Excavation 2019 to 2022

Disert Community Excavation

In 2022 we will again be conducting an excavation at Disert – see UPCOMING EVENTS for more details.

Disert Community Excavation

21 June to 23 July 2021

As part of our contribution to The National Heritage Week for 2021, the Disert Heritage Group are putting forward a video of some of the findings of the recent excavation, presented by Dr Fiona Beglane. Due to COVID 19 restrictions this year’s excavation was a completely community-based project. During five weeks in June and July, a total of 33 people took part in opening two trenches and recording the findings A total of 33 people took part over the course of the excavation – we are very grateful to them all. Among the volunteers we had a mix of experienced archaeologists, former and current students of archaeology and folks who wanted to have a go. According to the feedback most people enjoyed the experience and learned or practiced new skills. Much of the day-to-day operations were recorded in short videos, participants introduced themselves and spoke a little about what they were doing, these videos can be viewed on the Disert Heritage page on Facebook.

Some of the team members at the Disert Dig in 2021

The excavated lands at Disert are owned by Mrs Noreen Boyle and farmed by Con Boyle and are accessed across private lands owned by Ann Boyle and Breege Cleary. The cooperation and interest of these individuals is sincerely acknowledged as this project would not have been possible without them.

For 2021 this project was funded by IT Sligo and Donegal Co. Co. The project has been supported though the Colmcille1500 Grant Scheme which is funded by the North West Development Fund and Creative Ireland, in conjunction with and supported by The Executive Office and The Irish Government.  In previous years we have also received funding from the Heritage Council, Institute for Field Research, Connecticut College, and California State University, LA.

Previous Excavations

The Disert Heritage Project conducted the first season of an archaeological excavation between 1 July and 19 July 2019. This was carried out in conjunction with IT Sligo, California State University, LA, the Institute for Field Research, Connecticut College and Donegal Co Co.  As well as the excavation itself there were a series of social and cultural events – see our Facebook page for details. The community events were supported by Donegal Co. Co. Heritage Office and Donegal Co. Co. Development Fund. We also hosted guided tours of the excavation and had places for community volunteers to take part in actually digging.

You can download a copy of the Preliminary Excavation Reports for 2019 and 2021, which were submitted to the National Monuments Service.

We plan to continue excavating in 2022.  If you can help to fund future seasons of the excavation then we would really appreciate any donations you can make, however small.

Some excavation photos:

A montage of visitors – thank you to those who visited, and especially to those who brought home baking!

Volunteers conducting survey work in 2016 (c) Fiona Beglane
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Site tour (c) Ed Wiazewicz
Taking a break from survey work in 2018 (c) Fiona Beglane