Friday, May 3, 2013

Go on Archaeological Dig this Summer and Get HIST 398 Credit

Looking for an unusual HIST 398 internship this summer? Go on an archaeological dig in Portugal!  Students can earn HIST 398 credit by participating in one of the following two digs and blogging about their experience.

The first dig, running June 2 - June 30, is the Caladinho Archaeological Project, which is seeking students for the 4th season of excavation at Caladinho in the Alentejo region of Portugal. Previous fieldwork at Caladinho uncovered the remains of a fortified tower related to the Roman colonization of the region in the 1st century BC. Caladinho is the first of these small, fortified, rural structures to be systematically excavated in the Alentejo region. The primary goal of this project is the identification of the inhabitants, the chronology of the site's occupation, and its place with-in the larger regional context. This upcoming and, likely, final season of fieldwork will complete the excavation of the main structure and continue targeted archaeological reconnaissance of the remainder of the site. Click here for more information.

The second, running from June 30 - July 27, right on the heels of the Caladinho Project, is the excavation of a villa site in the Alantejo region of Portugal, in a field visible from the tower at Caladinho. This site, never systematically excavated, holds a villa complex important to our understanding of the processes of colonization and settlement in this corner of the Roman Empire. Preliminary work at the site suggests a rich artifact assemblage dating from the 1st through the 5th centuries AD. In the first season, an intensive survey will provide targets for the initial excavation in the pars urbana and aid in understanding the extent and nature of occupation at the site. Click here for more information.

Field school students for both Caladinho and Santa Susana will receive instruction in excavation techniques, the handling and processing of artifacts, and the recording of exposed areas and features. Those at Santa Susana also have the opportunity to learn surveying. No prior archaeological experience is necessary. Participants may attend for 2 or 4 week sessions. Students are housed in the town of Redondo, which is a 3-5 minute van ride to the site, and we all live together. Food is provided except, I believe, on Sundays. We take several field trips, including to the town of Évora, Portugal, where students can experience a local town fair; Merida, in Spain, which was a former legionary city and whose Roman and medieval past is on prominent display; and the former garum production facility at Troia.

Tuition for either is €700 for 2 weeks or €1300 for 4 weeks and includes room, board, and the cost of transportation within Portugal. Both undergraduate and graduate students are encouraged to apply. The cost helps fund the dig.

Professor Andrew Donnelly highly recommends both projects, and knows of few field schools where students are treated as well, get to experience more local culture, and learn more about archaeology than these. Feel free to contact him by email with any questions (

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