Student Notebooks

Blackfriary, Ireland: Christian

August 5, 2015

Hello, my name is Christian De Ville and I am from Boston. I am attending Prescott College studying secondary education. I am really interested in history, specifically the transition of pre-Christian to Christian Ireland. I also enjoy learning about the rise of state in ancient Mesopotamia, specifically contrasting northern and southern Mesopotamia. In the context of archaeology I am interested to learn more about architectural and structural remains. I needed school credit so I typed into Google “Irish field school” and IAFS was one of the first to pop up.

I am really hoping, besides just getting school credit, to gain a solid foundation in archaeological methods and techniques, a better understanding on ecclesiastical orders in Ireland during the Middle Ages, and I would really love to learn more about the background of the Blackfriary and its interaction with the town of Trim. I was asked to discuss what I am looking forward to the most but there is nothing in particular that comes to mind. For me it’s more about the experience, the journey, not necessarily any culminating event. I simply wish to be continuously learning and become more competent in the field of archaeology.

I have been here two weeks and I am really enjoying it so far. When I first arrived on site my supervisor, Ian Finch, gave me a tour and he gave, in a great detail, the history and overview of the site. He was really passionate about everything going on and I felt like that passion aided in his delivery. I was able to get a solid visualization of the site which is difficult considering there are not a lot of standing remains. I have been mostly digging test pits which can get a little monotonous at times but it is still really interesting. I recently got moved into Cutting 10 and I have really enjoyed that. I feel like it has been more interactive with the site as I got to help excavate DHB (it’s a little more exciting than digging test pits). I have learned the basics since I have been here; taking co-ordinates, setting up and reading levels, learning post-ex skills, how to properly record in the registers. A highlight of my time here was Dr. Rachel Scott’s lecture on how to distinguish animal bone from human bone. I have always found it fascinating when people had the ability to look at a bone fragment and be able to determine animal and human differences. I feel like her lecture really gave me some insight on how to properly distinguish those differences.

I have just begun my journey here at the Blackfriary but I look forward to continuing to learn and grow in my knowledge and skill set.

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