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Archaeology & Anthropology Field Schools

Europe - Spain - Aditu Archaeology Field School in Roman and Mortuary Archaeology - 2015

Europe - Spain - Aditu Archaeology Field School in Roman and Mortuary Archaeology - 2015

Archaeology Field School Location and Dates

Application Deadline
Start Date 2015-07-06
End Date 2015-08-30

Multiple Sessions Yes
Multiple Session information

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

Archaeology Field School Location

Monastery of Santa Maria de Zamartze, Uharte-Arakil (Navarre, Spain)

Academic Credit

Talk to us if you are interested in getting credits for your work with us.

Archaeology Field School Tuition

1700 per three week session

Archaeology Field School Room and Board


Archaeology Field School Travel
Additional Information on Tution/Room and Board/Travel Costs

Cost includes room and board, meals are cooked for students during weekdays. Accommodation is in two or maximum three people per room. Washing machine, showers, TV and other amenities available.

Archaeology Field School Description

You can join us in one of two different options, depending on your interests. We have a mortuary field school focusing in the exhumation and study of human remains, and a Roman one, concentrating on the Roman period of the site.

The Aditu Mortuary Archaeology Field School is a research project investigating 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 assumed to have been built on top of an earlier Roman mansio. Restoration works to the complex in 2005 revealed medieval graves and Roman structures.

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 100 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 in the area about its Medieval population. Additional details of funerary practices may also be gained from the position of the skeletons, burial orientation and grave goods. Stone tombs (as well as later intrusive burials) surrounding the church 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 of human remains. 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 spending an average of 7-8 hours per day on site divided almost equally beween the excavation of human remains and their processing and analysis in the field lab. 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 fieldwork will be on burial excavation techniques and documentation methods. Students will participate in all stages involved in the exhumation of human remains in archaeological contexts.

In 2015, we will also be offering a field school in Roman archaeology at the site of Zamartze (Navarre, Spain). The main element of the site is a 12th century Romanesque church built on top of an earlier Roman mansio dating back to the 1st century AD. Excavations during the 2011-2014 field seasons beyond the medieval levels revealed Roman layers (dating from the 1st to the 4th century AD), including architectonical elements from the Roman mansio complex. Historical accounts and modern research also point to the possible presence of an important Roman road (Ab Asturica Burdigalam) that was fully revealed in 2014. The goal of the excavation is improving our knowledge of the Roman period in the region and the transition from the Roman times into the Middle Ages.

During the 2015 season, the excavation will focus on the areas both to the north and south of the church and cemetery. The periods covered in the investigation are late Roman Empire to the early Medieval period.

Students will learn excavation methods and other field practice, including trench documentation, photography, recording and drawing techniques. The main component of the project is fieldwork, with participants spending an average of 7-8 hours per day on site. Afternoon lectures will be given on relevant archaeological theory and weekends will be set aside for free time.

Archaeology Field School Additional Information

Archaeology Field School Type

Roman, Osteology, Anthropology

Time Period

Roman, Medieval

Field School Setting/Conditions

The field school has been running for 5 years now, and it has a good reputation among students all over the world and in the society we work. The townfolk where we stay is very cooperative and we always have a good time. And being so close to places like Pamplona, you can even run the bulls this July (although our insurance will not cover you there, so don't get gored).

How is the project area accessed each day

Regular buses and train services from Vitoria and Pamplona. To get there easy airport access to Bilbao or a bit further away, Madrid or Barcelona.

What is the daily schedule for the field school

We work Monday to Friday 8:30 am to 5:30 pm, and Saturdays AM only. Saturday afternoons and Sundays off.

Number of years this Archaeology Field School has been in operation
Is there a professional certification for this field school

The fieldschool is organised with the approval and permissions of the Archaeology Section of the Government of Navarre.

Directors and Instructors

Francisco Jose Valle de Tarazaga Montero, archaeologist for 25 years and graduate from Oxford University. Besides a degree in History and another in Archaeological Practice, he has an MSc in Landscape Archaeology and has worked in Field Schools and other projects internationally.

Emma Bonthorne, specialises in Osteoarchaeology, with an MSc in recovery and identification of human remains. Emma has worked internationally and is a reputed osteoarchaeologist.

Oihan Mendo, specialises in the Roman road system and architecture.

Specialized skills you will have the opportunity to learn

Students participate of all aspects of the excavation, from the digging to the recording and study of artefacts and human remains exhumed. We do not want students to just work blindly, but aim at their understanding of the archaeological process and how the work accomplishes the goals set out in the research project.

On rain days will there be lab work?


Will there be additional organized activities?

We encourage those, especially visits to other sites and places of importance and related to the site.

Will there be additional organized activities?

Most work days include a lecture on a practical topic, such as Harris matrix methodology, Medieval archaeology, palaeopathology, age and sex estimation, Roman archaeology, etc.

Is travel restriced during free time?


Archaeology Field School Contact Information and Website

Field School Website:

Field School Contact Information

Francisco Jose Valle de Tarazaga Montero

Field School Contact E-mail:
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