back to cbus

The return trip has begun! I’ve made it through security and U.S. pre clearance and I’m sitting at the gate. My flight is still a few hours away so I’ll be catching up on some drawing and knitting.


Last night we had our final cookout at Marcie’s. It was wonderful and very hard to say goodbye to everyone from the field school. After the pub, we sat around and played cards against humanity. 

On Thursday I found my first “arch frag” aka architectural fragment. It was a piece of sandstone that was probably a door or window arch and one of the larger pieces they’ve found at the Blacfriary! Super duper exciting. I took levels and coordinates of it and Ian had to help me wheelbarrow it into one of the sheds since it was too big for the post ex cabin.


Cutting 6! ^^

 One of my goals for the trip was to get up and see the sunrise. Since Ireland is so far north that is very early as I could never drag myself out of bed. This morning I forced myself to wake up at 4am to see the sunrise. I walked to some of the ruins of a medieval monastery in the dark and waited for a very slow sunrise.


 Tired but worth it. 

A couple more pictures I found flipping through…


  We went to one of the famous concerts at Slane Castle. I got to see Hozier, Kaiser Chiefs and Foo Fighters. It was fabulous even though it rained the  whole time.


I’m going to miss the people the most, but I’m also really going to miss tea breaks.




On Site Happenings

I realized a lot of my posts have been about what I do on weekends and not what I’ve been learning about archaeology. Part of the reason is I use pictures to guide my posts, and when I’m digging I usually don’t take any pictures.

We also have a class blog that everyone has been wrong throughout the trip. I wrote tonight’s post so instead of rewriting I’m just going to link that blog: Here

Over and out,


Only one week left :(


 Last weekend everyone took a trip to Dublin on Friday and stayed over until Saturday. It was super awesome and a much larger city than I’m used to. I define you got lost a couple of times, but I had a map and several nice people to ask so I never felt completely without direction.
Pretty much the first thing we did after checking in at the hostel was go out for sushi. One of my friends on the trip convicted me to try octopus, and it wasn’t bad. Chalk one up for new experiences.             


The city was absolutely gorgeous at night!

 We visited the national archaeology museum on Saturday. My favorite part was seeing the “bog bodies” which were preserved in peat bogs. Even though some of the bodies were over a couple thousand years old, you could still see their hair, skin and fingernails.

Sunday we traveled to the west coast to see the Cliffs of Moher. They were a breathtaking sight over the Atlantic Ocean. Fun fact, it’s also where they filmed the Cliffs of Insanity scenes in the Princess Bride (which we later rewatched).   

I continued my trend of dangling  my legs over edges of things. Don’t worry, Mom and Dad, there was another ledge below it.  

Ireland also just voted to change the definition of marriage to be more inclusive. The news came through the same day we were in Dublin so there were quite a few street celebrations.

I’m going to write another post about what we’ve been working on at the site, but it might be another day or two before I can put it up. Cheers.



Another day in Éire

It’s hard to believe I’ve been in Ireland for a week already. The people have been fantastic and the views are fantastic. I think Ireland would be a really cool place to live, at least for a couple of years. There’s been a lot going on the past couple of days so this might be fairly long.
Last Wednesday we visited the Hill of Tara. There was a smaller passage tomb called the mound of the hostages, even though the people buried there were probably very important and powerful. Apparently when two powerful families lived near each other they would exchange children to raise as their own. It was used as a check to make sure neither family betrayed the other.

From the top of the hill, you can see a third of the country. I ended up walking down one of the lower embankments and found a fairy tree. The trees are places where people leave money or trinkets that belonged to a loved one, or as a way of wishing for something. The tree I found had money, a bow, jewelry and pretty rocks nestled in the branches. 

After Tara we visited a woman who raises sheep and handspins the wool. Needless to say I bought some cool black and white marled yarn she spun. We had a short stop there, then went to visit a fairly intact monastery in Louth.



Mellifont Abbey

 Thursday, we travelled to the west coast. The first stop was at Glenstall Abbey, a fully functioning monastery that also houses a boys boarding school. One of the monks, Brother Coalman, showed us around and answered about a million of our questions. During part of the visit we got to attend mass, which was very orderly. Hearing the brothers chant the hymns, which sounded more like singing, was completely calming and peaceful.



 At Athassel I learned about anchorites, people who are bricked into a small room in the monastery for the rest of their lives. There are two windows, one so they can see the altar for mass and be brought food, the other for people to come and ask for the anchorites to pray for them. Anchorites were usually women and were allowed to have a cat. It really amazed me to be in the room several very devout people spent the majority of their lives in and died in.

Friday, Brother Coalman joined us to go to some nearby monasteries. The first was called Athassel, which helped bring the whole history of ancient monasteries into perspective. I was allowed to walk in what used to be the residence of the Prior, the refectory and even the 11th century version of the monks bathroom.

We also visited the famous Rock of Cashel and a Dominican monastery that was close by.

 We dropped Brother Coalman back at Glenstall before driving to Dingle. Dingle is a more touristy area, where I’ve been told even Irish people go on vacation. We stayed at a hostel and learned some hurling skills from some Irish teenagers also staying there.  

After dinner a couple of us checked out the local pubs, one which was an old hardware store. I had my first Irish Guiness. I’d like to say to sit was a life changing experience but I’m just not that big of a fan of beer.

Saturday we walked around Dingle and had a tour of the beautiful coast. Then we drove 4 hours “home”.


I made a hat

      In the spirit of focusing more on experiencing than documenting, I’m going to stop here and just add some pictures.


A 99 on the walk back from first day on site



Woo we made it!

  I’ve been in Ireland for two days now and it’s just starting to sink in. There were a couple of problems with my flight, but I was still able to make it here in one piece. 


Yes, those are sheep in the background

On Sunday we spent the day settling in and took a quick walk around Trim. During the walk home we stopped at one of the neighborhood pubs called Regan’s. It was a great, cozy little place with very friendly people. 


Trim Castle

Monday we visited the Blackfriary, the site where we are going to be excavating. In the twelfth century, the site was home to a monastery. There are still parts of the walls left but most of the stone was taken for other buildings. In the afternoon, we visited Trim Castle, which gave us a fantastic view of the whole town. 

When we were done for the day, I went to wool shop and bought some local wool. Quite a few people on the trip stopped by as well, so I spent the night teaching everyone to knit. 

One of the Kells High Crosses

really, really windy

Today, Tuesday, we visited Kells, the tombs at Loughcrew and St. Kieran’s spring. Loughcrew was at the top of a huge hill and the view was incredible! The tombs are estimated to be around five thousand years old. It was also unbelievably windy up that high, but one of my favorite things so far.

I’m going to try and add pictures, but well the formatting might be off a bit. Just FYI. 

Off to more adventures tomorrow,


Writing from my phone!

I can’t believe in one week I will be in Ireland. Woohoo! I still have two finals left to take tomorrow so I haven’t been focusing too much on packing yet. But I really don’t want to lug my laptop with me especially since I’ll have limited internet access. So I found I’ll be able to blog from my phone.

ugh…. physics

It definitely isn’t the same typing on a small, virtual keyboard but I think I can manage. Since I’m using my STEP money to help pay for the trip, I want to have something to show what I did while I was there. Thus the app blogging. I’ve generally not been that great of a blogger, so you’ll just have to bear with me.

Anyway, the next couple of days are going to be crazy. On Tuesday, I’m heading to the health department to get a tetanus shot (oww). There’s still some last minute shopping to be done and I still have to move out of my dorm. Then re pack the (very small amount of) stuff I’m taking to Ireland. Tons of things to do but I am just so excited that it doesn’t even matter!

I should probably get back to studying for those finals now. Thanks for reading!



Hey there!

It’s Abbie. I am super excited to be starting this new blog. In two months, I will be going to Ireland for four weeks and coming back the first week of June. Needless to say I’m pumped. I’m going to be staying in a small town about an hour from Dublin. Can’t wait to explore and talk to all kinds of people. Not a ton has happened yet, but I thought I’d get this blog rolling early so it’s here when all the craziness starts going down.

As of right now, our group has had one trip meeting to meet each other and cover all the little logistical things. Then, last weekend, I finally booked my flight. This will be my first time flying completely by myself so I’m a little nervous about it, but I’m sure it will turn out alright. Over the next few weeks, there are a ton more things to do. Paperwork, health and safety meetings, vaccinations (yikes!), packing. I’ll try to write updates occasionally, but midterms are plenty and finals are right around the corner. Most of the interesting stuff isn’t until later anyway!

Anywho, thanks for checking in. I hope you’ll come back and see how my trip is going!