The Discovery Programme

Discovery Programme Logo
The Discovery Programme: Centre for Archaeology and Innovation Ireland is an independent and charitable institution concerned with advanced research on the archaeology of Ireland. It is currently funded by the Heritage Council from the Department of Culture, Heritage and Gaeltacht. In its constitution and operation, the Discovery Programme is dedicated to research. Unlike the other public institutions concerned with archaeology in Ireland, the Discovery Programme has no formal institutional role in regulatory, curatorial or policy matters, or in the educational process. For over two decades the Discovery Programme has led the way in many innovative approaches to archaeological research in Ireland, particularly in the use of applied technology and interdisciplinary studies.

The Discovery Programme is concerned with advanced research on the archaeology of Ireland. The organization has three other associated functions:

  • Inter-disciplinary research in Irish archaeology and related disciplines
  • to communicate the results of its work to the general public as well as to the academic community
  • to promote the introduction of new technologies and techniques in Irish archaeology.

The Discovery Programme sets up investigative projects designed to answer relevant and changing questions that arise from time to time in Irish archaeology. Those questions are identified and agreed by our governing bodies – the Directorate (Board of Directors) and Council. The membership of those bodies is made up (mainly) of leading Irish archaeologists from the whole of the country (North and South), who are attached to the principal museums, universities that teach archaeology, the monuments and archaeology sections of government departments, various learned and representative bodies, and from the private archaeological sector.

The Discovery Programme is required to communicate the results of its projects to the academic community and to the general public. This task is achieved, mainly, through the publication of books and papers but also through a variety of outreach activities, lectures and community events in the areas where work is being undertaken.


The Discovery Programme’s mission is to explore Ireland’s past and its cultural heritage by conducting advanced research in Irish archaeology and related disciplines and by disseminating its findings widely to the global community.

  • Perform a central role in Irish archaeological research
  • Identify and address specific research questions through core Discovery Programme projects and collaborative projects
  • Develop and promote the use of applied technologies in Irish archaeology
  • Promote collaboration with national cultural institutions, national agencies and higher education institutions
  • Foster interdisciplinary and innovative research between the humanities, sciences and technology in the context of archaeology
  • Educate the wider public about Ireland’s past and its cultural heritage to enable communities to become custodians of their heritage

The Discovery Programme CHERISH team. From left to right: Dr  Edward Pollard (Research Archaeologist), Anthony Corns (Technology Manager), Rob Shaw (Senior Geo-surveyor), Sandra Henry (Lead Research Archaeologist) and Gary Devlin (Geo-Surveyor).

Contact Details

6 Lower Mount Street
D02 T67

Tel: +353 1 639 3039
Fax: +353 1 639 3710
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.