This field school is based in two beautiful Celtic countries: Ireland and the Isle of Man, which lies between Ireland and Britain. It is designed to give students training and experience in a range of field techniques. A programme of training in all aspects of graveyard survey will take place in Ireland at a variety of historic burial grounds. Students will then be transferred to the Isle of Man where excavation and geophysical survey training will take place for at a choice of settlement sites dating to the late prehistoric and historic periods. There are also visits to museums and sites of all periods from the Neolithic to historic.
The field school consists of three two-week parts: Data capture: Survey, in Ireland. Training in surface survey on historic church sites using EDM theodolite, and recording historic gravestones at burial grounds using forms, measurements, rubbings and photographs. Data capture: Excavation, in the Isle of Man. Training in a wide range of excavation and recording methods, preliminary processing of finds and environmental samples inlcuding flotation and wet screening. Students will obtain experience in geophysical survey using a gradiometer and a resistivity meter. Data analysis, in the Isle of Man. Students continue fieldwork, but concentrate on a project of their choice, using data from survey or excavation, on which they produce a report. This lets students see the whole process from survey through excavation and recording to ordering and analysis of results.
Many students have used aspects of their field training and data they have collected for assignments back at their home universities, and many have carried onto Masters and doctoral programs. Students from the field school are now employed in universities, museums, contract archaeology. The director is often requested to write support references which carry weight as we know students so well. The field school allows participants to work with Irish and UK students in both Ireland and in the Isle of Man, and to discover the culture, landscape and history of these two Celtic countries, creating an educational but highly rewarding experience.
Period(s) of Occupation: Late prehistoric, historic
Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: 6 weeks
Room and Board Arrangements
Ireland: shared house with all meals provided (group self-catering); Isle of Man: camp site, individual tent and inflatable mattress provided for every student, all meals provided (group self-catering).
Harold Mytum, editor, Global Perspectives on Archaeological Field Schools: Constructions of Knowledge and Experience, 2012, New York
Harold Mytum, Mortuary Monuments and Burial Grounds of the Historic Period , 2004, New York
Harold Mytum, The Origins of Early Christian Ireland , 1991, London
Barry Cunliffe, Iron Age Communities of the British Isles, 4th edn, 2005, London