Location: Cork, Ireland
This field school is part of a research project that examines the archaeology of the 19th century prison on Spike Island, Ireland’s Alcatraz. Dealing with criminals by means of long-term incarceration is a relatively recent development. In Ireland and Britain, long-term confinement only became the dominant means of punishment and social control in the mid-19th century. The architecture of many of the purpose-built prisons from this period reflects new ideas about the redemptive nature of isolation, discipline and work. The physical isolation of prisoners was not possible on Spike Island which was an early 19th century fortress that was converted to a prison in 1847 at the height of the Great Famine. The prison was tied into the global reach of the British imperial system of power as in the early years of its operation, it was one of the main holding centers for Irish convicts transported to Australia and to Bermuda. In the 2014 season, our principal focus will be on the convict burial ground and the bioarchaeology of the inmates who died at Spike Island.
Period(s) of Occupation: Historical archaeology
Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: full session
Room and Board Arrangements
The field School accommodation will be in the fort on Spike Island. Spike is a small, uninhabited island in Cork Harbour. While there is no resident population on the island, it is not an isolated place: it is only 500m from land in one direction and 1500m across the harbour from the town of Cobh. The accommodation on the island consists of bedrooms, a common room and kitchen. The rooms are comfortable and spacious and will be shared. There will be separate rooms for male and females students. There are separate male and female toilets on the corridor while hot showers are in an adjacent building. There will be a bed for each team member and you will need to bring your own sleeping bag and towels
All meals are provided from Monday to Friday and hot meals are catered and tarnsported daily from the mainland to the island. Sstudents look after their own meals at weekends.
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