Topic ID #37738 - posted 12/2/2016 10:25 AM

Portugal: Vale Boi Field School 2017 - Academic Credit through UCLA


Project Overview

The site of Vale Boi, located in southern Portugal, is one of the few known locations in southern Iberia where questions addressing the transition/replacement process of Neanderthals by Anatomically Modern Humans (AMS) and the emergence of cognition complexity may be addressed.   The site of Vale Boi is an exceptional location to explore these issues due to the presence of Early Upper Paleolithic intact deposits (dated to ca. 33,000 years ago) with impressive faunal preservation and numerous lithic assemblages.  These conditions allow for the study of subsistence, technology and symbolic behavior.  While initial assumptions were that only early AMH used the site, new evidence suggest Neanderthals were present as well, dramatically enhancing the possibility of studying AMH-Neanderthal interaction and replacement process. This program combines lectures, excavation and laboratory training, providing students with the rare opportunity to explore and document one of the most interesting and important moments of the human career:  the emergence of our own species.

Program Director: Prof. Nuno Bicho, Dr. João Cascalheira  
Course Dates: July 1-July 31, 2017
Application Deadline: June 29, 2017
Tuition: $4,450
Credit: 12 UCLA credit units

Accommodations: Students will live in a comfortable, but modest, field house in the small town of Budens, located a couple kms from the site of Vale Boi. Conditions at the field house are basic, with electricity, drinking water and hot water for showers (please be prepared and bring bathing suits for showering, because sometimes students may have to use outside showers). Students will sleep on bank beds so should bring either bedding or sleeping bags (or both). Night temperatures are comfortable with rare cold or hot nights. There are two large communal rooms, divided by gender, each with its own bathrooms. In addition there is a large communal eating room. Students will prepare their own breakfast and light lunch from supplies provided by the project. Dinner will be prepared by a cook. The daily diet in Southern Portugal is Mediterranean diet and includes a wide diversity of food elements, including fish, shellfish, pork, beef, chicken, fresh vegetables, bread, beans, pasta, rice and potatoes. Although there is a wide diversity, it is near impossible to prepare dinners for specialized diets such as vegan, kosher, etc. It is possible to handle lactose intolerant meals, but those need special preparation.

Students will prepare their own breakfast in the dig house at 7.00am and we leave for the field at 7:45am – arriving to the site by 8.00am. A light lunch will be individually prepared at the dig house at 1:00pm, when we gather for a break from excavations until 3.00pm. Work in the field concludes each day at 6:00pm. The late afternoons are reserved for lab work and daily lectures. At 6:00pm we get together in the labs to discuss the day’s work. Every work group gives a brief report on the results, problems and successes. During these meetings we will discuss results and interpretations. You are urged to contribute information and suggestions. Dinner is typically served at 8:00pm to the group as a communal meal.

For further information visit Program Page:


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