Last week, the Hill of Slane Archaeology Project ran a field school course in surface collection and remote sensing. The course was carried out with a number of partners including the ArchaeoLandscapes Europe Project, the University of Warsaw, and with the assistance of the Discovery Programme.
The participating students, from all over the world, practised planning and undertaking geophysical survey and interpretation of the results; technique undertaken included resistivity, magnetometry and ground penetrating radar (GPR). The University if Warsaw team have also undertook a low-level aerial photography survey, using kites.
We visited the site on April 12th for the official open day and saw the team and students in action; the work focused on the eastern approach to the hill top, and inside the structure of the college.
Tentative results indicate that there may be sub-surface archaeological remains surviving, beyond the upstanding structures of the church and college on the hill. The results of the course will contribute to ongoing research on the hill; previous work includes a study carried out on a mound to the west of the site, the results of which are mostly recently published in the Hill of Slane Heritage Guide No. 55 (2012, Wordwell Publishers).
The Hill of Slane Archaeology Project is a community archaeology project in Slane, Co. Meath. Slane is situated on the banks of the River Boyne and to the west of the UNESCO World Heritage site of Brú no Bóinne. The project is an initiative of Dr Conor Brady, Academic Director of the Irish Archaeology Field School and lecturer in archaeology at DKIT, Matthew Seaver, IRC PhD student, University College Dublin, and Kevin Barton, geophysicist; they have been studying the archaeology and landscape of Slane, with a particular focus on the hill of Slane, a high point in the landscape and overlooking the Boyne River and the monuments of the UNESCO Boyne Valley Archaeology site.
The project is supported by Meath County Council, and the Mountcharles Estate in Slane. For more information, see http://hillofslane.wordpress.com/.