New data indicates that archaeological activity in Ireland has stopped declining and can look forward to modest recovery.
In the third quarter of 2013 there were 125 excavation licences issued by the National Monuments Service in the Republic of Ireland. This is identical to the number issued in the same period in 2012 and continues the trend seen earlier in the year. Overall in the first three quarters of the year there were 376 licences issued which is almost identical to the 375 issued in the same period of 2012. If this trend continues through to the end of the year this will be the first year for 7 years with no decline in excavation licences.
The archaeological licensing data is corroborated by the Ulster Bank Construction PMI Report which recorded an increase to 49.7 for the month of August. This indicates a marginal and slowing fall in Irish construction activity. A PMI above 50 indicates expansion in the sector and the index is expected to move above 50 in the coming months. New construction orders grew at the fasted pace since 2007 and growth was recorded in the housing and commercial construction sectors in July and August. This was the largest expansion seen since 2006, although it was was offset by the continuing decline in civil engineering projects. The Central Statistics Office has also reported that the GDP value of building and construction grew by 4.2% in the second quarter of 2013. The data suggests that, after years of decline, and barring unforeseen circumstances, Irish construction and archaeology look as though they are about to enter a phase of recovery.
Cite this post as:
Mount, C. 2013. After a year of stability recovery appears on the horizon for Irish archaeology. Charles Mount’s Blog, 1 October 2013. http://charles-mount.ie/wp/?p=1282