Academic Credit is offered through NUI Galway. This is available as transferable ECTS/or American Semester credits. Click here for a list of International Universities and colleges for which students have previously received credit through an NUI Galway archaeological fieldschool.

Course Overview:

The Irish Fieldschool of Prehistoric Archaeology (IFPA) combines cutting edge research into prehistoric societies with first-class and practical hands-on education. We want our students to understand the research questions with which we approach our surveys and excavations, to think critically about the techniques we employ and to become fully engaged in the interpretive process.

We offer three courses: a two-week lecture and survey course, a four-week excavation and recording techniques course and a one-week experimental archaeology course. We also offer the discounted opportunity of combining two courses into a five or six-week course, or - for the ultimate introduction to Irish prehistory - combineall three into a seven week course.

2017 Programme Details:

Session 1: May 15th - 26th                      3 Semester Credits/6 ECTS Credits      

Course title: Irish prehistory and the tombs of the ancestors (2 weeks)

Session 2: May 29th - June 23rd             6 Semester Credits/12 ECTS Credits

Course title: Archaeological excavation and recording techniques (4 weeks)

Session 3: June 26th - July 1st                 TBC Semester Credits/TBC ECTS Credits

Course title: Experimental archaeology and the material culture of the Irish Early Bronze Age (1 week)

Session 4: July 10th - Aug 4th                 6 Semester Credits/12 ECTS Credits

Course title: Archaeological excavation and recording techniques (4 weeks)

Session 5: Aug 7th - 18th                          3 Semester Credits/6 ECTS Credits

Course title: Irish prehistory and the tombs of the ancestors (2 weeks)

Tuition, fees and accommodation:

Irish prehistory and the tombs of the ancestors (2 weeks) €1,650

Experimental archaeology (1 week) €850

Archaeological excavation and recording techniques (4 weeks) €3,250

Combined 5 week course (sessions 2 & 3 or sessions 3 & 4) at the discounted price of €3, 950

Combined 6 week course (sessions 1 & 2 or sessions 4 & 5) at the discounted price of €4,500

Combined 7 week course (sessions 1, 2 & 3 or sessions 3, 4 & 5) at the discounted price of €5000

Programme Outlines:

Irish prehistory and the tombs of the ancestors (2 weeks)

The two week lecture and survey course will include visits to some of Ireland’s most-famous prehistoric sites, to the National Museum in Dublin and also to several of our less-well-known prehistoric gems. During the 2017 season, we will focus on visiting Irish megalithic tombs and learn about finds from previous excavations (court tombs, passage tombs, Linkardstown town-type tombs and wedge tombs). The survey element of the course will concentrate on wedge tombs in the Burren, Co. Clare, and will cover drawing, digital photography, photogrammetry, total station survey and 3D modelling.

Archaeological excavation and recording techniques (4 weeks)

During the 2017 summer season, the IFPA will excavate a wedge tomb, on Roughan Hill, in the Burren, County Clare. The four week excavation and recording course will cover techniques of archaeological excavation, drawing, digital photography, photogrammetry, total station survey, 3D modelling, context recording and environmental sampling. Students are encouraged to engage critically with the interpretation of our findings and will receive evening lectures from visiting specialists. The local limestone geology means that bone preservation on the Burren is outstanding. The remains from the nearby court-tomb and the wedge tombs we excavated during 2015 and 2016 were very well preserved and are the subject of ongoing isotopic and DNA analysis. We expect to find human bone in the wedge tomb and students will get first-hand experience of its excavation, recording and analysis.

Experimental Archaeology and the material culture of the Irish Early Bronze Age (1 week)

During the 2017 course we will concentrate on making Early Bronze Age and Chalcolithic objects, daggers, halberds, lithic arrowheads and pottery. All materials will be provided and students will be allowed to take a selection of what they make away with them.

Further information

Self-catered accommodation is provided in the nearby village of Corofin. Click here for further details. Transfers to Corofin from Ennis town or Shannon airport (both easily accessible from Dublin or Galway) can also be provided. At weekends students are free to explore the nearby Burren or visit nearby Ennis town and Galway city. Optional weekend tours will also be available.