Saturday, April 4, 2009

Old Abbey, Shanagolden, Co. Limerick

I just spent the last week excavating a Later Medieval Nunnery in Co. Limerick and it was absolutely INCREDIBLE! I was never too sure if I would actually like getting out there and doing the actual excavations but I ended up being the person they had to actually come down and drag up to lunch. On Friday I ended up missing the normal lunch break completely, then when I finally did go up I ate in about 5 minutes and they let me go back down for the last 25 minutes while everyone else relaxed (we had a special long lunch on Friday). Normally I didn't put up too much fuss about going up for lunch, but Friday was special because I was in the middle of pulling up a skeleton that we had spent all morning documenting. So cool!

So, I was a total scatterbrain and I forgot to put my camera battery back into my camera after charging it so I wasn't able to get pictures of my own, but I did borrow some people's cameras and got some on theirs. So far I have gotten one set back from Cathy. Here are a few of the good ones:

This is at the trench that Cathy was working on, Trench 8 I think. This trench was placed in what used to be the kitchen, but it is in complete ruins right now. They had a severe root problem in their trench so they weren't able to get too far. They spent most of their time doing "extreme gardening." In the process they broke 3 axes, one mattock, 2 handsaws, and a handheld power saw. Kind of intense.

This is Philippa working in Trench 8.

On Thursday a local dog followed us up to the site and stayed they whole day. He was having the time of his life. A few of the girls named him Lucy (they were convinced he was a girl for about 2 hours in the morning), then someone who was really mad that he had trampled through a trench decided that Lucy was short for Lucifer. On the whole we all enjoyed having him around.

This is my trench, Trench 5! It was located in the cloister. We had a lot more luck than everyone else and found a type of flooring, a wall, a skeleton, and many random bits of bone, shell, pottery, glass, etc.

These are just pictures around the cloister where we were was BEAUTIFUL.

That's the doorway that leads from the cloister into the church.

This is the door into the cloister from the outside of the building. It's where we came in every day.

This is the inside of the church.

Maeve working in our trench.

This is John on Thursday, before he hurt his leg, working on a bit of child skull that we found near another skeleton.

This is Trench 6 on the north side, outside of the church. They didn't get much done...

So, that's all I have for now, but hopefully there will be more later!

Today we leave for our huge Eurotrip! First stop, Dublin airport, woohoo! I'll try to get into internet cafes and stuff and update a bit along the way, but if I cant, I'll be back at the end of April!


marbea said...

I remember being excited like that! I am so happy you got lucky on the dig. Should be interesting to see what it looks like in 3 weeks if you are able to return.

Take Care on your trip.

Happy Easter-try to make it to some churches for Holy Week.

{B} said...

SO COOL. I wanted to be an archaeologist so bad. These pictures are lovely. :)

life in red shoes said...


Anonymous said...

My grandfather spent many years studying in the old abbey with professor Wardell