Association of Young Irish Archaeologists (AYIA) 41st Annual Conference for IT, Sligo April 3rd- April 5th

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First time in Sligo for student organised national conference
The Institute will host the AYIA annual conference for the first time ever. The conference is being oraganised by the Institute’s Student Archaeology Society, the appropriately named ‘Stones and Bones’ Society.

Organised by Archaeology students, the event is held at a different campus on the island each year. The conference and associated activities are open to all members of the public and the institute welcomes all who have an interest in archaeology and who would like to attend.

Wide and varied programme incorporates Sligo’s remarkable landscape
The programme for the weekend includes:

Friday 3rd
Opening speaker Robert Hensey will lecture on ‘ Ritual and Belief in the Passage Tomb Tradition of Ireland’.

This will be followed by an evening of food and dancing at Tobergal Lane in the heart of Sligo town. (Find out more)

Saturday 4th
A series of lectures on many aspects of archaeology will be presented, including talks by students from the Institute of Technology Sligo, University Colleges Cork, Dublin and the Queen’s University, Belfast.

Artefacts, replicas and Archaeological Photography exhibition


Sample of Ken Williams photography on display at conference

There will be replica artefacts on display in the main concourse as well as archaeological photography by Ken Williams. (See sample of his work above and at end of piece)

IT, Sligo’s David Mullins will also have a display of 3D Scanning and digitalization.

Sunday 5th
IT, Sligo Lecturer, Sam Moore will lead a field trip to Carrowmore and Knocknarea to explore Sligo’s megalithic archaeology.

Please Note: A bus will leave from the front of the Institute for Carrowmore @ 12.30pm and return at 5pm.


Tranquil shot of Knocknarea by Sean Mullery : for more work by Sean see:

Important for future professional generation
Dr. Marion Dowd, Lecturer in Prehistoric Archaeology, School of Science reflects on the importance of the conference for the future of the profession:

‘ The presenters are mainly post-grad students and early career archaeologists, so it is an opportunity to tune in to cutting edge research and meet the next generation of archaeologists. It is the first time that this event has been held in Sligo. We wish the “Stones and Bones” – all the best with this event.’

AYIA – creating enthusiasm and interest at ‘young’ level
The AYIA (Association of Young Irish Archaeologists) was founded in Belfast in 1968 to provide a forum where young archaeologists can discuss new ideas and to create enthusiasm and interest in the field of archaeology at a “young” level. It also aids in creating links to further communication and co-operation between the different universities and colleges of Ireland and Northern Ireland where the conference is held each year.


IT, Sligo’s degree in ‘practical aspects of archaeology’
Dr. Dowd went on to remark on the opportunity the conference holds for the Institute’s own archaeology programme: ‘ It is a wonderful opportunity to showcase our department and facilities. Our archaeology degree specialises in the practical aspects of archaeology such as field survey, excavation, human and animal bone analysis, environmental and forensic archaeology, GIS and geophysics. We look forward to welcoming members of the public as well as archaeology students from around the country for what promises to be a very interesting weekend’

The organising committee of this year’s AYIA is headed by Amy Bunce and Liza Kavanagh who are both in their third year of studying archaeology at IT Sligo.

For further information/registration form you can contact either of them at:
Liza Kavanagh:
Amy Bunce:

Or alternatively try or conference address at: