Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Glendalough Field School 2014: Part 6

It’s the start of a new week and the start of some new surveying opportunities for the students. Using the discovery programme’s previous survey carried out to record the gravestones in the cemetery UCD has gone back over the research to examine the gravestones that were missed. The students began the survey today and will continue until the end of the week. The aim is to record the gravestones missed in a small section of the cemetery.  Despite the rain pouring down and making the drawing extremely difficult the students really enjoyed getting a chance to carry out this survey and found to be a great way to learn this technique of recording.

Sadly the day did not provide a decent opportunity for the students to excavate through any of the trenches for an extended period of time. While planning was undertaken in trench 10, cleaning back and a deeper excavation of the sondage was carried out in trench 11. Trench 12 saw a cleaning back with sieving of soil which revealed a large amount of iron material. It is unfortunate that the field school could not continue for the entire duration of the day however with the time we did have much progress was made which will hopefully lead onto great success in the upcoming days.

In Focus: Graveyard Survey

Today saw the beginning of the graveyard survey in the main monastic complex at Glendalough. The students undertook a range of activities which furthered their surveying skills and applied their knowledge to a research project. To begin the students were taken through the health & safety guidelines. Safety for both students and public was under constant enforcement throughout the day with things such as tripping hazards being monitored.

The survey was taken today in a section near the main entrance to the graveyard. A series of gravestones, slabs, boobie tombs and many other features appear in linear patterns which the students wish to record. They wished to continue with a survey undertaken by the discovery programme which mapped out a percentage of the grave markers in the monastic complex.

In the first part of the morning the students recorded features using a graveyard feature record form. Pictured below, the form allows for a great level of detail to be taken when recording. This intricate procedure allows for an in depth analysis of the graveyard later on.

Later in the morning the students were broken into separate groups and were sent to plan a specific row of grave markers. Using a drawing board, aerial map and permatrace each group was sent to plan a set of graves themselves. They started planning the unidentified gravestones onto permatrace placed above the discovery programme survey pictured below. By measuring two points from known measurements they were able to close in on key points of unmarked gravestones. The entire grave was mapped out in this method and added to the overall graveyard survey. This technique was used throughout the day along with cataloging each feature on the graveyard feature recording form. Below is a set of photographs taken during the graveyard survey.

                                                                                                                             By Emily Geoghegan
                                                                                                                                   Brandon Walsh
Graveyard Recording Sheet (i)

Graveyard Recording Sheet (ii)

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