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Ireland - Inishbofin

Location: Inishbofin , Ireland

June 3, 2018 to June 29, 2018

Application Deadline: 
Friday, April 20, 2018

Deadline Type: 

Program Type

Field school

RPA certified



Institute for Field Research, Connecticut College, University of Notre Dame

Project Director:

Dr. Ian Kuijt, Dr. Meredith Chesson

Project Description

This field school offers students the opportunity to learn about the rich history, heritage and archaeology of coastal Ireland. Excavating on the islands of Inishbofin and Inishark, County Galway, Ireland, fifty miles west of Galway along the coast of Connemara, the Cultural Landscapes of the Irish Coast project (CLIC) has been working for 10 years to understand post 18th century island life. The 2018 excavations will focus on Building 5, a partially preserved stone three room house overlooking the Poirtíns, a small harbor in the located on the south-east corner of the 8 by 5 mile island of Inishbofin. In the 1830’s the fishing village of the Poirtíns was home to around 60 people. It is now abandoned with many of the stone buildings partially destroyed in the 1890’s when the upper sections of the houses were removed for building field walls. Although the island of Inishbofin has been lived on since the Bronze Age, very little is known about 18th and 19th century life before and after the Irish Famine on Inishbofin in general, and life in the Poirtíns in specific. This field school involves four weeks of practical instruction in the methods and theory of archaeological excavation in Historical Archaeology, field survey, and laboratory analysis of ceramic, class and metal objects.

Period(s) of Occupation: Historical Archaeology

Project size: 
1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: Participants are required to stay for the full duration of the field school.

Minimum age: 

Experience required: 
No prior experience is required to participate in this field school.

Room and Board Arrangements

Students and staff will be living in four rented houses. Each of the houses has multiple shared bed and bathrooms, and a common space. The largest building also has a large dining area that will be used for lunch and dinner, as well as lectures.

All of your food needs will be taken care of, so there is no need to worry about main meals. With a few exceptions all the meals will be provided by a professional cook, with students and staff assisting with clean up and meal preparation. However, it is important to share in advance any dietary concerns or food allergies directly with the project director. Meatless options will be available at mealtimes. Tea and coffee will be provided. If you are desperate for something other than water, tea or coffee then I suggest power drink mixes. All of your drinking water will be taken care of. Students will have access to laundry facilities at the Youth Hostel.

Room and Board are included in the cost of the program.

Academic Credit

Name of institution offering credit: 
Connecticut College
Number of credits offered 8 Semester Credits


Contact Information
Institute for Field Research
2999 Overland Ave. Suite 103
Los Angeles
Recommended Bibliography: 

Aalen, F. H. A. (1966). The evolution of the traditional house in western Ireland. Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland 96(1): 47–58.

Forsythe, W. (2006). The archaeology of the kelp industry in northern Irish islands. International Journal of Nautical Archaeology 35: 218–229.

Forsythe, W. (2013). The measure and materiality of improvement in Ireland. International Journal of Historical Archaeology 17: 72–93.

Green, K. and T. Moore (2010). Archaeology: An Introduction. Abingdon and New New York: Routledge, chpts 2, 3, and 5.

Kuijt, I., M. Conway, K. Shakour, C. McNeill, and C. Brown. (2015). Vectors of Improvement: The Material Footprint of Nineteenth- through Twentieth-Century Irish National Policy, Inishark, Co. Galway, Ireland.  International Journal of Historical Archaeology, 19(1): 122-158.

Kuijt, I, R. Lash, M. Gibbons, J. Higgins, N. Goodale, and J. O’Neill. (2011) Reconsidering Early Medieval Seascapes: New Insights from Western Ireland. Journal of Irish Archaeology. (19): 51-71.

Moran, G. (1997). Near famine: the crisis in the west of Ireland, 1879–82. Irish Studies Review 18: 14–21.

Orser, C. E. (2010). Three 19th-century house sites in rural Ireland. Post-Medieval Archaeology 44: 81–104.