September 27, 2018
by Aisling Lacey
The weeks seem to be going by even more quickly. It is week three of my internship and I cannot believe it, but I guess they do say ‘time flies when you’re having fun’.
Last week, we began a two-week excavation program with Maynooth University. The students have been here for one week, and have completed a heap of work and took a field trip to Ferns. This week they continued their hard work and took a field trip to Hook Lighthouse.
On Monday, the students got a lesson on how to take levels and we continued removing topsoil from the newly re-opened Cutting 3 at the excavation site. It ended up getting so hot during the day that Clara, one of the students, hopped into the large freezer to cool herself off! On Tuesday, we continued to remove the topsoil from Cutting 3, in order to begin our plans of the cutting. By the end of the day, the majority of Cutting 3 was cleaned back and we could now see the masonry from the curtain wall and the smaller structure.
On Wednesday, Gaile and I spent part of the day cleaning up the wall in Cutting 3, while the other students and interns spent the day planning Cutting 3. Today was the first day that Ryan began his LiDAR survey of the site. Ryan hopes to create a digital scan of the fort and surroundings of the excavation site.
During the next day, Gaile and I began to try to reach the natural subsoil in the bank of Cutting 1. In the afternoon, Denis sent me to the library to search the microfilm for any references to the landing of the Normans in Ireland. After I left, Orla helped Gaile reach the subsoil within Cutting 1, while the other students continued to excavate Cutting 3.
Friday was the last day of the program for this group of students. We met at the park for the final time and received a lecture on site photography. Then, the students and interns left for Hook lighthouse, while Denis, Richard, Ryan and I stayed back at the park. I transcribed the newspaper articles that I found on the Norman landings in Ireland at the library the day before.
This past week was extremely rewarding for the students, staff and interns. We all accomplished an incredible amount of work and discovered some amazing finds, such as an 18th century coin! The week has made me even more excited for the weeks to come.