Excavations for 2010 will be concentrated in three locations, at Roundhouse 2 on Slievemore, a Late Medieval house at Keem Bay and a hut at Annagh Booley Village. Applicants should carefully consider which of the sites is of the most interest to them, and select a course appropriately.
Excavations at Roundhouse 2
This site will continue to be the main focus of excavations during 2010. It will be completed during the 2010 season and will build on the previous years excavations. The site os located on the southern side of Slievemore, overlooking the Deserted Village and with extensive views of the valley floor, Keel Lough, Keel Strand and the Minaun Cliffs. Roundhouse 2 consists of a circular platform which is slightly dished in the interior and has been substantially built up around the downslope side. The site is very similar in size to Roundhouse 1 and is every bit as impressive. The structure consists of a substantial dry stone wall with an elaborate orthostatic entrance to the south east. It is not yet known whether these structures were used for domestic or ritual purposes and answering this question is the focus of this excavation. This structure and the adjacent Roundhouse 1 are known to have collapsed prior to 1500BC, placing their date of construction in the Late Neolithic or Early Bronze Age. Charcoal samples have been submitted for radiocarbon dating and will be available early in 2010.
Excavations at Keem Bay
This site partially excavated in 2009 and will be taken to completion during the 2010 season. Keem Bay is located at the very western tip of Achill Island and is a place well famed for its beauty. A village of 41 houses was present at Keem in the early 19th century, but very little is known of its origins or its nature. The remains of 12 houses can be seen today, and this will be the first time that one of the houses has been investigated archaeologically. The focus of the excavation will be to determine the nature of the structure, date its construction and period of occupation and to determine whether it was a permanent dwelling or a seasonally occupied transhumance site, known as a Booleying in Ireland. This excavation will therefore answer several important questions about this little understood settlement.
Dooagh, Achill Island,
County Mayo, Ireland
Visit the website at http://www.achill-fieldschool.com
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