Anna with Spencer Kuehl, Robert Grate and Frankie Muro (2019).
Anna with Robert Grate, Bailey Oliveira and Allyson Blanck (2019).
When I applied for the Ferrycarrig field school last year, I knew that it would be an enriching and unique opportunity for my academic career. I did not realize the extent its impact would have on me and my academic studies and plans. It is hard not to fall in love with Ireland; the green everything, the pubs, and the history that still sits among the landscape are all the things that made me love Ireland. After spending time working with the history of the country, my path for the remainder of my Undergraduate academic career was made clear. I knew after studying at Ferrycarrig that I wanted my senior thesis research to focus on medieval Ireland, specifically involving places such as Dublin and Wexford—all cities that I fell in love with during my time at the site.
Additionally, I had a newfound appreciation for the public aspects to archaeology. So often, as someone pursuing a career in history, one tends to picture their future locked in an office having arguments through academic publications with other scholars. My experience at Ferrycarrig working within the Irish National Heritage Park has completely expanded that idea. One of the things they impressed upon us students was that archaeology should be for the public. It concerns their history, is about the places they are from, and should therefore make them the center of focus for all research. Archaeological research should be done to expand knowledge on a historical topic, but that knowledge should then be spread and made understandable to the public. This concept was something that I immediately agree with and have since desired to incorporate into my career plans for the future. As much as I love studying history for myself, some of my favorite moments from working at the site were being able to share that information with guests at the park. History and archaeology are not just for the individual; they are studies meant for every person. That is perhaps one of the greatest lessons I learned while at Ferrycarrig, and it is something I plan on carrying throughout all of my studies and future academic work.