Experimental Archaeology and Materiality of The Medieval Period in Ireland

Overview

This program provides a practical introduction to the role of crafts, technologies and construction techniques in Ireland through time. Focusing on both the built environment and materiality in the medieval period, students will actively participate in a range of bespoke experimental archaeology workshops and projects. Through participation on this program students will be equipped with a good understanding of medieval society in general, with a specific focus on the role of technologies and materiality in people’s lives at that time. The program also teaches many ‘life-skills’ such as creativity, problem solving, teamwork, time management, resourcefulness and project design and implementation.

What makes this program completely unique is its collaboration with a leading archaeological research project – Digging the Lost Town of Carrig. The experimental archaeology program is delivered adjacent an authentic ringwork castle (the Carrick ringwork), within the confines of the Irish National Heritage Park (INHP) in Wexford, southeast Ireland. This ringwork is one of Ireland’s most important medieval monuments and crucial to the earliest stages of the Anglo-Norman invasion of Ireland, being the first Norman fortification built in the country in 1169 CE. Archaeological excavations undertaken in the 1980s and by the IAFS since 2018 showed that significant evidence of the site’s medieval history is preserved below the ground – including remnants of a 12th century fort with wooden structures, 13th century stone castle and 14th century hall and chapel. Students on the experimental archaeology program will not be excavating, but they will be actively partnering with the archaeologists. As part of the experimental archaeology program students will be given an in-depth tour(s) of the site and expected to understand the archaeology intimately, as it is these very archaeological features that they will be replicating in workshops. As the archaeologists on the site uncover the history of both the site and buildings the results are communicated in almost ‘live time’ to the experimental archaeology students, underpinning their projects with exceptional authenticity and added significance.

Course Details

  • Course Dates: June 16 – June 29, 2019
  • Where: Wexford and the Irish National Heritage Park
  • Enrollment Status: OPEN
  • Academic Credit: 2 semester credit units (equivalent to 3 quarter units)
  • Total Cost: $2,710 (including all meals, accommodation, tuition, instruction, equipment and field trips)
  • Course Type: Experimental Archaeology
  •  Payment Deadline : April 5, 2019
  • Instructor: Dr. Denis Shine
  • Apply through the Institute for Field Research – click here