Topic ID #34345 - posted 12/30/2014 9:51 AM

2015 Aditu Field School in Roman and Mortuary Archaeology and Osteology

Aditu Archaeology

In 2015, join us for the 6th season of excavations at the Roman site and Medieval monastery of Santa Maria de Zamartze (Navarre, northern Spain- Basque Country)

Project Description

The Zamartze Mortuary Archaeology Field School is run as part of a research project investigating the sequence from the Roman times to the Middle Ages, including the exhumation of human burials, at the medieval monastic complex of Zamartze in the municipality of Uharte-Arakil (Navarre, Spain). The main element in the site is a 12th century Romanesque church built on top of an earlier Roman mansio along the ancient Roman road from Astorga to Bordeaux. Restoration works to the complex in 2005 revealed Medieval graves and Roman structures. The primary goal of the project is to gain knowledge of life in the Roman times, and to investigate the population of this part of Navarre during the Medieval period. Graves found to date are from between the 9th and the 14th century AD, and over 130 individual burials have been uncovered in the last years. The project aims at using the individuals recovered from this cemetery to perform a thorough study of the diet, pathology and bioprofile (age, sex, stature) of this Medieval site’s population that could be extrapolated to the region, as little is known about this area's Medieval population.  Stone tombs, as well as earlier earth-cut burials surrounding the church are excavated.

The field school is aimed at students or graduates of archaeology and physical or forensic anthropology who wish to gain hands-on experience in the excavation of Roman and Medieval stratigraphy and/or human remains. We offer two types of participation: the Roman Field School, focusing on the Roman part of the site, and the Mortuary Field School, excavating and studying the Medieval burials. There is a large laboratory component to the school, with time divided evenly between the field and laboratory.

There are daily lectures and lab classes on skeletal anatomy, excavation techniques, as well as Roman and Basque archaeology, although the major component of the school is field and labwork, with students working an average of 7-8 hours per day. Throughout the course, students become proficient in carrying out all aspects of an excavation, and if choosing to focus on the mortuary part of the dig, the students also learn how to carry out osteological analysis, including the determination of age, sex, stature and identification of pathologies. The focus of the fieldschool is to prepare the students on architectonical research, Roman history, and/or burial excavation, documentation methods and laboratory techniques related to anthropological analysis, depending on the student's preferred subject.

Period(s) of Occupation: Roman (1st to 4th centuries AD), and Medieval (9th-14th centuries AD)

Archaeological or Osteological knowledge is preferred, but is not a requirement for participation.

Room and Board Arrangements: Board and accommodation will be provided in the nearby village of Uharte-Arakil. All necessary facilities are provided and it is located a short walk from the site. Meals are cooked for students during workdays, and the accommodation has showers, kitchen, living rooms with TVs, etc.

Cost: €1700 per three week session

Sessions: July 6th to 30th, and August 6th to 30th, 2015

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: One full session

Minimum age: 18
For details contact:


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