The Caherconnell Project

This listing expired on June 1, 2023. Please contact for any updated information.

Location: Burren, The Burren, Co. Louth, Ireland

Season: July 14, 2024 to July 25, 2024

Application Deadline: March 26, 2023

Deadline Type: Contact for Details


Program Type:
Field School

RPA Certified:

Project Director:
Michelle Comber

Project Description:

The Caherconnell Project is your chance to join an exclusive excavation of an important fortress complex within the world-famous Burren karst landscape of western Ireland. This is the first time that archaeology fieldwork at this location has been made available specifically to travelers. Choose from a thoughtfully curated 11-day dig + itinerary or attend 5-days of archaeological fieldwork at Caherconnell. For both the dig and itinerary, all accommodations and transportation and most meals are covered!

The area around Caherconnell is important in understanding Ireland’s past. Caherconnell is a well-preserved, multi-period archaeological complex, rich in sites and artefacts. The Burren, where Caherconnell is located, has had a high concentration of human activity over a long period of time.

Caherconnell itself is home to four stone forts. The site has yielded evidence of habitation from the Irish Neolithic (circa 4000 BC) right through to late medieval times (circa late 17th century AD). The largest stone fort on the site has produced evidence that high-status Gaelic lords lived, farmed, ruled, and manufactured objects made of precious metals here. The incredible preservation of both artefacts and monuments found at Caherconnell are providing researchers details and a deeper understanding of the entire Irish human story from native settlement, economics, and politics through time.

Period(s) of Occupation: Bronze Age to Middle Ages

The excavation takes place over the course of 5 days. It includes all accommodations, all travel and most meals. Caherconnell is a highly productive site, with a large quantity of ongoing finds made regularly. The 2024 excavation includes excavation work on the third fort to be excavated at the Caherconnell complex. You will be hands-on for the entire five days of this excavation, learning the methods of archaeological excavation and archaeological recording. This will allow all participants to immerse themselves in the excavation, collection and study of everything from artifacts to large landscape features dating from 2200 BC to about 800 AD. And make no mistake-this location is absolutely loaded with both! Due to the high quality of preservation at Caherconnell (of everything from artefacts to large landscape features), researchers believe that the work being undertaken here in western Ireland can enlighten our understanding of the entire Irish story, far beyond the borders of the Burren. During your 5-day excavation, your days will consist of: Each day, the group will be picked up at 8am and driven to the dig site where you will meet the archaeologists and begin fieldwork at Caherconnell. The group will return to the hotel by 5.45pm. Archaeological fieldwork begins at 9am and ends at 5pm each day. All tools for archaeological excavation are provided, along with dedicated on-site training, instruction, and supervision. Mid-morning break of tea, coffee and pastries in addition to lunch and beverages are included each day at the onsite café. This location is within walking distance of a visitor centre, which includes bathrooms and a café. You will also have use of field-school facilities at the centre, which includes a locker for every participant and indoor workspace in the event of heavy rain. The cost of the dig includes funds to support the archaeological fieldwork and research at Caherconnell, including a contribution to artifact conservation, radiocarbon dating. Additional activities included during the course of the dig: Private sheepdog demonstration. Private access to a guided tour of the Caherconnell site and farm walk with a view of Galway Bay. July 16-Visit to Poulnabrone after day of excavation The group will enjoy a tour of Poulnabrone Dolmen. Situated on the high Burren limestone plateau, Poulnabrone Dolmen is one of Ireland’s most iconic archaeological monuments and is the oldest dated megalithic monument in Ireland. Enjoy a fascinating history lesson and some light refreshments here before transferring back to your hotel. July 18-Evening walking tour of The Burren. One of Ireland's most compelling landscapes, the cool grey rock etched with crevices and cracks tumbles down to the wild blue Atlantic Ocean. Enjoy this fascinating walking tour of this enthralling landscape with informative and entertaining commentaries on the geology, flora, archaeology, wildlife and farming of the region, along with some light refreshments before transferring back to your hotel.. July19-The group will enjoy a farewell dinner in Ennis at a restaurant/pub with live Irish music.

Project Size: 1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: 5 days

Minimum Age: 18

Experience Required: No experience needed.

Room and Board Arrangements:
All accommodations and inter-country travel are included in the cost. Most meals are included.

Contact Information:

Marisa Rodriguez

941 N 76TH ST


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