Location: Wexford, Ireland
Season: June 11, 2023 to July 8, 2023
Application Deadline: May 1, 2023
Deadline Type: Exact Date
Irish Archaeology Field School, Centre of Experimental Archaeology and Material Culture University College Dublin, Institute for Field Research, Connecticut College
Dr. Denis Shine & Dr. Brendan O'Neill
This program provides a practical introduction to the role of crafts, technologies, and construction techniques in Ireland throughout time. Focusing on both the built environment and materiality in the medieval period, students will actively participate in a range of bespoke, experimental archaeology workshops and projects. Students will be equipped with a general understanding of medieval society, with a specific focus on the role of technologies and materiality in people’s lives in that time period. In addition to archaeological knowledge, students will build more general ‘life-skills’ such as creativity, problem solving, teamwork, time management, and resourcefulness as well as project design and implementation.
What makes this program especially unique is its collaboration with a leading archaeological research project – Digging the Lost Town of Carrig. Students will learn methods in experimental archaeology adjacent to an authentic ringwork castle (the Carrick ringwork) within the confines of the Irish National Heritage Park (INHP) in Wexford, southeast Ireland. This ringwork is one of Ireland’s most important medieval monuments and is crucial to the earliest stages of the Anglo-Norman invasion of Ireland, being the first Norman fortification built in the country in 1169 CE. Archaeological excavations undertaken in the 1980s and by the IAFS since 2018 showed that significant evidence of the site’s medieval history is preserved below the ground – including remnants of a 12th century fort with wooden structures, 13th century stone castle, and 14th century hall and chapel. Students in the experimental archaeology program will not be excavating, but they will be actively partnering with the archaeologists. As part of the experimental archaeology program students will be given in-depth tours of the site and can expect to understand the archaeology intimately, as it is the archaeological features they will be replicating in workshops. As archaeologists uncover the history of both the site and buildings, the results will be communicated essentially in ‘live time’ to the experimental archaeology students, underpinning their projects with exceptional authenticity and increased significance.
Period(s) of Occupation: Medieval Period; Experimental 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: 18
Experience Required: No prior experience is required to participate in this field school.
Room and Board Arrangements:
Students will stay with local families in the County of Wexford. Home Stay students live with local families, and experience true home life in provincial Ireland. Students will be brought to the site daily. Students should understand that the host families are in rural settings, requiring taxis to reach the town of Wexford. Breakfast and dinner will be provided along with a packed lunch. Students are encouraged to avail of their free time at weekends and explore Ireland.
8 semester credits credits from Connecticut College. Tuition is $4,955.
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