About the Inishark Archaeological Field Project

St Leo’s_Inishark from William Donaruma on Vimeo.

The 2016 Inishark Archaeological Field Project involves three weeks of practical instruction in the methods and theory of archaeological survey, excavation and laboratory analysis focused on nineteenth century Irish island life. Excavating on the uninhabited island of Inishark, Co. Galway, Ireland, students learn field techniques and apply them to investigations of historic archaeological materials by working with artifacts collected during the field course. In addition to the basic archaeological techniques the class will introduce students to modern remote sensing methods, historical eighteenth through twentieth architecture, and analysis of ceramic and glass materials.


Graduate students excavating on Inishark

Graduate students excavating on Inishark


The 2014 summer research focused on the detailed excavation of House 8, a buried and remarkably well-preserved sod and stone house dating to the 1870s, as well as excavation of several contemporary stone houses.  The field work will consist of camping on this remote island for two weeks, and then spending a third week doing laboratory analysis while staying at the Doonmore hotel on the nearby island of Inishbofin. Living and excavating on this remote island, students will conduct research on the rise and collapse of kelp and fishing industries, island lifeways, and the process of immigration to mainland Ireland, England, and America.  In previous years this community archaeology project has involved undertaking excavations with the Irish National School system, bringing on local, Irish, and other volunteers on the field project.