MSPI promotes professional standards in the care of collections in Irish museums and galleries. The programme recognises the achievement of those standards through accreditation.
Detail of significant archaeological investigations in Ireland which had not been featured widely in printed publications previous to 2004.
In 2004 The Heritage Council commissioned a review of unpublished excavation reports for the time period 1930-1997. The review examined the National Monument Service's archive of excavation reports which included those at Mesolithic, Neolithic, Megalithic, Bronze Age, Iron Age, Medieval and Anglo-Norman sites as well as those at stone forts, ringforts and crannógs around the country.
The final report categorised 81 of the sites surveyed as being of national importance and a further 340 as being of regional significance. A website was developed for the project in 2007 which can be accessed from the link below.
Aims and Objectives
The Heritage Council's brief for this project was to compile a synopsis of each site, detailing the location, the excavator, the date of the excavation, why the project was carried out and the significance of the results. Each excavator was contacted and asked to submit a short report on their site with reference to the Heritage Council brief. Excavators were also asked to provide some graphics for the site, either by way of site plans and/or photographs.
The project aimed to highlight the importance of many of the sites reviewed and to make the details of the excavations available to other archaeologists and researchers.
While the details of many of these excavations have since been published ‒ including some by the archaeologists involved ‒ the Significant Unpublished Archaeological Excavations project website continues to be a very popular resource for archaeology researchers.
Work is now ongoing to update the content of these pages with references to the newly-published reports.