Licence for Archaeological Excavation

Section 26 of the National Monuments Act 1930 (as amended) requires that excavations for archaeological purposes must be carried out by archaeologists acting under an excavation licence.

It should be noted that in order to be granted an excavation licence it is necessary for an applicant to have passed an interview to assess their competency to hold such a licence.  The purpose of the competency interview is to ensure that applicants are competent in archaeological excavation techniques, and conversant with Irish archaeology, in order to safeguard the State’s national built heritage. Inappropriate excavation of a heritage site could result in damage to, or destruction of, the integrity, setting or historical context of the site, contrary to the public interest.

Prospective applicants for excavation licences who have not undergone this interview should arrange to do so prior to applying for an excavation licence.  An interview can be arranged by contacting


NMS 1-2017 Excavation License Application Form (125 KB)