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