The aim of the Ulster Archaeological Society is "to advance the education of the public in archaeology and history, particularly in regard to Ulster". There is a long tradition of association that has existed between Queen's University and the UAS going right the way back to the 1930s when Estyn Evans, the university's first lecturer in Geography, re-established the society and the Ulster Journal of Archaeology - the foremost repository for excavation reports and other papers on archaeological research in Ulster.
The UAS aims to educate and promote the involvement of the public in local archaeological activity. As such, it is uniquely placed to bridge the gap between archaeology as an academic discipline and the interpretation of our heritage to an interested public.
The UAS achieves this through:
We hold eight monthly illustrated lectures at Queen's University Belfast covering a wide range of related topics.
Our Survey Group, open to all members regardless of experience, has undertaken monument surveys since 2006 supported by the National Trust. The establishment of the Survey Group was facilitated by a bequest by the late Dr Ann Hamlin, former Director of Built Heritage, Environment and Heritage Service, to purchase equipment for this express purpose. To date, the UAS Survey Group has surveyed 66 sites and published 55.
The UAS uses two vehicles for disseminating archaeological information to the highest standard:
The publication of the Ulster Journal of Archaeology, which acts as a conduit to disseminate the results of licenced excavations in Northern Ireland and archaeological research in Ulster across the world and an online monograph series for reports that are too large for the Journal. Our annual peer-reviewed journal, is free to all members and is also available online in an electronic form on JSTOR.
The Society collaborates with a number of institutions and bodies who are very supportive of the aims of the Society. These include Queen’s University Belfast and The National Trust for Northern Ireland. We also respond directly to appeals for consultation on archaeological matters.
Our two workshops give smaller groups a hands-on appreciation of artefacts.
During the summer members enjoy field trips led by experienced archaeologists. Each year there are usually two local evening trips, two full day trips, a weekend trip to an Irish county and a one week study tour to the continent or Bristish mainland. (Additional fees apply).
Our newsletter includes details of recenet lectures, fieldtrips and fieldwork, book reviews and other forthcoming activities.
We are a registered charity and depend for funding of our activities on membership subscriptions towards our effective dissemination of archaeological research through the continued publication of excavation reports. The Ulster Archaeological Society is at the forefront of disseminating this information, carrying out pro-active survey work and most of all getting that information available to the general public and academics through constant publication of the results of its work. Thanks to the hard work and dedication of our Members, and the various institutions that the UAS works closely with, the Society has never been stronger, vibrant and more active than it is today.