Dun Ailinne Archaeological Field School

This listing expired on April 15, 2019. Please contact for any updated information.

Location: Kilcullen, KD, IE

Season: June 17, 2019 to July 12, 2019

Application Deadline: March 22, 2019


Program Type:
Field school

RPA Certified:

Project Director:
Dr. Susan Johnston, George Washington University, Dr. Pam Crabtree, New York University

Project Description:

The site of Dun Ailinne is located on top of Knockaulin hill a short distance from the town of Kilcullen, Co. Kildare, Ireland. Evidence from earlier excavations (1968-1975) has shown that it was the focus of activity as early as the Neolithic, but its main importance was during the Iron Age, ca 600 BCE to 400 CE. During this period, a series of wooden structures was built, used for ceremony and ritual probably associated with religious and political interests. The excavations this summer will focus on two features associated with these structures—two circular ritual enclosures, one of which we know dates to the Iron Age. We began excavating these features in 2018 and we plan to continue into the center to see what is there in order to identify their specific functions.

This four-week field season is designed to offer students the opportunity to participate in all aspects of an archaeological excavation. This includes experience with surveying using a total station, excavation of buried features, and processing and preliminary analysis of the recovered data (artifacts, bone remains, radiocarbon samples, etc.). Students will be trained in these skills by professional archaeologists from George Washington University and New York University, in partnership with the Blackfriary Archaeological Field School. Students will also participate in group field trips to surrounding areas. 

While academic credit is not included, it can be obtained.  For more information please contact Dr. Susan Johnston.

Period(s) of Occupation: Iron Age

Project Size: 1-24 participants

Room and Board Arrangements:
Homestay accommodation is facilitated by the field school. Students stay with local families in Kilcullen and they are within walking distance of the village. The host families have been very welcoming to our students. All students have their own beds, and all homes have wifi. Living with families allows students to be immersed in Irish life and culture, and provides a secure base from which to explore Ireland, and even further afield. Homestay families will provide transportation to the site and all meals, including a packed lunch, are provided. The homestay option was first implemented in 2018 with great success and many of our students have stayed in contact with their host families. Cost: $3000-4000 (+airfare)

Contact Information:

Dr. Susan Johnston

Dept of Anthropology, 2110 G St, NW




United States

Phone: 202-994-6964

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