Topic ID #30384 - posted 12/17/2013 3:19 PM

Egypt- Fayum Field School




Dates: October 16 - November 21, 2014

Project Description: The Fayum field school takes place at the Greco-Roman town of Karanis, a large mud brick settlement founded in the third century BCE as part of the Ptolemaic expanse of agriculture in the Fayum region of Egypt. Karanis was abandoned during the early seventh century CE and the preservation of the ancient remains is excellent and a wide range of archaeological materials, including botanical macro-remains, textiles, wood and metal, are studied by a large group of archaeological specialists. This project focuses on both domestic and industrial areas of the site to better understand the importance of agriculture in relation to other economic activities. The 2014 field school will excavate at domestic contexts in order to augment our knowledge of the archaeobotanical and zooarchaeological record at the household level. The Fayum Field School combines teaching American students with training Egyptian archaeologists employed by the Ministry of State of Antiquities, which makes cultural exchange an integral part of the program. During the five weeks of the field school students get an intensive on-the-job training in archaeological research methods, excavation techniques, survey and finds processing. Students will have the opportunity to work closely with archaeological specialists and are encouraged to develop independent research projects. Excursions to important sites in the vicinity and ethnoarchaeological assignments are also part of this program. 


Academic Credits: Attending students will be awarded 8 semester credit units (equivalent to 12 quarter units) through Connecticut College.

Total Cost: $ 5,050

Accommodations: While in camp, students will stay in a room with three to four people. For every team member there is a bed, a mattress, two blankets, sheets, and a pillow. It is not necessary to bring a sleeping bag, although some participants bring one, especially if they are sensitive to the cold. Participants are expected to bring their own towels. A mosquito net is also highly recommended and can easily be hung up in the room. 

Meals: All meals will be communal events at the project dining area. Students are responsible for their own weekend meals. Once we start fieldwork, the day is fairly intense. A light breakfast (tea and biscuits) is served at 5:00am and we leave the dig house at 5:30am. A more substantial ‘second’ breakfast is served in the field at 10:00am. Work in the field stops at 2:00 and a warm lunch (the main meal of the day) is served at 2:30. Dinner is served in the evening. Vegetarians may attend this program but will find selection highly limited. Vegan and kosher restrictions are impossible to accommodate in this location.

Please let us know when you apply for this program if you have special dietary needs, as well as any medical or physical conditions. We will advise you accordingly. 

Travel Information: Students will be met by project staff members at Cairo international airport (CAI) and must arrive by October 16. While in Cairo, students will stay at the Mayfair Hotel and share rooms for the three days in the city. Students will then be transferred to the Fayum field house with project vehicles. 

If you missed your connection or your flight is delayed, please call, text or email to the project director.  Local cell phone numbers and other emergency contact information will be provided to all enrolled students.

Visa Requirements: Travelers to Egypt must have a valid passport and a visa. Tourists can obtain a renewable 30-day tourist visa on arrival at an Egyptian airport for a $15 fee, payable in U.S. dollars. This visa is valid for a month and has a two week grace period. If you are planning to stay longer than 6 weeks the project will arrange for a visa extension. For more information on travel in Egypt, please visit the US State Department Travel Advice page

Health: For specific information regarding travel health issues pertinent to travel in Egypt, consult with the Centers for Disease Control website.

Project Directors and Contact Information: Prof. Willeke Wendrich, Department of NELC/Cotsen Institute of Archaeology at UCLA (

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