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

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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.