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Away with the Fairies- The Travel Diary of an Irish WebFairy

My Archaeological Digs 2003-2005

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As some of you are all aware, I was previously and Archaeologist. I thought i'd share my sites with you all!

College work experiences saw me on this one in Dundalk Co.Louth

I was on the site when they started stripping back and found the first curve of the ringfort. I returned to the site for a few days in the summer before heading to my very first employed Dig! It was in Carraigmacross in Co. Monaghan.

this was by far the best dig i was ever on! And hte weather was great that summer!

From there i moved on to Mullingar In Co. Westmeath

It was a medieval burial site. I was only there for a short while before the site finished up and we moved back to Dundalk this time to a bronze age burial site!

Just before the christmas of that year we finished up and most of us were moved on to Kill in Co. Kildare

this site actually went on until the May and then we moved a bit down the road to another short lived site

the after a short bit of unemployment i relocated to Cavan town.

not the best site as burnt mounds are awful to deal with but i did get to excavate a cooking pit!

then after anothe bout of unemployment i went to work on the famous carrickmines site!
This site had been going on for years so i cant find the exact excavations i worked on but heres a whole load of the Carrickmines excavation history!

I think this was mine

from there i went to my second last site. A viking dig on church street in Dublin.

this was my very last excavation not far from where i grew up.

a lengthier bout of unemployment meant i took a job "temporarily" in a bookstore... five years later... i'm still there!

Updated 05-18-2010 at 06:04 PM by Niamh

Archaeology and me


  1. 1n50mn14's Avatar
    Niamh, this is SO cool! I always wanted to be involved in archaeology when I was younger, but couldn't really picture finding a career in it. =/. Thanks for sharing! I'm jealous!
  2. motherhubbard's Avatar
    So very cool! I always wanted to be an archaeologist. It sounds so adventurous! What a cool job. What are you going back to school to be?
  3. qimissung's Avatar
    How did you get started in archaeology? Sounds fascinating. Do you think you might ever try to go back to that as a career? Is it very competitive?
  4. applepie's Avatar
    Wow Niamh! That is quite a list. Thanks for sharing them. I'll e going back to read a bit more when I have more time to pay attention :)
  5. Virgil's Avatar
    Oh that is cool. I helped out for one day on one dig once. Some American Indian dig in the Bronx of all places. But it was interesting.
  6. Niamh's Avatar
    I studied it in college but never got my degree. There are heaps of Archaeology companies in Ireland so its more a case of sending in cvs and seeing if they have any contracts. There is zero work at the moment. I'd love to get back into it but at this stage i dont think thats going to happen. I'm mainly studying literature at college now, but i've combined a couple of Archaeology courses and heritage courses in my degree because i love it so much! It was by far the best job i have ever had. It was fun, even if it was very physical!
  7. The Comedian's Avatar
    I'm jealous -- this sort of work was always a dream career of mine -- uncovering mysteries with your mind and your hands. . . . I mean, how awesome is that?
    Updated 05-19-2010 at 04:03 PM by The Comedian
  8. Niamh's Avatar
    Very awesome!
  9. Gilliatt Gurgle's Avatar
    Thanks for sharing Niamh.
    Can you tell us a few of your most memorable finds?
    I.e., - The objects that you personally uncovered.
  10. Niamh's Avatar
    There wasnt much really to be honest. I did find a lignite bracelet on the Naas dig, and a blue glass bead on the Bronze age dig that actually dated the pit i was working on to Early Christian...but i went and dropped it and couldnt find it! I found a silver pin belonging to a brooch on the Viking Dig and a huge piece of uncut flit!
    On my first dig myself, the one in Monaghan and two others were digging the burnt mound and found a cooking trough that self filled from the river and what was one of the most exciting finds on the site, a large slab of wood sitting in the centre, that you could still trace the lines where blades had chopped into it! It would have been used for preparing the food before throwing it into the hot stones in the filled trough! Awesome! The amount of pottery we found on that site was amazing!
    Found a smashed bronze age pot sitting in the corner of a cooking pit on the Cavan dig.
    On the Mullingar dig we were finding shards of stainglass and pieces of masonry from the priory building that the cemetry belonged to.
    The most memorable thing for me though was when i was on the N.T.B dig during work experience and we were stripping back the ground and the curve of the ringfort was appearing. I thought it was amazing and asked surprised if it was the curve of a ringfort. I got told, no it was part of a recorded ditch that had a curve in it, and they werent expecting to find much in the trench. They got an in your face from me when it turned out that my guess was right and theirs was poppycock!! (well two of the crew did anyway!)
    Updated 05-20-2010 at 05:32 AM by Niamh