Monday, 30 December 2013

Small Societies Masquerade Ball 2014


Due to the success of the Halloween Party, a number of small societies have gotten together again to organise another event for their members. The Archaeology Society are proud to announce their collaboration with other small societies in hosting a Masquerade Ball on the 30th of January, 2014

Thursday 6th March
Arlington Hotel, O'Connell Bridge

The Masquerade Ball will be held in the Arlington Hotel on Bachelors Walk (beside O'Connell Bridge). Tickets are €35 and can be purchased from the Archaeology Society.

The price includes:
- A wine reception
- 3 course meal
- Wine with Dinner
- A prize for best masked
- Live band
- DJ until 2.30 am
- Late Bar

Tickets purchases are limited to two tickets per transaction. Valid student numbers are required to book, however if you are purchasing a ticket for a non student, a phone number and email address will be required.

Any further questions or to register your interest, please let us know via this email address.

Monday, 9 December 2013

Good luck with exams !

The Archaeology Society wishes you all the best of luck with your exams!
If you have any questions about exams in general or about a particular module, if you are getting stressed, if you have difficulty finding material in the library, drop us a line and we will be there to help you.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Robert M Chapple, Archaeologist: The 2014 Bob Chapple Archaeological Essay Prize in...

Copyrights Bob Chapple

Dear Everyone,

You will all know about Robert Chapple's archaeology blog: it is really a must-read for any archaeology student out there! Now, Robert Chapple is launching an essay prize in honour of his late father. You can read his full post on his blog (see below), and here are the rules to enter the competition (taken from the article linked below):

Provisional Rules:

  1. At time of submission: any registered student (full time/part time/mature student etc.) at any third level institution (University, Institute, etc.).
  2. Carrying out original research on any aspect of Irish archaeology of any period.
  3. Research is part of an undergraduate or postgraduate degree/diploma (BA, BSc, MA, MSc, MPhil, PhD etc.).
Format of entry:
  1. Essay in English of not more than 5000 words describing the research being undertaken, highlighting its importance and (where applicable) outlining results etc.
  2. To be published on this blog.
  3. Reading level to be directed towards a professional archaeologist/interested non-professional level, but non-specialist in the specific research area.
  4. Accompanied by at least one photograph/appropriate image.
  5. Entry to be accompanied by brief resume about the entrant for publication, including third level institution and course being attended.

  1. By email to rmchapple[at]
  2. Text in MSWord (or compatible format), single spaced with ‘don’t add space between paragraphs’ box checked. Images in .jpg format, preferably in ‘web-friendly’ sizes.
  1. 2014 competition open from December 6th 2013 to November 1st 2014.
  2. Winner to be decided & announced by January 2015. Winner will be notified by email.
 One prize of a €60 voucher from Wordwell Books Ltd. (there will be no cash alternative)  for redemption against their stock along with the title ‘2014 Bob Chapple Archaeological Essay Prize Winner’.

  1. Winner will be determined by a panel of judges, convened by myself.
  2. In the event of a tied decision, I will hold a casting vote.
  3. All decisions final.
  4. No additional correspondence entered into & no purchase necessary etc.

Read the full article below:

Robert M Chapple, Archaeologist: The 2014 Bob Chapple Archaeological Essay Prize in...: Had my dad (Robert F ‘Bob’ Chapple) still been with us, he’d have been 72 today ( 6th  of December 2013 ). I think he'd have had quite...

For any question, feel free to contact us.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

TROWEL: 25th anniversary edition launch

Ladies and gentlemen, 

The Archaeology Society has been edited its own journal, Trowel since 1988 and will be celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, as well as launching it's 14th edition! 

The 25th anniversary edition of Trowel will be launched this Thursday 5th December in the Humanities Institute (HI) at 5.30pm. The formal launch will be by Professor O'Keeffe, with a wine reception afterwards.

Information on how to find the Humanities Institute can be found HERE. 

For any questions, please contact Bernard Gilhooly at 

Monday, 2 December 2013

Exams for students with dyslexia and dyspraxia

By Katherine McCormack and Sarah Delaney


Hello guys,
Here are some tips about how to do exams when you, like us, have a learning difficulty.

  • Dyslexia

Students with dyslexia often read quite slowly, so when they sit down and see the piles upon piles of " required readings" can see extremely daunting a week before the exam. The best way to tackle this is to create a schedule by assigning a manageable amount of reading to do each day. This ensures you can cover as much reading as needed without feeling like it is a never ending task. 
While reading through books or lecture notes a helpful tip is to write notes on the readings as you go along. As you read through a chapter try to write down the key points, this will ensure you will not have to re-read the whole chapter an hour before your exam but simply look at the concise notes you have created. Some students find that when they read they do not retain the information, within a few minuets they cannot remember what they have just read. Students often find that this can be extremely frustrating and demoralising. However by actively writing notes as you go along it will help you to focus on what you are reading and increase your chances of retaining that information. 
Many students with dyslexia are very visual. They can recall images better than lengthy lines of text. A tip that I have found very helpful is to write notes on coloured sheets of paper or coloured flash cards. The colours make the text more memorable and can help me remember facts in exams. For example it is much easier to remember “what was on the green flash card?” than “what was on page 245 of Landscapes of  Neolithic Ireland?!”
Some people remember better through the use of sound. If you find you remember what people say better than what you read, a tip is to record yourself reading some information. Often people find it awkward to hear our voices on tape. But if you record yourself saying facts like " the battle of Hastings was fought in the year 1066" you can listen to this on the way to the exam hall and increase the chances of you  remembering facts.

  • Dyspraxia

Students with dyspraxia, similar with dyslexia, can find it hard to get ideas from brain to paper. What can help is sticking down the random words that are in your head to do with what you are trying to explain.
People with dyspraxia often learn differently and need to study differently too. I have to listen to music or have movie playing in the background while I study, I find that I focus better. I also find I remember more if I watch or listen to a documentary podcast or a piece of visual or audio media on the subject.
Some people with dyspraxia have terrible short term memory, so for final exam preparation the last minute short term memory game doesn’t always work. However maybe an hour or more for the, I have the topics I studied broken down into sections (or sub topics) of 5 and then I will have at 3 or 5 sets of 3 initials or figures within those sections (the brain is more likely to remember in set of threes and fives). For example say the topic is Minoan peak sanctuaries a section within that could be the characteristics of Neopalatial peak sanctuaries and the initial or figures could be PRC, SST, MSL. These would mean Palaces and palatial Regional Centres, Shrine buildings, Stone offering Tables, Metal figurines and blades, Seals and Linear A. The initials would also help jog my memory of information associated with these topics. I normally write each section in different colours because the different colours can help re-enforce the information.
While sitting the exam, you might come up with point that are relevant to the another question. Write it down on the rough work sheet because you might forget it, again the short term memory. But do not stop the question you are on if you have a nice flow and aren’t stuck. If you are stuck go back to the question or go on to the next one and put in that information and that might help you with the one you are stuck on.
Processing skills and speeds are different too, so if you don not understand the phrasing of the question being asked ask your reader. The reader should actually contact the invigilator and who will contact the module co-ordinator but they cannot help you with the answer.

  • Exams

Once you have prepared for the exam the next step is getting their. If you are registered with the DSS you will probably be sitting your exams in UCD. When you arrive to UCD go to room D106 there you will find your name on one of the boards and will see what room you will be taking your exam in. You should try to arrive at UCD thirty minutes before your exam is due to start. Here is a list of things you must bring to each of your exams: 
  1. Your student number 
  2. A copy of your exam supports from SIS web
  3. Your blue stickers that are to be placed on the inside cover of your exam booklet. 
  4. Pens, pencils and a highlighter.

While sitting the exam the best tip is to try to relax. When answering an exam question it is very important to understand what the question is asking you. To ensure you do not misread the key words in the question use a highlighter to mark those words. This will allow you to look back at the question as you write to make sure you answering without misunderstanding the question. Many students with dyslexia find structuring their work very difficult. In the pressure of exams it becomes very common for students to just reproduce everything they have learned, sometimes without even adding paragraphs or punctuation. To help, use the rough work page provided to quickly write down the key points you want to talk about giving each point a paragraph. Another tip is to try to write legibly this can be hard when you’re frantically writing against the clock but if the lecturer can’t read it they can’t give you marks. Overall just try to do your best; exams are difficult for everyone regardless if you have or do not have dyslexia. However by understand how best to study and how to answer an exam question there is nothing stopping us from getting just as good grades as everyone else.

We hope helps!
Best of luck with your revision and don't hesitate to send us an email if you have any questions, 

All the best, 

Katherine & Sarah

Inaugural lecture: The emergence of cave art in Palaeolithic Europe

    For this week’s lecture, we were pleased to welcome Prof. Paul Pettitt of Durham University. The title of the lecture was ‘The emergence of cave art in Palaeolithic Europe, new research, new hypotheses’ and this made for a treat, with Prof. Pettitt's excellent synopsis of Palaeolithic cave art as he saw it, captivating the imagination of the audience and making this year’s inaugural lecture that extra bit special.

What Prof. Pettitt first highlighted is that there appears to be problem with the way in which Palaeolithic cave art is interpreted. When one thinks of, or is presented with the cave art of this period, it tends to be very generalised. We tend to see images from a select few sites, which are then used to try and decipher the phenomenon of Palaeolithic cave art as a whole, even though a lot of these images are dated thousands of years apart. Prof. Pettitt believes that this phenomenon of cave art occurred sporadically across its time span, with what he referred to as ‘flashes of inspiration’ popping up here and there only for brief periods of time. With this in mind, he suggested that one must take more of a regional approach when looking at Palaeolithic cave art. From the get go, Prof. Pettitt stated that he believes that even before this period there were examples of art, in relation to tattooing and that of decorating oneself, for example, beaded necklaces etc. and that these were the earliest form of art activity. Another main aspect of cave art, which seemed to have been mentioned numerous times, was the ‘synecdoche’ of the art. This word was being used in relation to the fragmentary engravings, which appear in the cave art, with 95% of them being fragmentary, for example, different parts of animals, but as long as we can see what is being depicted, there is no need to create the full representation. The act of art is more important.

Prof. Pettitt would argue that the earliest figurative art does occur in Europe, with simple outlines of animals occurring around 36000 years ago at regional levels, for example, in parts of Germany. It is only due to recent developments in dating and we can really only now show chronological developments in the art. Prof. Pettitt discussed the technique of dating stalactite growth over pieces of cave art and also uranium-series dating in order to more accurately date the art.

The lecture progressed into talking about the handprints which feature predominantly in the upper Palaeolithic cave art. The main discussion, which seems to surround these handprints, is whether they are of male or female, or of the indications of missing fingers evident from the handprints, which he describes as being evident at only a small number of sites. More importantly, what needs to be assessed of these handprints is there location and positioning within the caves. A large majority of the handprints appear to be located on natural forms in the rock or within tightly compact spaces, and there are even those that are set across fractures within the rock. Even attempting to reach some of these handprints is challenging, with a lot of them being placed in hard to reach places either high up or close to the ground, and the dexterity and skill required to produce this art must indicate the significance of its symbolic meaning. Is this yet again this ‘synecdoche’ described by Prof. Pettitt, showing the earliest representations of the human form?

In summary, Prof. Pettitt revealed, what he referred to as his ‘falsifiable hypotheses’ at the end of the lecture. He suggested that the first art which appeared was that of body art, which later developed and became more elaborated taking on a more symbolic decoration of the body, and then an extension of this art appears in the form of cave art later down the line. This interpretation in turn does do away with some looming questions, for example, why is it, if the modern human brain developed over 200,000 years ago, why don’t we see it being put to any use until around 50,000 years ago? The answer to this according to Prof. Pettitt is that yes we do, with art being depicted on the body for 150,000 years prior to the cave art of the Palaeolithic that we have come to know.

By Micheál Butler

Friday, 29 November 2013

Study seminar and exam preparation session

This article is about the study seminar the Society organised in week 12.
For exam-related practical information, please read that article.

Extra help and advice for students with dyslexia and dyspraxia here 

On Thursday 28th November 2013, the UCD Archaeology Society organised a study seminar and exam preparation session. Prof. Tadhg O'Keefe kindly accepted to give the students attending the seminar a little speech with advice on how to tackle an exam paper and how to write the answer that will give you an A.

Prof. Tadhg O'Keefe

For those who could not make it to the seminar, here is a summary of what was said, as well as the handout that was given to the students present. Past exam papers can be found via SIS web. (More information here)

Tips on how to do well in your exam:

  • Revise all the topics: there is no "pattern" in the questions coming up each year. Or in the words of Prof. O'Keefe "we just forget what we asked last year and we just write new questions. So if something came up for the past five years, it is very probable that it will come up this year too!"

  • Always answer all the questions. If the paper says "answer 2 questions" from a choice of, e.g., 8, you need to answer two. No matter how good your first answer is, it will only count 50% of the final mark. 

  • Never come with a prepared answer. The marker will just sniff it after barely 2-3 sentences and will know you did not pay attention to what is actually asked, you just have a prepared answer on the general theme. 

  • There is a time limit to how much you can write so be clever in terms of the amount of information you want to include in your essay. 

  • STRUCTURE  is everything. Spend at least 5 minutes reading the paper thoroughly , give each question 30seconds to figure out exactly what is asked. This will save you a lot of trouble and give you extra marks. Avoid word-spotting. If a question contains the words "megalithic tombs", do not just jump to it and recite all you know about megalithic tombs. Analyse each and every word in the question (see handout). Make a PLAN on the rough work: list the points you are going to address in the right order, list case-studies you are going to use, prepare a sequence of analysis. ... And stick to it ! A written plan or outline of what your essay will be about will prevent you from panicking and just throwing in about everything you can think of on the topic. 

  •  Be extra careful of the wording of the sentence. These words are chosen carefully and each of them is important so you need to think about each word and definite it before starting answering the question. 

 - "outline" : asks you to sketch the principle points on a topic. A discussion of these points is also presumed but the importance is on sketching: the lecturer wants you to be able to present a general picture in a short time and word count.

- "compare and contrast" : make an evaluation after weighing what the two things have in common and what is different.

- "review": Present what you know and then compare and contrast, critically evaluate.

- "describe" also implies "discuss"

  • Don't be afraid to say "I": it is your essay, so just say it! When announced the plan for your answer for instance, you can say "in this essay, I will analyse the role of megalithic tombs in prehistoric Ireland bla bla bla".

  • What makes the difference in the end? Writing quality. Knowledge is one thing, delivering it is another. What will make an exam essay stand out is the quality of the writing: don't be afraid to be a bit poetic, make it something nice to read. 

For those who missed the seminar (or lost the handout), here is a scan of it ! Click on the image to have it in full scale and save it. 

By Alexandra Guglielmi
Social Media Coordinator

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Results of the photo competition !

And the results are out !

The Archaeology Society ran a photo competition over the past two weeks. The winner received an Archaeology Society 2013/2014 hoody!

Stephen Matthews receiving his prize from Society Auditor Cian Corrigan

Newgrange sunrise

By Stephen Matthews


Team 4

By Gilbert Mc Cullagh
Society trip to Rome

By Liam Wilson

Study seminar and exam preparation

Last year semester 2 seminar, with a talk by Prof. Tadhg O'Keefe
Photograph by Cian Corrigan

As the end of semester is approaching fast, our focus of attention will soon be turning to exams. Building on the success of last year’s study seminar we will be holding our Semester 1 study session on 

28th November from 3-5pminrooms 5, 6 and 7 in theNew Students Centre.

This event is run by students, for students and is open to all our members. We will be discussing everything associated with the upcoming exams such as, study tips, how to approach exam questions and exam advice from certain lectures from the School of Archaeology. Prof. Tadhg O'Keeffe has kindly agreed to participate in the study session and will give a talk on how to prepare and approach exam questions.

If you are attending the seminar, please bring a copy of previous exam papers from any archaeology modules that you are concerned about and we will be able to discuss any issues or concerns you may have. This will be an informal event and you will have the opportunity to talk with other students that have approached the exams that you will be doing this December. Also, free tea and biscuits... sure you can’t go wrong.

Friday, 22 November 2013

Seminar series, lecture 8: Assembly places and hunting grouns in Mediaeval Ireland

Next week seminar will be the last for this first semester of 2013-2014. It will be given by Professor Elizabeth Fitzpatrick from NUI Galway with the title "Assembly places and hunting grounds in Mediaeval Gaelic Ireland". 

Thursday 28th November
Room A109, Newman Building

All welcome !

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Small Societies table quiz !!

Thomas Kinkade, "Memories of Christmas"

Due to the success of the Halloween Ball, the Archaeological Society and other small societies are getting together to host a Winter Ball before the start of the second semester (January).

However, we want to wet your appetite a little so we are all hosting a
Kiely's of Mount Merrion
Tuesday 26th November

The quiz starts at 7pm but get there before 6pm so you can secure a table and team. Teams will consist of 4-5 people and will cost 5€ per person.

The venue is the same as for the Halloween Ball, so if you missed the latter, here is a plan:

Kiely's of Mount Merrion: Website 
Full address: 68 Deerpark road, Mount Merrion
Directions from UCD with Google Map: click HERE
Bus routes: 145, 46A (pretty much anything going up the N11)

Monday, 18 November 2013

Historic walking tour of Dublin

Walking tour of DublinWalking tour of DublinWalking tour of DublinWalking tour of DublinWalking tour of DublinWalking tour of Dublin
Historic walking tour of Dublin, a set on Flickr. Photographs by Claire Pryet.

On Saturday 16th November, the Society organised a walking tour of historic Dublin, led by Dr. Franc Myles from the Institute of Archaeologists of Ireland. Here is a small report by Emmet Fennelly, our trip officer.

"A group of us met up with Franc Myles outside the GPO in the morning. The first half of the tour was on the 1916 Easter Rising. Franc Began by telling us about the historical background and significance of the Rising focusing on the GPO. We then went around the corner and onto Moore's Street. There, Franc told us in great detail about an attempted sortie out of the GPO. Using archaeological methods Franc was able to determine the pathway taken by the insurgents through the buildings on Moore Street as they attempted to flee the GPO. This was a fascinating story rarely told in the history books.

Franc went on to discuss the archaeological significance of the buildings on Moore's Street and the lack of preservation of these buildings. He explained that there are plans to construct a new shopping center on the site and mentioned the pros and cons of allowing this to occur.

We eventually move on to Smithfield for the second part of the tour. This shorter tour was about the site of Smithfield during the Medieval and Early Modern periods. Franc detailed the archaeological sites found in the area, including one of the first markets in Dublin during the early Medieval period, the unmarked burials of executed people and the remains of a prestigious glass manufacturer during the Industrial Age. After saying goodbye to Franc we made our way down to the NMI event just in time to hear the talks being given by the students there."

And here are the words of Claire Pryet, a French Erasmus student currently studying at UCD and a member of the Archaeology Society.

"....despite the little crowd we were and the cool air, we had a wonderful time with  Frank Myles. We learnt so much about contemporary Dublin and the two main spots we visited: around the GPO about the 1916 Easter rising, and Smithfield about the history of this place (1660 onwards).
But what was very nice as well is that discussions come up about how archaeologists could be involved in developing contemporary landscapes/ city urban planning, and about preservation/conservation. Frank Miles is very passionate about his job and he had us discover more about the job of an archaeologist working on "contemporary" and modern period."

A huge thank you to Dr. Franc Myles for giving this tour !

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Experimental Archaeology at the National Museum !

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Experimental archaeology at the NMIExperimental archaeology at the NMIExperimental archaeology at the NMI

Today members of the UCD experimental groups were in the National Museum of Ireland demonstrating a range of different projects. The visitors were treated with a demonstration of flint-knapping and shown a variety of stone tools from small scrappers to stone axes. These tools are a clear testimony to the skill of the UCD knappers as they are extremely similar to those found on archaeological sites. John "Tipper" Murphy, Nial Inwood, Bernard Gilhooly and Mark Powers were very engaged with the visitors and should be proud of the amazing flint tools they have created.

For visitors with a interest in ceramics John Mulrooney Wayne Malone and Cian Corrigan were on hand to to demonstrate a selection of replica prehistoric pots. Their enthusiasm shined through as they explained to visitors how they created their pots using authentic techniques and materials. Younger visitors had the opportunity to get their hands dirty by creating their very own pots. Many children jumped at this opportunity and could even give some of the UCD potters a run for their money.

Brendan O'Neil showed visitors how he created replica bronze axes. He explained how the metal ores were identified by the different coloured stones. The metal is extracted from the ores and placed into different moulds made of stone or ceramics lined with wax. He explained to the visitors the two technological advances in the Bronze Age from simple flat/open moulds to more advanced two piece/ bivalve moulds and three piece moulds. The finished axe is then polished and sharpened to create a functioning tool

Visitors with an interest in bog bodies were presented with the fantastic experimental project by Katie-Rose Dunne. Her project aimed to investigate if she could recreate a bog body. Using pigs trotters she placed them in a bog and recorded their preservation. Visitors were shown the remains of a pig trotter that had been in a bog for nine months and which was displayed in a jar filled with formaldehyde. Katie-Rose presented her project with a well-designed power point including a video showing the fun side to collecting her specimens from the bog.

Bernard Gilhooly conducted a slideshow demonstrating the construction of the Mesolithic house. To put the project in context Bernard began by explaining the site of Mount Sandel which the house was based upon. The different stages of the houses construction were explained from sourcing raw materials to covering the structure with a sod. The visitors were shown a video about the house construction created by IDAT students. The visitors seemed extremely interested in the project, had many questions and were keen to see the project repeated to see if a different design may allow the structure to last longer.

Overall the day seemed to be a huge success and everyone should be very proud. The students' enthusiasm and quality of work was clearly evident. Their interesting projects left the visitors with an introduction into what experimental archaeology can teach us and allowed them an opportunity to be hands on with replica artefacts.

By Katherine McCormack

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Seminar series, lecture 7: "Noise: a human history"

Our next seminar will take place on Thursday 21st November 2013 and will be given by Professor David Hendy from the University of Sussex. As always, all welcome! Room A109 of the Newman Building, 5:00pm.

Nota: Due to our speaker's tight schedule, the seminar will take place at FIVE and not half past this week. 

Charity book collect in aid of the Irish Cancer Society

The Archaeological Society is committed to take part in charity events and help support important causes. 

The first of our charity projects is a pre-Christmas book collect in aid of the Irish Cancer Society. It will be take place during the last two coffee mornings of the semester (20th and 27th of November).If you have any unwanted books' bring them to the coffee morning and they will be collected by Alexandra Guglielmi for the Irish Cancer Society Charity Shop Rathmines All types of books are welcome! You can also donate DVDs and CDs too if you want.

This event will take place in Rooms 1-3 of the Old student Centre on both Wednesday 20th and 27th November.

If you cannot make it to the coffee mornings, or if you have other items you would like to donate (e.g. clothes, shoes), just contact Alex at and she'll arrange to pick up your donations and bring them to the shop.

UCD Research Images Award

On Thursday 14th November 2013, Dr. Aidan O'Sullivan was given an award by UCD Research for his entry in the competition for Research Images. Our Auditor, Cian Corrigan, was there to immortalise the moment.
The winning photograph
Thursday 14th November

The winning photograph
Thursday 14th November

Dr. O'Sullivan receiving his award
Thursday 14th November

Dr. O'Sullivan
Thursday 14th November

Dr. O'Sullivan
Thursday 14th November
Photographs by Cian Corrigan

Friday, 15 November 2013

Society inaugural lecture 2013

On Thursday 14th November 2013, the Archaeological Society held his annual inaugural lecture, give by Prof. Paul Pettitt from Durham University and entitled: "The emergence of cave art in Palaeolithic Europe: new research, new hypotheses". The lecture was followed by a wine reception in the Student Centre.

Here are the photographs from the evening.