Location: Achill Island, Mayo, Ireland
Achill Archaeological Field School is located on Achill Island, County Mayo, in the west of Ireland. Establised in 1991, the Field School provides hands-on, high quality tuition in excavation and surveying through our investigations of Achill Island's fantastic archaeological heritage. Our projects have so far examined three 19th century houses, a 18th century Manor House, a Late Medieval Tower House Castle, an Early Medieval Kiln complex, two Middle Bronze Age Roundhouses and an extensive prehistoric field system. In 2018, Achill Archaeological Field School will undertake two research excavations at Keem Bat and Caraun Point.
Keem Bay - May & June 2018
Keem Bay is the site of a deserted village of unknown date, located on Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way. This summer, we will carry out a detailed survey of the oldest part of settlement, followed by excavation of one of the houses. This research will provide an unparalleled glimpse into everyday life in pre-Famine Ireland, and we anticipate will offer a significant challenge to popular perceptions of the period.
Caraun Point - July & August 2018
In July and August, we will begin an exciting new excavation at Caraun Point, on the northern coast of Achill Island. Caraun Point is a sand-covered peninsula and assocaited machair landscape jutting into the Atlantic Ocean. It is well-known for its rich archaeological remains, including an early medieval (or earlier) enclosure, a Cillin or children's burial ground, shell middens and several stone buildings of unknown date eroding out of the sand. The site is covered by deep layers of wind-blown sand that that overwhelmed the village, forcing the inhabitants from the site. In 2018, we will excavate one of the eroding buildings and a section of a nearby shell middens.
Our 2-week, 4-week and 6-week modular courses come with academic credit (3, 6 and 9 Semester hours), issued by the National University of Ireland, Galway. Highly structured tuition is combined with weekly lectures and practical assignments that lead the student through various aspects of survey and excavation methodology. Post-excavation data analysis utilises computer-based methods (including AutoCad 2015, GIS, Trimble Workflow and Photoshop CS6) providing students with practical instruction in the preparation, analysis and presentation of digital data generated during the archaeological excavations and surveying exercises. Each week students are taken on a field trip to explore other aspects of the archaeological heritage of Achill Island and an accompanying lecture provides students with a detailed understanding of the chronology of Irish Archaeology, placing the local sites and monuments into the regional and national contexts.
We are offering a $2,000 scholarship for any of our 6-week or 12-week accredited courses. The bursaries which can be offset against course fees, aim to support students in their field school journey of discovery. Applicants for the scholarship must in the first instance enrol in one of the courses mentioned above, follwed by submission of their CV and a 500 word essay outlining why they wish to study at the AAFS. Students must complete enrolment by Aprl 30 2018. Applications should be sent to: email@example.com with subject title 'Scholarship'.
Achill Archaeological Field School courses are open to all archaeology or anthropology students, aged 17 years and over, looking for a unforgetable summer! We also welcome mature students and people with a genuine interest in archaeology and its methodology. You do not have to be enrolled in a university in order to participate in the Field School.
Period(s) of Occupation: Early to Late Medieval and Post Medieval
Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: 1 Week
Room and Board Arrangements
Superior self-catering (sharing) accommodation in a modern, fully-equipped house with everything supplied except food. Free WiFi available at the Archaeology Centre and in the adjoining accommodation block
Located in Dooagh Village beside the Archaeology Centre
McDonald, Theresa, Achill Island: Archaeology, History and Folklore 2006.
Piggot, S. & Powell, T.G.E. 1947. 'Some primitive structures in Achill Island'. Antiquity 28, 19-24.
McDonald, T. 2016. A Guide to Archaeological and Historical Sites on Achill, Achillbeg and the Corraun Peninsula.