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Entrance of Roundhouse 2 at the end of the excavation


What is next for this piece of land? Will there be some sort of construction or development, or will this land solely be used for excavation and research?

Hello Im taking Anthropology 101 and for our discussion boards our professor has us on interactive dig site. I choose Achill Island, Ireland seeing I've always wanted to visit such a beautiful country, While going through Week 1 to Week 12 I had a couple of questions that I kept asking myself that I just need to KNOW.

Why do you split the site up into quadrants and draw each quadrant on large sheets of paper continuously throughout the excavating process?

As I went from week 1 to week 12 I noticed that they were recovering stone walls which were either still intact or have collapsed over time. With them finding these stones put together with different material like a sticky clay material used as mortar and others using charcoal-rich material. If they would have used the stronger material to hold these stone walls together do you think it would have been a big difference with that the walls, that they would have never collapsed?

Thanks! Happy Diggin!!!


Hi Morgan, 

We make multiple drawings to record how the site changes through time. We split the sites into quadrants partly to leave cross baulks that allow us to record the vertical relationships between the various layers. 


All walls will eventually fall down, but you are right, the bonding material does have a bearing on it. So dry-stone or clay-bonded walls will collapse faster than cement or lime-bonded walls. 

I hope that answers your questions, 



It looks like you are all having a great time.  It’s so good to see that this dig is moving forward.  I have a question and was wondering if you could answer it for me.  What is the most surprising artifact that your team has found during this dig?


Jon Gebhardt, a big fan of Archaeology news


The most surprising artifact that you'r team has found

Hi Jon, Sorry for the delayed reply. The most surprising artifact that we've found is definitely the Slievemore head, a small beach cobble that appears to have been carved into the shape of a human face! We found it in a pit in the Middle Bronze Age house on Slievemore. You can view a 3D model of the artifact here: You can read more about the discovery here:

All the best, 


G'day, im doing a research assignment in my Ancient History class and one of my things to do were contact a person and ask about the site and everything. I chose to do Archaelogy and do something recent. I would lik eto thank you actually if you do read this taking time out to reply to kids aha. But onto my questions, umm what is the life of an archaeologist and how is the site and seeing the beautiful landscape around Achill Island, Ireland. i would love to hear back on this im sorry if this sounds pushy aha :) i hope you hvae a great day/night and enjoying digging aha :)

Kind Regards.

Ben, (im 15 years old).

Hi Ben, 

Thank you for your question, and sorry for the delayed reply. The life of an archaeologist on Achill is exciting but not without its challenges. We're very lucky to get to excavate on such a beautiful island. This season we're digging at Keem Bay on the western tip of the island, and I honestly think it's one of the most stunning places I've ever dug. It's also exciting and rewarding to have a role in unearthing the places that our ancestors lived, and to try to put a picture of their lives together based on the often fragmentary pieces of evidence. This season we found some glass beads that could have been part of a set of early 19th century rosary beads. I found that very poignant. Our main enemy is the weather! The west of Ireland summer can be unpredictable. As they say here, you can get four seasons in one day. Some weeks it can rain every day, even in June or July. The other worst thing are the midges – a type of small biting fly that live in boggy areas and come out in overcast weather to attack the team. Not so pleasant. But on the upside when the sun does shine, and the midges are away, this place is a little bit of heaven.

Hope that answers your question, 


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