Achill Archaeological Field School

Location: Caraun Point

Season: June 15, 2020 to August 14, 2020

Session Dates: 15 June-July 24; June 15-July 10; July 13-July 24; July 27-August 7; July 27-August 14

Application Deadline: June 8, 2019

Deadline Type: Rolling


Discount for AIA members: €100

Program Type:
Field School, Volunteer

RPA Certified:

National University of Ireland Galway

Project Director:
Brian O Hara

Project Description:

Our 2020 program will focus on the multi-period archaeological complex at Caraun Point on the northern coast of Achill Island. Caraun Point is a small sand-covered peninsula jutting into the Atlantic Ocean. It is well-known for its rich archaeological remains, including an early medieval enclosure, a children’s burial ground, several shell middens and an early modern village of vernacular houses. In 2019, three drystone houses which date to the Post-Medieval period were excavated. Artefacts recovered from the excavation include glass and pottery sherds along with animal bone and shellfish remains. Analysis of these objects gave us an insight into the livelihood and diet of the people who lived here. One unexpected discovery was the presence of a probable Early-Medieval ringfort immediately to the west of our excavation. Habitation deposits associated with this site were evident beneath the Post-Medieval houses and some artefacts of 8th to 10th Century date were recovered. Next year’s excavation season already looks like it will be fascinating. The ringfort and some shell middens will be the focus of our excavations in 2020.

Period(s) of Occupation: 8th to 10th Century AD - 1900 AD

Project Size: 1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: 2 weeks

Minimum Age: 17 years and upwards

Experience Required: None

Room and Board Arrangements:
Self-catering accommodation (sharing) in fully equipped modern Accommodation Block with everything supplied except food.

Academic Credit:
3, 6, 9 and 12 Semester Hours/ 6, 12, 18, 24 ECTS

Contact Information:

Dolores Kilbane

Achill Island

County Mayo



Phone: (353) 984-3564

Fax: +353 98 43595

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