August 27, 2019
Hi, my name is Madison Ingles and I’m from Melbourne, Australia. I’m here from July 14 to August 10, and my main motivation for coming to Ferrycarrig was to gain experience at an archaeological site. I plan to apply to universities back home as a mature-age student, which you can do after you turn 21. Completing this dig with the Irish Archaeological Field School would boost my credentials and improve my chances of being accepted into the best schools. I eventually want to specialize in Egyptology.
There have been rotating assignments of students for each of our five cuttings, and I’ve been in Cutting 4. One of our supervisors, Richard Reid, noticed that a wall uncovered in Cutting 3 nearby looked like it might extend into Cutting 4, so I’ve been uncovering the extension to try to get a better picture of what the site looked like in the 13th-14th centuries. We think the wall might belong to a chapel, that is recorded in a 1324 inquisition, based on the structure’s east-west orientation. We’re also trying to figure out why there’s so much oxidized clay in this cutting and why there’s a big pit in the middle of it.
I’ve learned a lot about archaeological methods while I’ve been here too, from planning and cataloguing to journaling and post-excavation. I work full-time right now as a receptionist for a steel fencing company back home and it’s interesting to see how some of the skills involved in planning and excavation are transferable between the two fields.
Digging in the Irish National Heritage Park has been a great experience so far—I really like working with the people here, and it’s a lot more fun than I expected!