The second field school organised by Columbanus: Life and Legacy Project will take place between 25 September and 5 October on Cleenish Island, Upper Lough Erne, Co. Fermanagh, where Columbanus received his primary education under St Sinell, its 6th century founder. As in the case of the Luxeuil Field School, the aim is fulfil one of the key research aims of the project whilst also bringing together postgraduate students from NUI Galway and our partner universities in France and Italy to create an enduring legacy of international contacts amongst the next generation of scholars.
The School will provide hands-on training in the two standard geophysical survey techniques (magnetometry and electrical resistance) and data processing and interrogation to 6 students (2 from each of the participating universities), by surveying the area around the graveyard on the northwest side of Cleenish Island (see Figure 1), the reputed site of the monastery founded by St Sinell and a later (medieval) parish church. Apart from the disused graveyard and several medieval carved stones – all of which form part of the scheduled monument (SMR FER229:013) – no traces of any archaeological features are visible at the site today. This is the first archaeological investigation to take place at Cleenish and has the potential of opening up a new chapter in the story of St Columbanus.
The field school will also host a series of seminars and excursions led by distinguished scholars who will share their expertise on various aspects of Irish archaeology, the early history of the Lough Erne region and Columbanus’ career prior to his departure from Ireland in the late sixth century.
The School will be directed by Dr Roseanne Schot, who is a Research Associate at Department of Archaeology, School of Geography and Archaeology, NUI Galway. Roseanne directed the geophysics at Annegray and Bobbio.
The six students include:
Anita Pinagli– School of Geography and Archaeology, NUI Galway
Oleg Kelly – School of Geography and Archaeology, NUI Galway
Stefano Bocchio, Università degli Studi Piemonte di Torino
Nadia Botalla Buscaglia, Università degli Studi del Piemonte Orientale, Vercelli
Thomas Chenal, Université de Franche-Comté, Besançon
Alicia Mougin, Université de Franche-Comté, Besançon