2010 Field Season – Black Friary Day 19 (2-Jul-10)

Last Day - so much to do!

So, the final day of the first half of the 2010 season at Black Friary.  The students are off to Bective (www.bective.wordpress.com) and Rossnaree (www.rossnareedig.wordpress.com) from Monday 5th July until Friday 30th July.

Life in Cutting 2

We will be returning to Black Friary for the month of August, but today was about getting as much information as possible from the two cuttings that were open.

Lisanne finally gets her hands on one of those diggy things

It was a case of record record record – so lots of planning and section drawing, lots of tape measures, pencils and erasers.

And it was all hands on deck.  Steve, who only arrived to hand out ice creams, was even roped in to help Robert draw a section (which he reckoned was his first since Rob was in short pants!), and Lisanne (CRDS’s former office manager) held her first trowel.

Did you get this feature Sam?

At the end of the day, it was particularly hard to drag Sam Neilson and Ryan from their drawings.  Only the offer of a last day pint finally convinced them to down pencils.

So, the cuttings have been backfilled for the month, until the next batch of students arrive on site in August.  And of course this is only the beginning – this site has such huge potential.

Emma takes a final panorama

A sad farewell was bid to Emma, Sam (Tanji) and Meg.  Emma had been with us since day 1 at Black Friary, when all we could see was grass.  Hopefully we will see ye again next year!

Don’t forget to check in to the blog over the next week or so, as we will be posting the results of the geophysical survey and the topographical survey.


About Irish Archaeology Field School

The Irish Archaeology Field School (IAFS) is Ireland’s leading provider of university accredited, site based archaeological research and training. Our archaeological and heritage programs include research projects in a number of locations in Ireland, including in Co. Wexford and Co. Offaly (with satellite schools frequently undertaken elsewhere). We provide credited and uncredited programs (and internships) for novice and experienced students, and also specialise in the preparation of purpose-built faculty led programs incorporating excavation, historical research, remote sensing, non-invasive survey, ground investigation, landscape assessment etc. Whilst our programs are excavation-centered and aimed primarily at students of archaeology, anthropology and history, courses are open to all, and are guaranteed to give you an enriching and thoroughly worthwhile study abroad adventure.
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4 Responses to 2010 Field Season – Black Friary Day 19 (2-Jul-10)

  1. Susan Elmore says:

    We are just getting back from our summer vacation after leaving Black Friary, then on to Dublin, and then back to some more traveling in the US, so sorry for the delay. My son, Alex and niece Madison and I had the most amazing experiences with all of you there. We were, of course, Volunteers and were not sure if we had what it took to be part of the team but every one went out of their way to include us. We were not expecting that. I learned so much about what a powerful commercial city Trim used to be, what the Boyne represented to Ireland, and what the monks represented to the city as well. Being a doctor, I was fascinated with the entire discovery process of the skeletal remains, and found myself with a million questions about bone densities back then, etc, etc.
    My only regret was that it was too short as we only had time to sign on for one week. But I learned so many things about how to approach a dig site. Oh, and I also learned that, when you hit yourself in the shin with a maddux, it kind of hurts… a lot. Finn kept correcting my posture – she saw this coming, she did…
    My son’s classmates are all trying to talk their parents into chaperoning them into coming, as they got excited by our description.
    This is definitely a unique experience for a family that wants to work hard and learn a lot.
    The Professors were clearly top in their field and you could discern that right away form their comfort in discussing all aspects of the historical sites (cultural, geological, architectural, etc).
    I don’t think my kids will ever forget this experience, and it was one of their more unique “vacations”.
    Thank you so much, Steve and Finn. I feel like you guys are such dedicated and real people! Would love to see you both again and just go out and listen to you two talk..for hours!!!
    Best of luck to everyone at all of the dig sites.
    Susan Elmore, Alex Bieg and
    Madison Elmore

    • blackfriary says:

      Dear Susan (and Alex and Madison),

      Thank you so much for the kind words. I’ve only just got them (I’m new to this blogging thing and didn’t realise your comment was there).

      As I said to you, Fin and I are learning all the time, and have been really enjoying working with the students and volunteers. I’m about to put up the blog for the first week back on site – wait until you see the amount of work they have gotten through.

      It was great to meet the three of you – it’s always interesting to work with people from different academic backgrounds, sometimes the questions are so different they make you really think.

      I actually spent a few hours on Dalkey Hill this morning; I went to take some photos (we have just been awarded a contract to do some work on the Island (remember the really interesting island just off the coast with remains from the Mesolithic to Napoleonic times). I ended up sitting on a bench there for an hour soaking up the sun and reflecting on archaeolgy and life in general.

      I hope you have fond and lasting memories of that day, and that the pizza was enough reward for all the walking myself and my Alex put you through!

      Keep in touch, and we hope to see you someday, somewhere.

      Kind regards,


  2. Emma says:

    I hope to be back again next year!! Good luck to everyone at the other two sites and at Black Friary in August!

    • blackfriary says:

      Thanks Emma,

      Glad to hear you got home safely. We have over 30 students at Bective, but surprisingly it is a little quieter without you!

      Study hard, and see you next year!


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