June 28, 2015
On a “short and sweet” excavation in Ireland, from June 22 to June 27, associates of the First Colony Foundation enjoyed their first experience in overseas archaeology. The project, directed by First Colony Vice President Eric Klingelhofer of Mercer University and Carter Hudgins of Clemson University, was the final stage of research on Molana Abbey, the recorded home of Thomas Harriot. The project research goal was to determine whether he had actually lived in the former monastery that Sir Walter Raleigh had given him as payment for his many services. The County Waterford abbey ruins had previously undergone an architectural survey in 2012/3, and a mortar analysis in 2014, by students in the Clemson/Charleston Graduate Program in Historic Preservation. Our volunteer team comprised FCF treasurer Alastair Macdonald, Luke Pecoraro, and David Hazard, joined by supervising Irish archaeologist Eamonn Cotter. Six test units revealed wall foundations, altered doorways, and much evidence of the buildings’ ultimate ruin, as one of the many English colonial sites destroyed the 1598 war.