August 27, 2018
Through our internship programs students gain unique, hands-on experience in various aspects of archaeology. Read below about former IAFS student Aisling Lacey and how excited she is to be rejoining us this summer as an intern …
by Aisling Lacey
I began my internship with the IAFS on the 11th of June, right as a new group of students arrived for the forensic anthropology program. That Sunday, all the new students arrived at the Irish National Heritage Park to meet their host families, the staff and the other students. Unlike most of the other students, I actually arrived in Ireland on June 1st to visit my family in Wexford. It was great to see all of my family, but I was even more excited to be at the excavation site again with all of the lovely people I had met previously during the field school in January.
After spending two weeks with the IAFS in January, I knew I needed to come back. Luckily enough, I was welcomed back for an internship during the summer and I could not be happier. To be a part of uncovering and understanding such an important part of Irish history is incredibly rewarding.
On Monday morning, even though I was dead tired, I woke up excited and ready to see both the new faces and all of the faces that I already knew. When I got to the park, Denis Shine, director of the IAFS, gave me the opportunity to either take part in the forensic anthropology program that was about to begin or to go up to the excavation site and help the other interns that were already there. I had never taken a forensic anthropology course before, so I decided to take the course.
After everybody arrived, Denis and Dara Fleming-Farrell, the instructor, gave the students and myself an introduction into forensic anthropology. After our orientation, we jumped onto a bus and headed down to Hook Lighthouse. We went at the perfect time because it was sunny and calm. Before the tour began, we took the opportunity to walk along the rocks on the shore and relax. After the tour ended we jumped back onto the bus and headed into Wexford town to shop and go to the pub. Afterwards, our host families picked us up and brought us home.
On Tuesday we all were brought to the Crannog, where we would spend the rest of our week. The other interns went up to the top of the hill, where they would stay for the rest of the week, preparing the excavation site for the upcoming field schools. Once we arrived in the Crannog, Dara gave us a run-down on how to identify and excavate a grave. Then we were all split into four teams, made plans, took levels and excavated a replica grave. The next day, we went back into our teams and continued excavating and planning our replica graves.
On Thursday, Dara and Richard taught us how to photograph and remove skeletal remains. Later that day, we went inside the Crannog and received a lecture from Dara on bone analysis and how to identify a skeleton. For the rest of the day and we had the opportunity to hold real human remains and identified the sex, age and stature of the individual. On the last day of the program, Dara gave a fantastic lecture on palaeopathology and trauma. We spent the rest of the day in our groups, identifying human remains. After the day ended, we all said our goodbyes to one another.