When you dig up the past, all you get is dirt…

When the Celtic Tiger Roared: Ireland’s golden age for archaeology

Commercial Archaeology

Imagine a place where the term ‘millionaire archaeologist’ would not sound ridiculous and young archaeology students could look forward to excellent career prospects, with salaries equivalent to any other profession. Imagine hundreds of excavations up and down the country crying out for help, willing to pay handsomely, even for inexperienced diggers; imagine also that these excavations were fiercely regulated to control their quality. This is an archeo-utopia: but for a short time it existed. This was Ireland’s Celtic Tiger archaeology.

Weighing up the legacy of the ‘Celtic Tiger’ economic boom, it is clear that it was a golden age for archaeologists; however, was it also a golden age for archaeology? And, what insight does that give us into how archaeology is practiced in the UK?

In the first of a series of four articles for Current Archaeology exploring the top ten sites of the Celtic Tiger, we look at the main differences between how commercial archaeology is practiced in Britain and Ireland.

Download the article here.

Vote for this work as ‘Research Dig of the Year’ on the Current Archaeology website here…

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