The Irish Archaeology Field School (IAFS) is Ireland’s leading provider of accredited, site-based archaeological research and training. The ethos of the school is to provide an opportunity for students and enthusiasts of archaeology and anthropology to experience at first hand the excitement of archaeological excavation in a teaching environment. Excavations are undertaken within an established research framework led by a team of highly qualified and experienced archaeologists.

We carry out archaeological research excavation, with a strong teaching component, to allow students and visitors a first hand and unique experience of discovering the past. Students of the school will undertake all aspects of an archaeological excavation and discovery at the site and contribute to the community project.

The archaeology project is at the Black Friary, the site of a 13th century, late medieval, Dominican Friary in the town of Trim, Co. Meath. Trim is in the Boyne River valley; the valley is home to some of the most significant archaeological and cultural heritage sites in Ireland and Europe, including Brú na Boínne, the UNESCO World Heritage Site. See Discover Ireland for more information.

The project is a community based project, with a number of stakeholders and supporters, including the local authority, state bodies, and expert groups. The field school is closely tied to its CRM sister company, CRDS Ltd., and Cultural Tourism Ireland (cultural heritage experiences). The school is run by company directors Eur Geol Dr. Stephen Mandal MIAI and Finola O’Carroll MA MIAI MRPA. The teaching staff includes Finola O’Carroll MRPA MIAI, Dr. Rachel Scott MAIA and Dr. Denis Shine. The excavation directors are supported by a number of highly trained and enthusiastic supervisors and a team of specialists covering everything from human and animal osteoarchaeology, to geology and architectural heritage. We work closely with our academic partners in the Institute of Field Research to deliver practical and relevant field investigation courses.

Archaeology investigation is undertaken during summer months and the excavation season will run from May 18th to August 14th 2015.

The site has long been neglected, due in part to its status as a National Monument in Irish heritage legislation, and to the lack of resources available to the local authority to develop the site as a heritage resource. The community archaeology project is challenged with investigating the archaeological remains of the site, now mostly below ground, and working with the local community to create a space where community and visitors alike can explore heritage and use the site in a mutually beneficial and sustainable way.

Meath County Council wishes to acknowledge the financial assistance provided, under the built heritage element of the Environmental Fund, by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht towards community archaeology, in Trim, Co. Meath project.

Research excavations are undertaken under license to the National Monuments Service, Department of the Environment, Heritage & Local Government (the Irish government body responsible for the protection of our heritage).