiding them through some practice identification exercises on our assemblage from Caraun Point.

On Thursday we completed our last scaled drawings before beginning backfilling which we finished on Friday.