Castles in Communities

COVID-19 NOTICE: Please be sure to reach out to the project contact to find out the status of their upcoming season. Many projects have cancelled fieldwork for 2020 and the information below may not reflect that.

This listing expired on June 25, 2020. Please contact for any updated information.

Location: Ballintubber, Co. Roscommon

Season: July 4, 2020 to July 29, 2020

Application Deadline: June 25, 2020

Deadline Type: Exact Date


Discount for AIA members: 5%

Program Type:
Field School

RPA Certified:

Foothill College

Project Director:
Niall Brady, PhD

Project Description:

Entering our sixth year, Castles in Communities is an archaeological/anthropological research Field School program centered on the rural Irish village of Ballintober and the medieval keepless Castle positioned prominently in its midst. During three and a half weeks, students will be immersed in the daily rhythm of rural Ireland while taking part in archaeological investigations of its medieval origins. This is a field learning program, where students gain an understanding of the past by directly participating in an academic research and cultural heritage project. Students will learn fundamental field techniques of archaeology, including excavation, survey, geophysics, and laboratory analysis. This hands-on training is combined with coursework in archaeological theory and Irish history. In this interactive manner, students will be exposed to the fundamental processes of social science research that includes working within a research design, collecting data, interpreting data, and situating findings in a broader discourse. The Castles in Communities Archaeological Project is a multi-year program that works closely with the Irish community in utilizing its results to encourage ongoing efforts for the preservation and conservation of its local history. We are excited to have you join our team!

Period(s) of Occupation: Late Medieval 1100-1600

Sixth Field Season with emphasis upon excavations within the castle entrance, a living structure in the associated deserted settlement, expanding geophysics coverage, developing an interactive web-based heritage map, and conducting a graveyard survey.

Project Size: 25-49 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: 3 and a half weeks, contact for optional time periods.

Minimum Age: 18

Experience Required: No experience required.

Room and Board Arrangements:
Upon arrival you will be placed into pre-assigned housing, which will either be in a shared home with other students and staff in a leased, furnished home in Ballintober or a leased cottage on the Clonalis Estate. Food will be provided by the project from July 4 lunch/dinner to July 29th breakfast. We try to accommodate all dietary needs and have always made good food a primary focus of our projects. The program uses the two local pubs which hire local cooks who make the dinners and provide lunches three days a week with communal dinner created by staff and students the remainder of the nights.

Academic Credit:
Optional Independent Study (1-2 units)

Contact Information:

Niall Brady

ADCO, Beverley Studios, Church Terrace


County Wiklow

A98 P3V2


Phone: (925) 424-1203

support Us

The AIA is North America's largest and oldest nonprofit organization dedicated to archaeology. The Institute advances awareness, education, fieldwork, preservation, publication, and research of archaeological sites and cultural heritage throughout the world. Your contribution makes a difference.

Post a Fieldwork Opportunity