This program provides a practical introduction to the role of crafts, technologies, and construction techniques in Ireland throughout time. Focusing on both the built environment and materiality in the medieval period, students will actively participate in a range of bespoke, experimental archaeology workshops and projects. Students will be equipped with a general understanding of medieval society, with a specific focus on the role of technologies and materiality in people’s lives in that time period. In addition to archaeological knowledge, students will build more general ‘life-skills’ such as creativity, problem-solving, teamwork, time management, resourcefulness, and project design and implementation.
What makes this program especially unique is its collaboration with a leading archaeological research project – Digging the Lost Town of Carrig.Students will learn experimental archaeology methods adjacent to an authentic ringwork castle (the Carrick ringwork) within the confines of the Irish National Heritage Park (INHP) in Wexford, southeast Ireland. This ringwork is one of Ireland’s most important medieval monuments. It is crucial to the earliest stages of the Anglo-Norman invasion of Ireland, being the first Norman fortification built-in 1169 CE. Archaeological excavations were undertaken in the 1980s and by the IAFS since 2018 showed that significant evidence of the site’s medieval history is preserved below the ground – including remnants of a 12th-century fort with wooden structures, 13th century stone castle, and 14th-century hall and chapel. Students in the experimental archaeology program will not be excavated, but they will be actively partnering with the archaeologists. As part of the experimental archaeology program, students will be given in-depth tours of the site. They can expect to understand the archaeology intimately, as it is the archaeological features they will be replicating in workshops. As archaeologists uncover the history of both the site and buildings, the results will be communicated essentially in ‘live time’ to the experimental archaeology students, underpinning their projects with exceptional authenticity and increased significance.