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Archaeology & Anthropology Field Schools

Europe - Germany - Hassloch Tumulus Excavation - 2012

Archaeology Field School Location and Dates

Application Deadline
Start Date 2012-06-04
End Date 2012-07-06

Multiple Sessions no

Archaeology Field School Location

Hassloch, Germany

Archaeology Field School Tuition and Credits

Sponsoring College/Institution

The University at Buffalo

Archaeology Field School Tuition

ca. $2,000 total

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

The fee includes room, breakfast, and lunch

Archaeology Field School Description

Begun in June 2011, the project consists of the excavation of a Celtic tumulus (burial mound), known locally as the Götzenbühl (“Idol Hill”), in the Haßlocher forest in south western Germany. The excavation is a case study in the changing function and perception of tumuli over time, from the Celtic period to the modern day. The earliest finds from the mound, which is one of the largest (dm. 36 m) in the region, date to the late Bronze Age (c. 1, 200 B.C.), while the latest ceramic fragments in the mound’s filling belong to the first Iron Age (Hallstatt period, 550-475 B.C.). The wider area around the mound has yielded evidence for occupation in the second Iron Age (the La Tène period) and the Roman period through to the Middle Ages. In its earliest form, the mound would have been used to house the remains of a deceased local chieftain or individual of great importance. Over time, secondary burials would have been added to the filling and periphery of the mound as individuals tried to associate themselves with the local past by placing burials next to it. The local name “Idol Hill” probably dates to the Middle Ages, when tumuli were frequently used as land boundaries and meeting places. At this point, a large stone or perhaps even a statue (the “idol”) from the prehistoric period probably still adorned the top of the mound. One of the goals of the current project is to establish the original format of the tumulus, and to allow it to be reconstructed and sign posted as part of an archaeological walking tour desired by the community of Haßloch. Community interest in these excava

Participants are expected to take part in all aspects of the dig, from moving earth to recording (illustration, use of the dumpy level and total station) to the cleaning and recording of finds. A serious attempt is made to ensure that all participants get a chance to attempt all of the activities involved in the excavation. Occasional evening lectures will provide the necessary background knowledge for the dig, and update participants on its progress. Excursions to local museums and sites are usually arranged on weekends and rainy days. In the past, these have included Roman Trier (capital of Gallia Belgica) and the Mosel Valley (wine growing region and site of numerous Roman villas and temples), the Donnersberg (one of Europe’s largest Celtic oppida), Heidelberg (Celtic oppidum, museum and scenic German university town), Herxheim (site of a Neolithic ritual massacre), Rheinzabern (Roman ceramic workshop), and others. No previous archaeological experience is necessary, but genuine interest in archaeology and reliability are essential traits of student participants. For the 2012 campaign, it is expected that approximately 15 applications will be accepted. Interested participatnts should contact Philip Kiernan for an application form.

Archaeology Field School Additional Information

Archaeology Field School Type

Prehistoric, Roman, Iron Age, Celtic, Hallstatt, La Tene, Old World, Europe

Time Period

Prehistoric, Roman, Iron Age, Celtic, Hallstatt, La Tene

How is the project area accessed each day

Can be reached in a ca. 15 min. walk from accommodation via a forest path. A van and bicycles are also available.

What is the daily schedule for the field school

June 4th to July 6

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


Directors and Instructors

Philip Kiernan, Ast. Prof., SUNY Buffalo
Kali Grable, M.A.
Erin Warford, M.A.

Specialized skills you will have the opportunity to learn

Total station and dumpy level
General Excavation
soil sampling (for micromorphology)
Sherd analysis

On rain days will there be lab work?


Will there be additional organized activities?

yes - excursions to local archaeological sites, museums and other attractions are planned for severe rainy days and weekends.

Will there be additional organized activities?

yes, regular lectures on archaeology of the area and updates of progress are planned.

Is travel restriced during free time?


Other resources students will find useful

See broschure for full details. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis, so early application is advised.

Archaeology Field School Contact Information and Website

Field School Website:

Field School Contact Information

Philip Kiernan
Dept. of Classics
University at Buffalo
Buffalo, NY 14261

Field School Contact E-mail:
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