University of Maryland Excavates Skibbereen


The students from the University of Maryland have been working hard on their archaeological excavation in Skibbereen. The local pre-Famine house site is now cleared of vegetation and the dig has begun. Some 19th century pottery artefacts have come to light already and hopefully we will see more material unearthed.

The University of Maryland dig continued where the McCarthy family were evicted from their home in the early 20th century.  A flagged floor has been revealed just inside the door, and a lot of broken pottery has been found there. Some if it looking like it was freshly smashed. Was this an overturned ‘dresser’, laden with precious things, thrown to the ground during the eviction? Or the family trying to bring a few precious items with them that were broken on the way?

We hope that the excavation will provide the answers.  Meanwhile, we have shards of family life emerging by the day….


Thankfully the students got a day off from their archaeology dig to enjoy a walking tour of Skibbereen with Philip and a visit to our exhibitions.

We almost didn’t recognise them not covered in mud!!



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Mandy Hernin