A major excavation of an Irish settlement in Lowell, Massachusetts near Boston will shed light on the Irish emigrant experience.

The archaeological dig is a joint effort between UMass Lowell University's Center for Irish Partnerships and Queen's University in Northern Ireland.

Students will be guided by archaeologists from Queen's University when they excavate and catalog artifacts at the site of St. Patrick’s Church, which was built by Irish emigrants who worked on building canals in 1831.

The dig, which begins August 16, may well find items such as clay pipes, dishes and cutlery from the period, other Irish artifacts such as Famine era artifacts may also be found.

UMass Lowell has established nine international centers – African, Asian, European, Franco-American, Hellenic, Irish, Latin and South American, Middle East and Turkish.

“Our priority with these centers is to provide our graduates with a global perspective, one that will contribute to their career success. The opportunities the centers provide will deepen their understanding of multiple cultures, which in today’s shrinking world, is no longer optional, but required,” said Chancellor Marty Meehan.

“This archaeological dig is one of many concrete ways that students are already benefiting from our agreements with notable universities around the world.”