Topic ID #37546 - posted 10/27/2016 2:49 AM

Aditu Field School in Mortuary Archaeology and Osteology

Aditu Archaeology

ates: July 3-27, August 1-25, 2017

Location: Uharte-Arakil, Navarre, Spain


The Aditu Field School in Mortuary Archaeology and Osteology is a research project investigating human burials at the medieval cemeteries in Navarre (Spain). During 2017 the excavation will take place at the sanctuary of San Miguel in Excelsis, on top of the mountain of Aralar. Originally the sanctuary was associated to the monastic complex of Zamartze, in the municipality of Uharte-Arakil (Navarre, Spain) at the foot of the mountain. After excavating for 5 years, the goal is now to relate the main element in that site-a 12th century Romanesque church built on top of an earlier Roman mansio- with the origin of the sanctuary on top of the mountain. Excavations of the medieval cemetery at San Miguel began in 2016 and work will continue in 2017.

The primary goal of the project is to gain knowledge of the population of this part of Navarre during the medieval period. Graves are thought to date between the 9th and the 14th century, and over 150 individual burials have been uncovered at Zamartze, with an additional 15 individual burials excavated at San Miguel during the 2016 field season. The project aims to use the individuals recovered from these cemeteries to perform a thorough study of the diet, health and bioprofile (age, sex, stature) that could be extrapolated to the region, as little is known in the area about its medieval population.  Stone tombs, as well as earth-cut burials surrounding the church of San Miguel will be 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 and preliminary analysis of human remains. There will be a large laboratory component to the school, with time divided evenly between the field and laboratory.

There will be daily lectures and lab classes on skeletal anatomy, excavation techniques 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 will become proficient in carrying out all aspects of osteological analysis, including the determination of age, sex, stature and identification of pathologies. The focus of the fieldschool will be on burial excavation, documentation methods and laboratory techniques related to anthropological analysis.


Application Deadline: May 31, 2017

Experience Required: Some osteological knowledge is preferred, but is not a requirement for participation.

Cost: € 1750 per three-week session.



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