IAI Conference 2023


The annual IAI conference 2023 will take place on Friday 24th March and Saturday 25th March at the Louis Fitzgerald Hotel in Dublin D22 X5N7.

This years theme is Essential Archaeology: Recent Excavations and Research.

A full two-day conference programme has now been finalised and includes the AGM on the 24th March at 16.15.

There are 11 presentations, a keynote address and table quiz on Day 1 (View Schedule) and a further 12 presentations on Day 2 (View Schedule).

Many thanks to our sponsors this year and especially our conference organiser Elaine Lynch.

We look forward to seeing you there, so please Register Online in advance








IAI Conference 2022

Please register for this years IAI Conference in advance REGISTER Online registration closes 29th March.

Please find the Conference Booklet with schedule of speakers, titles and abstracts below.

IAI Conference Book 2022 Final

The annual IAI conference 2022 and AGM will take place on Friday 1st and Saturday 2nd of April 2022 in the Wellington Park Hotel, Malone Road, Belfast. The theme is Reflections-challenges and solutions

The past number of years have held many challenges for archaeologists as a whole, negotiating working again in a boom economy, the loss of expertise and personnel in the downturn, challenges to archaeological resources, challenges in recruiting suitable staff and negotiating safe working conditions for staff during the COVID-19 pandemic. This conference seeks to discuss the challenges we face and possible solutions that are currently available and being developed. A further topic of discussion is Wetland Archaeology. Recently some spectacular wetland sites have been excavated in Ireland, but these are not without their challenges, both in excavation and post excavation.

For 2022, two themes will be addressed; Theme 1 – Challenges and Solutions and Theme 2 – Wetland archaeology.

  • Theme 1 Challenges and Solutions

One of the challenges that has always faced commercial archaeologists is how to integrate a research agenda in commercial projects which face multiple pressures. We invite papers on archaeological sites that have been or are currently being excavated to discuss the research agenda for the site. The COVID-19 pandemic has posed many challenges also to the archaeological profession, how are people dealing with working while following guidance procedures? The lack of capacity of both specialists and archaeologists has been flagged over the past few years, with many staff having left during the recession and never returning. How is this being dealt with? A recent survey on mental health in archaeology commissioned by IAI showed a low level of satisfaction amongst many archaeologists. How can peoples mental health be improved as archaeologists? There are also challenges being faced acquisitioning material to the National Museum, what are the best ways to deal with this?

Many projects are now prioritising public outreach and promoting local heritage as part of their excavation strategy, indeed this is an important feature in TII tender requests and we invite papers on this topic. Some new archaeologists are also coming through specialists masters programmes to help fill the gap in specialist capacity.  Recently the government announced 2.2 million euro in funding for the Irish National Strategic Archaeological Research + which will be instrumental in integrating research and commercial archaeology. We invite papers on all aspects of working in Archaeology – the challenges and the solutions we have developed to tackle these, along with potential ideas for future work.

  • Theme 2 Wetland Archaeology

Wetlands have enormous value as they preserve archaeological, environmental and landscape evidence of the past. The range of specialist work that can be used at these sites include pollen, plant macrofossil, wood and coleopteran analysis. Excavation of wetland sites are challenging however, both financially and physically. Also many issues are still faced when dealing with peatland archaeology, a topic which was recently raised at COP26. This session aims to present research from wetland sites and discuss how they are being interpreted and if necessary preserved.


If you would like to submit a presentation or poster, please contact the conference organiser Dr Lorna O’Donnell (odonnell.lorna@gmail.comby the 14th of February 2022 with a title and approximately 200 word abstract

Note: The Wellington Park Hotel is under renovation at the moment so does not provide overnight accommodation. The nearby Malone Hotel has availability and will offer a discount if you mention you are attending the IAI conference.



IAI Conference 2021


IAI Conference 2021 booklet (download) – IAI Conference Book 2021

Links to the conference videos will be circulated by email to all members on Thursday 22 May

Videos will be accessible from 24 April – 2 May 2021. This is a free event to attend.



The IAI Conference 2021 will be held online in the last week of April 2021. The theme is ‘Archaeology 2020- where are we now, where are we going?’. There will be two sessions.

Session 1 Archaeology in Large Infrastructural Developments
This session will examine how large-scale developments are managed and discuss the range of archaeological sites being found on them.

Session 2 Archaeology in Plan
This session will review how Irish Archaeologists put relevant planning documents into practice, including through publication, collaborative research, database development, survey and raising public awareness of heritage.

All presentations will be online on the IAI YouTube channel for the last week of April. Login details for this will be sent to all IAI members and any members of the public can receive the link by contacting the conference organiser Dr Lorna O’Donnell (odonnell.lorna[@]gmail.com). The conference videos will be available to view from Saturday 24 April to Sunday 2 May 2021.


IAI Conference 2021 sessions and speakers

Archaeology 2020- where are we now, where are we going?

Introduction by Malcolm Noonan T.D. Minister for Heritage and Electoral Reform

Introduction by Mr James Kyle, Chair of the Institute of Archaeologists of Ireland

Session 1 Archaeology in Large Scale Developments
Chair Mary Deevy – Transport Infrastructure Ireland

1 Steven Mc Glade – Archaeology Plan
An ancient pathway and associated monuments in North Dublin. Excavation of a Site in Clonard or Folkstown Great, Co. Dublin.

2 Faith Bailey/Maeve Tobin – Irish Archaeological Consultancy Ltd
Planning a new town in a heritage landscape: Cherrywood SDZ

3 Graham Hull – TVAS (Ireland) Ltd
Mixed Beaker period and Early Bronze Age pottery and a Late Bronze Age moss-lined timber trough with a burnt stone mound near Glenties, Co. Donegal

4 Dr Edward Pollard, Anthony Corns, Sandra Henry, Robert Shaw and Dr Linda Shine- The Discovery Programme. Louise Barker, Dr Toby Driver and Daniel Hunt – The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales. James Barry, Kieran Craven and Sean Cullen- The Geological Survey of Ireland. Dr Sarah Davies, Dr Patrick Robson – Aberystwyth University
The CHERISH Project: Surveying Promontory Forts on the Copper Coast of Co. Waterford

5 John Channing- Archaeological Management Solutions
Ancestral Place. An Overview of current excavations at Gortnacrannagh 2 on the N5 Project combined with a look at current and possible future site recording technologies.


Session 2 Archaeology in Plan
Chair Professor Muiris O’Sullivan – University College Dublin

6 Michael MacDonagh – National Monuments Service
Update from the National Monuments Service

7 Mary Deevy- Transport Infrastructure Ireland, Archaeology and
Transport Infrastructure Ireland, Archaeology and Research

8 Joseph Davis- Independent
Databases for Museums

9 Dr Rowan McLaughin – Department of Scientific Research, The British Museum
Where we are, when we are: Irish archaeology in The Information Age

10 James Kyle- Chair of the Institute of Archaeologists of Ireland
Institute of Archaeologists of Ireland Three Year Plan

11 Ken Hanley- Transport Infrastructure Ireland
We all have stories to tell!

12 Alison Stapleton, Dr Stephen Davis and Professor Louise McHugh- University College Dublin
Assessing well-being in commercial archaeology on the island of Ireland: Preliminary results

13 Dr Stephen Davis – University College Dublin
Archaeological specialists: what next?

14 Luke Hally – University College Dublin
Steeds, Silk and Scourge: Analysing the precursor, extent and impact of Nerva-Antonine dynasty interactions with the Han Empire

15 Dr Evan Hill – Queen’s University Belfast, Prof. Chris Hunt – Liverpool John Moores University, Dr Tim Reynolds – Birkbeck, University of London, Dr Ryan Rabett – Queen’s University Belfast, Prof. Graeme Barker – University of Cambridge
Archaeology and the Contested Past: Examples from Iraq and Vietnam

Keynote address
Professor Eileen Murphy – Queen’s University of Belfast
Engaged Research and Community Archaeology in Archaeology & Palaeoecology, Queen’s University Belfast



IAI Conference 2020 – postponed

The annual IAI conference 2020 that was scheduled to take place on Friday the 3rd and Saturday 4th April in the Wellington Park Hotel, Malone Road, Belfast, has been postponed until further notice. The theme is Archaeology 2020 – where are we now, where are we going?. The conference will discuss various aspects of being an archaeologist in 2020, including the job of archaeology, archaeology in plan and large infrastructural developments.

If you would like to submit a presentation or poster, please contact the conference organiser Dr Lorna O’Donnell (odonnell.lorna@gmail.com) by the 14th of February 2020 with a title and approximately 200 word abstract.


IAI Conference 2019

The annual IAI conference 2019 will take place on Friday the 5th and Saturday the 6th of April in the River Lee Hotel, Cork City, Cork. This year’s conference title is Now and Again: Current and Recurring Issues Facing Irish Archaeologists.

Conference registration in advance can be finalised through eventbrite (click Reservations for link) – Reservations



Papers can be of varying lengths ranging from 5-minute position statements to 20-minute outlines. These papers will be used as a starting point for roundtable discussions at the Conference to gather data and opinions on topics and issues facing the profession, such as the grading of archaeological practitioners; training of archaeological professionals; and “The Definition of an Archaeologist”.
The outcomes of the Conference will allow the IAI to develop an agreed Definition of an Archaeologist that encompasses all strands of the Profession.

The call for papers is now open and proposed titles with abstracts should be forwarded before 1st February 2019 by email to chair[@]iai.ie

Please read the full text for the Call for papers – Call for papers IAI 2019


IAI Conference 2018

The annual IAI conference 2018 will take place on Friday the 23rd and Saturday the 24th of March in the Clayton Hotel in Sligo town, Sligo. This year’s conference will feature four themed pillars on Research, Excavation, Specialisms and Science/Experimental.

The call for papers is open and will close on Monday 22nd January 2018.

Those who are interested in presenting at this conference are invited to submit an abstract of no more than 250 words in length to iaiarchaeology@gmail.com

Presentations should be no more than 20 minutes in length.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Post conference:  A Round Table Discussion held during the conference focused on two of the core objectives identified in Archaeology 2025: Strategic Pathways for Archaeology in Ireland:

1. Working towards recognised qualification-based definition of archaeologists.

2. Supporting improved conditions of employment and career development.

The Minutes of this meeting are available to download – iai round table discussion notes 24 march 2018

IAI Conference 2017

The IAI 2017 Conference and Annual General Meeting will take place on Friday 31st March and Saturday 1st April 2017 in the Louis Fitzgerald Hotel, Newland’s Cross, Dublin.

The conference entitled ‘Strata’ consists of six sessions spread over two days. Attendees can enjoy nineteen presentations. The Conference programme is available to download – IAI Programme 2017

The keynote address will be delivered by Dr. Meriel McClatchie (Assistant Professor, School of Archaeology, UCD). Dr.McClatchie will present on Food ‘facts’ : new findings and emerging challenges in the investigation of ancient foodways


Attendance at the IAI Conference is open to IAI members and the public. If you haven’t already registered, we would encourage you to secure your registration through Eventbrite – Click here to register

We are pleased to announce that we are running the IAI 2017 Photographic Competition. The competition is only open to IAI members (all categories) and the photographs must be submitted to iaiarchaeology@gmail.com. The closing date for receipt of photographs is midnight on 29.3.17. Full details on the poster attached – 

We look forward to seeing you,


Lynda McCormack

IAI Conference Organiser


Venue location details

Louis Fitzgerald Hotel,

Newland’s Cross, Exit 1A, Naas Road,

Dublin 22

(GPS Coordinates: N+53 18’ 56.06” W -6 23’ 2.51”)


Conference fee

Members (€30/ £25)

Non-members (€40/ £30)

Students/Unwaged (€5/ £5)



IAI Conference 2017 – Call for papers

The annual IAI conference 2017 will take place on Friday the 31st of March and Saturday the 1st of April in the Louis Fitzgerald hotel in Dublin. This year’s conference will feature four themed sessions on prehistory, environmental archaeology, community archaeology and historic archaeology.

The call for papers is now open and will close on Monday the 30th of January.

Those who are interested in presenting at this conference are invited to submit an abstract of no more than 250 words in length to iaiarchaeology@gmail.com

Presentations should be no more than 20 minutes in length.

We look forward to hearing from you.

[Posted 17 January 2017]

IAI Spring Conference and AGM 2017 – DATE FOR YOUR DIARY

The IAI Spring Conference and AGM 2017 will take place in the Louis Fitzgerald Hotel, Dublin on Friday 31st March/ Saturday 1st April 2017.

The conference will consist of several themed session, including but not limited to prehistoric, environmental, community and historic.







IAI Spring Conference and AGM 2016

Download Brochure

Event Description

The Institute of Archaeologists of Ireland are pleased to announce that the 2016 IAI Conference will be held in Galway City on April 29th and 30th. This year’s theme ‘A Matter of Time’ seeks to explore materiality and chronology in Irish Archaeology from multiple viewpoints. Prehistoric archaeology in Ireland has been revolutionised in recent years due to a much more detailed understanding of chronology than was previously available. However, has our understanding of materials and lifeways kept pace with our refined ability to put the archaeological record in order? Has the same progress been made for later periods, especially (for example) the early modern period, when radiocarbon ceases to become a useful dating control? How can archaeology add to and challenge historical narratives of “what happened” in the past? What are the changing relationships between society and the natural environment?

Our speakers will confront these problems as well as examining changing materials, technology, and architecture and the ‘new’ information that can be gleaned from the archaeological record as a result of their study.

 The Keynote Address will be delivered by Prof. Elizabeth FitzPatrick of NUIG. Prof. FitzPatrick will present ‘Suspending Time: Wilderness and Boundary Places in Medieval Ireland‘.

Our conference is a forum for discussion and a networking opportunity. We are proud to be offering an award for the best paper in the post-graduate session for student researchers. In addition, we’re sure many of our conference delegates are looking forward to this years, and the ever-popular, Table Quiz on Friday night.

Registration: Registration will be on the day upon arrival or alternatively book your tickets through Eventbrite 

The conference fee is –

Members                 €30 / £25 stg

Non-members          €40 / £30 stg

Students/Unwaged  €5 / £5 stg



Previous Conferences

Download a summary of the previous IAI conferencesList of recent of IAI conferences

Download the IAI Conference Proceedings 2014 (Spring)IAI Conference Proceedings 2014

Download the IAI Conference Proceedings 2013 (Spring): Proceedings of the IAI Spring 2013 Conference

Download the IAI Conference Proceedings 2012 (Autumn)Proceedings of the IAI Autumn 2012 Conference (2)