EACHTRA Archaeological Projects

Website: http://eachtra.ie/

Role in the project: Leader of Pilot 9 Historic Graves

Eachtra Archaeological Projects Limited, founded in 1996, is a commercial archaeological and heritage practitioner based in Ireland with pan European links. Eachtra combines the delivery of practical services (archaeological assessment, building survey, and excavation and post excavation services) with innovative cultural heritage interpretation products. Eachtra has invested significantly in information and communication technologies, which together with its experienced, highly skilled core team of personnel gives the proven ability to deliver quality results, on time and cost effectively. The structure of Eachtra’s organisation has also had the flexibility and innovation to adapt and change to varying environments and project requirements over the years. Eachtra has successfully undertaken numerous multi-million euro archaeological contracts for various Irish Local Authorities, Irish State bodies and private companies. More recently, Eachtra has been engaged with delivery of heritage services and development of local skills and potential at community level; involving funding by LEADER organisations, State Heritage departments and Local Authorities. Eachtra has additionally developed an expertise in the dissemination and interpretation of heritage data across multiple platforms including for example websites and interactive web applications, information panels, leaflets/booklets, posters, excavation reports, journal articles and monograph books.

Since 2007, Eachtra has used an integrated in-house-created database and GIS system for managing and analysing the data produced from 75 excavations spread across three large scale road projects. Eachtra now applies a comprehensive Geographical Information System approach to management, analysis and mapping of archaeological data, from pre- excavation stage to publication. Eachtra uses a web-based Journal to “narrate our work”. As research articles, lectures, posters and other documents are completed, they are published in the Journal on our website; in particular it provides a readily accessible forum for publication of information from the large infrastructural projects. In this way, the strong Irish tradition of publication in journals is married with modern web-based media. The Eachtra Journal is the only Irish web-based archaeological journal to be awarded an ISSN number, which allows the articles to be fully referenced and available to a worldwide audience.

Eachtra is engaged in The Historic Graves project. Historic Graves is a community focused, grassroots heritage
project. Local community groups are trained in low-cost, high-tech field surveys of historic graveyards; also recording their own oral histories. The website was designed and built by Eachtra staff using Open Source technologies. At present it provides an interactive and searchable database of more than 120,000 grave records. Eachtra participated in the EU FP7 funded MEMOLA project, in particular providing website development and management together with data management protocols and digitisation as well as analysis of the impact of dissemination of project results.

Key person(s)

John Tierney, Community Archaeologist – He is a field archaeologist with an MSc in Environmental Archaeology and over 35 years’ experience of a variety of heritage fieldwork. Director of the Historic Graves Project since 2010 John has combined good quality archaeological recording methods with citizen science data collection to record and publish 25% of all Irish historic graveyards. A licensed excavation director since 1993 and Senior Archaeologist since 1999 John has experience in multidisciplinary data collection and analysis resulting in a series of archaeological publications with his Eachtra colleagues. Working with local authorities throughout Ireland, partnering with the county-based Heritage Officers and supporting community groups in urban and rural settings, the Historic Graves Project has been developed as a heritage gateway project designed to engage communities with their local heritage within the ‘graveyard wall’ but also developing the appetite and proficiencies required for surveying other elements of local heritage. Genealogical tourism is a key driver of engagement for the Historic Graves project and lessons learned here are being applied to other types of heritage surveys. Promoting a philosophy of community-led heritage, the Eachtra team develops projects as community partners. Contact: john@historicgraves.com