Topic ID #36322 - posted 11/2/2015 2:34 PM

Medieval Castle Field School Belgium, 2016


Walhain-St-Paul Project, July 2-30, 2016

Summer Archaeology Field School in Belgium

We are now recruiting students for the 2016 field season of Eastern Illinois University's Summer Archaeology in Belgium Program! This year's excavation will run from July 2 - July 30, 2016. The program is headed by Dr. Bailey Young, Distinguished Professor of History at EIU, and centers on the excavation of Walhain Castle, near our partner university, the Universite catholique de Louvain (UCL). American students work alongside UCL students under the overal direction of the Centre de Recherches Archeologiques Nationales (CRAN), based at UCL and directed by Professor Laurent Verslype. Students will spend most days excavating early modern (15th-18th c.) as well as medieval (12-14th c.) remains at the idyllic ruins of Castle Walhain. Additional field school components include artifact handling and documentation as well as lectures by experts in medieval and agricultural history, European archaeology, material culture, and GIS. This year, we're adding brief modules on archives and fieldwalking. In addition, students take guided field trips that introduce them to the larger cultural context, going back to Roman Belgica.

We generally work on site 8-5 Monday through Thursday and half a day Friday. Friday afternoons are reserved for lectures, and students will spend an average of two evenings per week cleaning and logging artifacts in the lab at the dorm. Guided field trips take place on two Saturdays, but all Sundays are free. In addition, the third weekend is a free weekend, and we usually try to knock off early that Friday so students can take extended trips if they desire.

Credits and requirements:

Students earn four credits awarded as they prefer in either History or Earth Sciences (Honors students have special Honors credit). The course is open to all undergraduate and graduate students in good standing, and teams are typically made up of students from a variety of institutions. There are no prerequisites, and no previous background in archaeology is required. All majors are welcome. All work is done in English, and although we will be in the French-speaking part of Belgium, no language background is required.


Students and staff stay in dorm-style accommodations on the campus of UCL at the nearby town of Louvain-la-Neuve. Breakfast is provided at the dorms, and we pack a picnic lunch to take on site. For dinner, students get an allowance for meals at one of two local restaurants. Louvain-la-Neuve is a vibrant small town with many restaurants, bars, shopping, banks, and a movie theater. All of this is easily accessible on foot.


The cost of the program in 2015 was $6191, which includes tuition and fees, food, lodging, and daily transportation to and from site and on field trips. This does not include airfare to Belgium. The cost should not change much for 2016. Scholarships may be available; getting creative has paid off for previous WSP crew members!


The application deadline is January 21, 2016, and applications received by December 15, 2015 will be considered for early admission.

Interested students should email Dr. Young at to get an application. 
Dr. Young's faculty web page has additional information: 

You are also invited to check out the Walhain-St-Paul Project on Facebook: . An application is also available on our website:

We hope you can join us for what promises to be a fun and exciting season at Walhain-St-Paul!


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