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  • Publication
    Discovering the archaeologists of Europe: Ireland : A Report to The Institute of Archaeologists of Ireland
    (Institute of Archaeologists of Ireland, 2008-11) ;
    The invitation in 2006 to participate in the EC Leonardo II-sponsored Discovering the Archaeologists of Europe project came a particularly opportune time for the Irish archaeological profession, almost six years after the foundation of the Institute of Archaeologists of Ireland in 2001 and four years after completion the first two important Heritage Council sponsored reports entitled: The Future Demand for Archaeologists in Ireland. A report to the Heritage Council and the Institute of Archaeologists of Ireland (CHL 2002a) and A Profile of the Archaeological Profession and Educational Resources in Ireland: A report to the Heritage Council and the Institute of Archaeologists of Ireland. (CHL 2002b). These studies created the framework for two further important studies aimed at creating a training and continuing professional development framework for the Institute (Unpublished report 2004 and Aitcheson 2005). The DISCO project, as it became known, facilitated the profiling of professional activity in the summer of 2007 at the height of a very remarkable period in Irish archaeology. It reflects the profession’s response to very rapid and, as it has transpired finite, expansion in development-led archaeological excavation. Described in presentations of the DISCO survey results at conferences and seminars during 2008 as ‘peak archaeology’ in Ireland, it presents a very particular and remarkable set of data providing an indication of the scale and the profile of professional responses required to address a major period of infrastructure development coupled with an unusually buoyant economic climate and a related, construction industry ‘boom’. This remarkable and (as it will be seen historically) short-lived profile, displays a significant number of non-national archaeologists at work in Ireland at the time of the survey. It will undoubtedly inform other EU nation states faced with addressing the archaeological profession’s responses, at a national level, to the requirements of resourcing pre-development archaeology especially during periods of major infrastructure development projects. The results have already informed and will continue to inform a range of professional responses to the outcome of this intense period of excavation work. The Institute will also aim to conduct a further survey in 2012 and would hope that this can be achieved in the context of a trans-national project of this nature.