Square Holes and Enigmatic High Crosses

Monday, August 6 – Friday, August 10

The last week of Achill Field School went by in a flash. Besides the usual scraping back more layers of dirt and cutting further into the middle section of rocks, there were a few new interesting things for me to do on site. In one section of dark brown dirt running down the side of the middle rock section, Rory had me cut a square hole. He told me to dig until the reddish orange material appeared. Once we knew how deep to go, it was faster to scrape the rest of the dark brown strip back. Rory told us to keep our eyes out for a piece of pottery in the dark brown material because then we could plausibly match this context to another dark brown material present in another part of the site that yielded pottery. We did not, however, find anything. Something frustrating about the pottery piece found in the other dark brown section was that the pottery found came from a modern century. The modernity coupled withthe depth at which the dark brown material occurred means that the site is probably not Neolithic, thus not a tomb. There was still a lot more digging to do when the week was over for the eventual new kids, so I still hold hope!

[Read more…]

Just casually having lunch in a castle

Monday, July 23rd

Today we had glorious lectures from Rory, the first about the Bronze Age and the Iron Age in Ireland and the second on GIS. The Bronze Age period (2500BC-600BC) can further be split into Early Bronze Age, Middle Bronze Age and Later Bronze Age. EBA, in turn, holds the Beaker Period, the transition stage between the Copper Age and the Bronze Age. “Beaker” comes from the type of pottery associated with the period, found commonly in megalithic tomb burials as grave goods. During the MBA, round houses become universal, many with ditch enclosures. Crannogs, artificial islands made of stone or dirt and standing stone circles also come into use. There is a move toward hill forts and promontory forts during the LBA, with walls or palisades.

[Read more…]

Climb a mountain? Don’t mind if I do!

Monday, July 16th

[Read more…]