• Name: Paul McLerran
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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Archaeological Digs

See the latest dig postings, including archaeology field schools and job opportunities, by scrolling down below. 

There are archaeology field schools and research activities being conducted all over the world. Many archaeology excavations are conducted during the summer months; however, some are ongoing throughout the year, and some are being conducted even during the winter months in parts of the world where the climate is favorable. This weblog serves as a gateway to up-to-date information about current archaeological digs and archaeological job opportunities throughout the world. It also features special postings highlighting specific archaeological digs, and other links related to archaeology and archaeological digs.

Archaeological Digs Listings

Here are the best listings online with links to detailed information about archaeological digs and field school opportunities for 2012 and 2013, and see the specially featured digs by scrolling below. Return regularly, as the lists continue to expand with new opportunities:

Experience Paleoanthropology in South Africa

The Swarkrans Cave site (http://www.studyabroad.wisc.edu/programs/program.asp?program_id=246) has provided the:
·       Largest sample  (> 126 individuals) of Paranthropus robustus in the world;
·       First evidence for the co-existence of two different hominin lineages
o   Homo erectus (direct ancestor of modern humans)
o   Paranthropus robustus (extinct “cousin” of the genus Homo)
·       First and earliest evidence for controlled use of fire found anywhere  c. 1.0 million years ago;
·       First and earliest evidence of tool use with non-stone material (i.e. bone tools) c. 2.0 million years ago.
This four-week program offers you the opportunity to participate in a paleoanthropology fieldschool at the famous fossil human locality of Swartkrans, South Africa (http://swartkrans.org/). Swartkrans, a cave site approximately twenty miles from Johannesburg, is recognized as one of the world's most important archaeological and fossil localities for the study of human evolution, and is part of the “Cradle of Humankind” World Heritage Site (http://www.gauteng.net/cradleofhumankind). The site's geological deposits span millions of years and sample several important events in human evolution.
The oldest finds at the site date between 2.0 and 1.0 million years old -- a time period during which our immediate ancestor, Homo erectus, shared the landscape with the extinct ape-man species Paranthropus robustus. In addition to fossils of these species, Swartkrans also preserves an abundant archaeological record of their behavior in the form of stone and bone tools, as well as butchered animal bones. Most spectacularly, the site contains evidence of the earliest known use of fire by human ancestors, dated to about 1.0 million years old. Younger deposits at the site sample the Middle Stone Age archaeological traces of early Homo sapiens.

You will learn about these fascinating ancestors through a hands-on course that includes instruction in archaeological survey, site mapping, excavation, recording, artifact and fossil analysis (human and animal), and laboratory techniques. Fieldwork will be supplemented with occasional lectures, workshops and fossil locality tours with internationally recognized paleoanthropologists working at nearby sites.

The program is directed by Dr. Travis Pickering, Professor of Anthropology at UW-Madison. Over his seventeen years of working in South Africa, Professor Pickering has cultivated strong relationships with researchers in the area ensuring that students in this program will see original fossils and artifacts and receive site tours from the primary researchers in the field. The program is very comprehensive and expands beyond the bounds of simply excavating for four weeks at one site, including: visits to other nearby early hominin sites, such as Sterkfontein, Kromdraai, Drimolen and Malapa; visits to view important original fossils at the Ditsong National Museum of Natural History, in Pretoria (
http://www.ditsong.org.za/naturalhistory.htm), and on the campus of the University of the Witwatersrand, in Johannesburg (http://www.wits.ac.za/); a three-day ecology (lots of elephants and giraffes!) and Iron Age archaeology tour of Mapungubwe National Park (http://www.sanparks.org/parks/mapungubwe/); guest lectures by leading figures in African paleoanthropology, such as Professors Ron Clarke (discoverer of the famous “Little Foot” skeleton) and Francis Thackeray (director of the Institute for Human Evolution); and shopping days at the African Craft Market in Johannesburg (http://www.gauteng.net/attractions/entry/the_african_craft_market_of_rosebank/).  The fieldschool is also privileged to stay at the n’Gomo Safari Lodge (http://www.ngomolodge.co.za/), where students live in permanent tents with flush toilets and hot showers.  The lodge is at the back of the Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve (http://www.rhinolion.co.za/home), where participants will see rhinos, zebra, and lots of other African animals everyday on the way to Swartkrans.  Students will also have the opportunity to ride through the reserve on horseback and to play with baby lions and other big cats. 

To apply or for more information contact:


Erica Haas-Gallo (haasgallo@studyabroad.wisc.edu; 608-261-1020)

Travis Pickering (tpickering@wisc.edu; 608-262-5818)

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

ArchaeoSpain Offers Field School Opportunities

ArchaeoSpain was created in 2001 by a group of archaeologists and educators to provide opportunities for people from all over the world to engage in scientific research at important archaeological projects in Spain and Italy. To date, nearly 500 people from 17 countries have joined our programs.

This summer we are joining Spanish crews at four excavations:

* The Celtic-Iron Age Necropolis of Pintia (Valladolid, Spain)
* The Byzantine Basilica of Son Pereto (Mallorca, Spain)
* The Amphora Graveyard of Monte Testaccio (Rome, Italy)
* The Iron Age Cemetery of Son Real (Mallorca, Spain)

We also offer two fieldschools for high school students ages 16 and 17:

* The Roman Forum of Pollentia (Mallorca, Spain)
* The Visigothic city of Recopolis (Guadalajara, Spain)

Participants at each site will be led by bilingual archaeologists to teach excavation techniques and artifact conservation. We also hold seminars and workshops, and go on excursions to nearby historical and cultural sites. No experience or Spanish is required.

For more information, please visit www.archaeospain.com or email us at programs@archaeospain.com.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Maya Research Program

The Maya Research Program is a U.S.-based non-profit organization (501c3) that sponsors archaeological and ethnographic research in Middle America. Each summer since 1992, we have sponsored archaeological fieldwork at the ancient Maya sites of Blue Creek, Nojol Nah, Xnoha, and Grey Fox in northwestern Belize. In 2013 we again offer opportunities to participate in our field program and learn about the Maya of the past and today. The Blue Creek project is open to student and non-student participants, regardless of experience. The field school is certified by the Register of Professional Archaeologists and participants will receive training in archaeological field and laboratory techniques. Academic credit and scholarships are available.
We invite students and volunteers to participate in the Maya Research Program’s 22nd archaeological field season in northwestern Belize.

2013 Field Season Dates:
Session 1: Monday May 27 - Sunday June 9;
Session 2: Monday June 10 - Sunday June 23;
Session 3: Monday July 1 - Sunday July 14;
Session 4: Monday July 15 - Sunday July 28

Beginning in 2013, the Maya Research Program will offer specialized laboratory and field courses (ANTH 4399) for students and volunteers in addition to the above general archaeological field school (ANTH 4361). The specific study areas for the specialized laboratory and field courses (ANTH 4399) are:

1. Laboratory and Field Methods: Ceramic Analysis (understanding ceramic production, seriation, modal analysis, Type-Variety analysis) - C. Colleen Hanratty, limited to 5 persons per session.
2. Laboratory and Field Methods: Bioarchaeology (the study of human skeletal remains) - William T. Brown-limited to 5 persons per session.
3. Laboratory and Field Methods: Photogrammetry and 3D Digital Modeling - Bob Warden, limited to 10 persons in Session 4 only.

For additional information please contact the Maya Research Program:
Email: mrpinquiries@gmail.com
1910 East Southeast Loop 323 #296
Tyler, Texas 75701

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Explore Caves Near the Dead Sea

call has gone out to help explore two mysterious caves near the Dead Sea in Israel.

Hidden within desert desolation near the Dead Sea region of Ein Gedi, Israel, are two caves that at least one archaeologist suggests may possibly contain what remains of the lost archive of the Jewish Second Temple. The famous temple became one of King Herod's greatest architectural achievements and was destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D. at the time of the First Jewish Revolt against the Roman Empire.

Led by Dr. Haim Cohen, a team plans to continue excavating a cave known as "Cave 27", a cave where Cohen had previously conducted excavations in 2003 under the auspices of Haifa University and again in 2006, as well as exploratory investigations of a sealed cave discovered by Cohen during a 2007 survey.  
Cave 27, also called the "Mikveh Cave" or Cave of the Pool at Nahal David, is best known for the Second Temple period (530 BCE to 70 CE) mikveh, or ritual cleansing pool, dated to the time of the first centuries B.C. and A.D.  It was discovered and excavated just outside the cave entrance. The cave is located in a cliff approximately 400 meters above the Dead Sea and is accessible from a plateau above the cave. Among the many other finds were Early Roman period potsherds, flint tools, remains of straw matting, textiles, date pits, ropes, olive pits, animal bones, two coins of Agrippa I, a glass bottle, an iron trilobate arrowhead from the Early Roman period, a pottery seal with a geometric decoration considered to be from the Chalcolithic period, and an ashen hearth. The most intriguing questions, however, surround the presence of the mikveh at the entrance to the cave, a relatively unusual location for such a feature.

The location of Cave 27: The rough, challenging desert terrain of the "Judean wilderness" near the Dead Sea. Photo courtesy Origins Discovery Project. 

Explorers at work in cave 27. Photo courtesy The Origins Discovery Project

View of a portion of the mikveh outside the entrance to the cave. Photo courtesy The Origins Discovery Project

Coin found in the cave showing grape vine leaf and chalice with the words: year 2 for the liberation of Zion on one side, and Holy Jerusalem, on the other - circa 67CE. Photo courtesy Origins Discovey Project

"During the Second Temple period (and at other times)", reports Cohen, "a man could not touch anything sacred without first undergoing the ritual cleansing process prescribed by the priests. It was a very strict rule, and the presence of sacred items and the need to handle them, can be the only reason for this mikveh being built up in a cave, in the cliffs 400 meters above the Dead Sea. A man (or woman) must climb up one side of the steps, be completely immersed in water, and then exit from another set of steps without ever touching the dirty steps." [1]

"Not only was the cleansing process strictly proscribed", Cohen adds, "but also the building process had very specific rules too: No metal could be used in its construction because metal may have been used to kill someone. No pottery could be used to make the plaster because that pottery may have been used in a sacrifice to another God.The water must be part rainwater and part spring water. And there were many more rules, all of which make the presence of the mikveh in this very inaccessible place even more remarkable. It must have taken a lot of resources and time to build; the temperatures in the desert seldom drop below 40c, the climb is extremely dangerous, water is scarce, carrying building materials was difficult and so on." [1]
According to Cohen, the location of the mikveh therefore begs the question about why a facility like this was built here. 

"This is the question we are hoping to answer when we excavate the cave in the 2012 season (beginning October 28)," says Cohen. "Academia have now accepted that what was previously thought to be a cistern or a pool is, in fact, a mikveh, and we must build from there. We want to know what was in this cave that meant a mikveh was necessary. Scrolls? Temple artefacts?" [1]

Cohen suggests that the cave may possibly have been, like the caves that harbored the Dead Sea Scrolls, a repository for sacred documents or artifacts, such as the lost archives of the Jewish Second Temple, possibly hidden away for protection and safekeeping from the Roman forces during the unrest of the ist century A.D. Revolt. Among the finds was additional evidence of possible priestly activity -- a leather scroll cover. 
Equally interesting is a sealed cave that was discovered in a steep ravine not far from Cave 27 by Cohen during a 2007 survey. Cohen and his team hope to further explore this cave concurrent with their excavations of the Mikveh Cave. He and his colleagues ae requesting additional funding and participation to make it possible.
Says Cohen: "After so many real and metaphorical mountains to climb - we are now committed to a dig starting on the 28th of October and ending on the 16th of November this year. Licences have been granted by both the Israel Antiquities Authority and the Park Authority, allowing an expedition to excavate one cave, and survey another." 

For more information about the expedition and how one can support and participate in the effort, see the website, Origins Discovery Project

Photo Top: Looking out from within Cave 27, the Mikveh Cave.  Photo courtesy The Origins Discovery Project

[1] Source: The Origins Discovery Project

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Excavations at Tel Timai, Egypt

A team of archaeologists and students are excavating a site in the Nile Delta region of Egypt where, set within desert desolation, ruins still bespeak an important port city that flourished by the 2nd and 1st centuries B.C. Near the present-day city of El-Mansoura, a clearly human-made rise with visible ruins mark the spot of Tel Timai, what remains of the city of Thmuis, an ancient port city and capital of the Ptolemies. 
Here, a team of archaeologists and students directed by Professor Robert J. Littman of the University of Hawaii, with co-directors Dr. Jay Silverstein, also of the University of Hawaii, and Dr. Mohamed Kenawi of the Alexandria Center for Hellenistic Studies, are unearthing architectural features and artifacts in several different focus areas: a northern "salvage" sector; an area identified as the East Forum of the city acropolis; and, beginning in December, 2012, a possible Ptolemaic temple.

"Little excavation has been done in Tell El-Timai," reports Littman, "but material of significance has been discovered that indicates the potential of the site.  It is one of the few places in the Delta region where papyri have been found.  At the end of the 19th century Edouard Naville discovered what he labeled as a library in a Roman house.  Unfortunately, he did not indicate where on the Tell this was located.  The papyri were burned, worse than those from Pompeii, according to Naville.  He attempted unsuccessfully to preserve and transport the papyri.  Unfortunately, only a few have survived, which are administrative records. A number of marble statues and small bronzes, and magnificent Hellenistic and Roman mosaic floors, now in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, and the Graeco-Roman Museum in Alexandria, attest to the wealth and importance of the city."
The name Thmuis (Egyptian tamAwy or “new land”) was first referenced in the Histories of Herodotus. Having visited Egypt in the middle of the 5th century BC, he enumerated the nomes (districts) from which the military class, called Calasirians, came.   Both Mendes (the great nearby ancient city that preceded it as capital) and Thmuis are mentioned, which indicates that both cities flourished independently at this time.  Archaeological excavations at Mendes suggest that by the fourth and third centuries BC, the population had diminished considerably. This was paralleled by a rise in the importance of Thmuis, which flourished during Ptolemaic times (4th to 1st century BC) and became the capital of the Mendesian nome.

"Thmuis is about a half kilometer south of Tell el Rub’a, the site of the ancient city of Mendes," reports Littman. "Mendes was a dominant city in the Delta during most of Egypt’s history, from the end of the fourth millennium until the fourth century BC, in part because it was an important port.  Apparently, the course of the Nile shifted in the fifth and fourth centuries, and Mendes, having lost its economic base as a port, was gradually abandoned for Thmuis, where the course of the river had moved, and where a port had developed."

The city itself is mentioned during the period of the Jewish Wars (66-70 AD).  Josephus' Jewish Wars relates that the future emperor Titus sailed with his army from near Alexandria via the Nile along the Mendesian nome, and disembarked his army at Thmuis for an overland march to Jerusalem. This indicates a major port at Thmuis. In the 2nd century AD we find Thmuis as the capital of the Mendesian nomes, at a time when Mendesian perfume was the rage in the ancient world, according to Pliny (Natural History).  By the fourth century it had become one of the most important cities of Egypt. During Roman times (3rd to 4th century AD) it became an episcopal see and was the home of Saint Serapion (4th century AD).  In the sixth century it was a city in the Eparchy of Prima Augusta, and in the 7th century it is included among the dioceses of the Eparchy of Augustamnica Prima.  Because of its importance as a center of Christianity, many of its bishops are known, including Phileas, martyred in Alexandria in 305 AD, and Anba Mennas in 744 AD. The city was still prominent when the Arabs invaded Egypt in 641 AD.  It probably was abandoned by the 10th century AD, after a local tax revolt.

Current Excavations and Discoveries
Recent exploration and excavation of the city by the University of Hawaii expedition actually began in 2007.  In the northern part of the ancient city, the team is working in conjunction with the Supreme Council of Antiquities to conduct salvage operations in a zone that had been stripped to a strata corresponding to the 1st Century BCE in the 1920s and is currently slated to be leveled for modern construction. Archaeologists have determined that a destruction event dating to the early 2ndcentury BCE was followed by the systematic leveling and rebuilding of the area.  Ceramics and coins, including a small cache buried under a floor with in situ ceramics suggest that the destruction event occurred during the reign of Ptolemy V and could be associated with the great rebellion discussed in the Rosetta Stone and many other documents.  Evidence includes human remains with signs of trauma, ballistae stones, burning, in situ ceramics indicating little warning for abandonment and a radical and planned reuse of the area immediately following the destruction.  In one refuse pile a head of a small domestic figure of Ptolemy V was recovered, consistent with the call for domestic shrines to the pharaoh as recorded in the Rosetta Stone.  A broken statue of Arsinoë II, deified as Isis, was pulled during salvage and may have come from related strata based on oral reports of the find.  Other discoveries in the north include a possible shrine with an Isis lamp and an extensive kiln complex that predates the arrival of Alexander the Great.  The complex was evidently shut down after the destruction event and one body was found in the fill of a truncated and leveled kiln.

The figurine head of Ptolemy V. Photo courtesy Robert Littman and Jay Silverstein

Re-assembled krater, found during excavations at Tel Timai. Photo courtesy Robert Littman and Jay Silverstein

The Hellenistic kiln workshop. Photo courtesy Robert Littman and Jay Silverstein

In the central portion at the East Forum, recent excavations have begun to explore extensive well-preserved mudbrick architecture of what appears to be public buildings.  An offering pit in one building has yielded an impressive cache of artifacts, including a set of Sub-Saharan acrobat figurines, miniature ceramics, lead votive charms, and a ceramic statue of the god Bes.  This assemblage was found near a large red granite statue pedestal and the earliest artifacts date to the early Roman period.
With the support of the National Geographic Society, an additional project area will begin in December 2012 with the objective of exploring the area in the southern portion of Tell Timai, where monumental architectural elements were dredged from a canal.  The elements included columns and portions of a wall frieze.  A stone found in the adjacent field has a faint inscription that appears to be a cartouche with the name of Ptolemy II or III.  This structure may be a temple erected by Ptolemy II for his queen Arsinoe.  Work planned in December 2012 includes a geophysical survey and archaeological testing of GPR data.

Recovered features of the sunken Ptolemaic temple. Photo courtesy Robert Littman and Jay Silverstein

Recovered column fragments of the Ptolemaic temple. Photo courtesy Robert Littman and Jay Silverstein

Excavations will also continue during the summer of 2013. The team plans to return to the site june 5 - July 12. For more information about Tel Timai and how to participate in the excavation project, see the website at http://manoa.hawaii.edu/llea/studyabroad/telltimai/ .

Top Photo: View of the remains at Tel Timai. Photo courtesy Robert Littman and Jay Silverstein

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Archaeologists Excavate Ancient Maya Center at Chan Chich, Belize

Tucked away within a dense jungle shroud near the Guatemalan border in Belize are the remains of a largely unexplored ancient Maya center known as Chan Chich. The site is best known to the public and to tourists as the location of a top-ranked eco-lodge by the same name. Less known, however, is evidence of a likely array of ancient temples, tombs and artifacts that still rest mostly unseen beneath thick vegetation and rubble that have cloaked their features through centuries of time. Their only inhabitants now are small bats and spider monkeys.

Before the lodge, access to the site was best approached with machetes and canoes. This was only the domain of loggers, pot hunters, and grave robbers. Then, an old logging road, originally created by logging operators through the Belize Estate and Produce Company, was reopened, and Chan Chich was rediscovered.

Like so many other Maya sites, it was a target for looters. When rediscovered, three structures thought to be temples showed strong evidence of looting -- vertical slit trenches were dug into their sides. A large temple in the site's Upper Plaza area, perhaps the main temple, showed clear signs of intrusion into one or more burial chambers. This temple features a painted frieze that skirts around a low interior ceiling. 

Benjamin Thompson, the photographer, views remains of the "King's Tomb" at Chan Chich. Like so many other Maya sites, Chan Chich has been subjected to years of looting. Photo credit: Benjamin Thompson, Flickr. 

Above: Stela at entrance to Chan Chich Lodge. Benjamin Thompson, Flickr.

From 1996 to 2001, Dr. Brett A. Houk of Texas Tech University conducted research at the site. In 2012, a team of archaeologists and students under Houk's direction returned to the site to excavate at two locations related to the settlement. The first, located in the Upper Plaza, was a deeply buried midden, or trash deposit. It had been previously radiocarbon dated to 770 BC, firmly within the Maya Preclassic Period, a time when great early Maya centers such as Kaminaljuyu in Guatemala were reaching their apogee. The other location, about 1.6 miles west of Chan Chich, was a smaller structure called Kaxil Uinic, where research is being focused on much later periods of time, including a time when it is thought that the area was abandoned around AD 850, with "subsequent visits to the site by pilgrims who placed incense burners at the base of a carved stela centuries after the site had fallen into ruin". [1]  Also found was a historic Maya village, utilized as recently as 1931 as achicle harvesting camp.  

Work will proceed in the area of Chan Chich for seasons to come. Reports Houk, et, al., "Although the 2012 season has just ended and analysis of the findings is underway, plans for 2013 are already being made. If agreements can be reached with the landowner and adequate funding can be secured, the project will complete the Upper Plaza work and conduct an intensive investigation of a large building in the Main Plaza at Chan Chich, using a variety of remote sensing techniques combined with extensive excavations. Another aspect of the work will be walking existing cut lines through the jungle (part of an unrelated seismic survey) to look for previously undiscovered Maya ruins."

"These excavations will shed additional light on the development of Maya civilization in this part of Belize," says one observer of the investigations. "A myriad of questions will need to be addressed. Who were these people in relation to the surrounding Maya centers? How did this center relate to other great Maya centers? What new findings will distinguish this place from all other Maya settllements in the region? There is so much more to come. What is still unknown is more exciting to contemplate than what has already been discovered."

Houk, under the auspices of Texas Tech Univeristy, is directing an annual field school at the site. More information about the research and the field school can be obtained at the Chan Chich Archaeological Project Field School Website.
[1] Professor Houk Takes Students to Belize. Connections, College of Arts and Sciences Newsletter, Texas Tech Univeristy.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Balkan Heritage Field Schools: Season 2012


An expedition for documentation of medieval frescoes preserved in abandoned churches and chapels in remote areas of Western Bulgaria.The task of the expedition envisioned for 2012 is to enhance the database created during the previous seasons by documenting frescoes and their condition as well as collecting new data on history, architecture, artefacts and environment of the ecclesiastical buildings they belong to.

Standard Field School Session: 12 – 26 May 2012

Extended Field School Session: 12 May - 2 June, 2012

Academic credits available for students: up to 9


Excavations of one of the very first Neolithic settlements in Europe (6200-5500 BC), near Ilindentsi, Southwestern Bulgaria. Two field school sessions are available:

Session 1: 17 June - 1 July, 2012

Session 2: 2 - 16 July, 2012

Academic credits available for students: up to 9


The workshop will guide the participants through the history, techniques and consequent stages of archaeological study, conservation and documentation of Roman and Late Roman (first - sixth century AD) mosaics. Both the theoretical and practical courses will be based on authentic Roman mosaics / mosaic fragments found in the ancient city of Stobi – the capital of Macedonia Secunda.

Dates: 16 - 29 June, 2012

Academic credits available for students: 6


The workshop will guide the participants through the history and technology of Roman and Late Roman pottery and consequent stages of archaeological conservation, restoration, documentation and study. Both the theoretical and practical courses will be based on Roman pottery found in the ancient city of Stobi. During the workshop participants will work with authentic Roman shards.

Dates: 16 - 29 June, 2012

Academic credits available for students: 6


Excavations of the ancient (Hellenistic, Roman, Late Roman) town of Heraclea Lyncestis in Bitola, Macedonia.
Two field school sessions are available:

Session 1: 30 June - 14 July, 2012 Session 2: 15 - 29 July, 2012

Academic credits available for students: up to 9


Excavations at the sacred precinct (temenos) of the Ancient Greek city of Apollonia Pontica on St. Kirik Island, Sozopol, Bulgaria. Periods of occupation: Archaic and Classical Greek and Early Byzantine (seventh - fifth century BC and fifth - seventh century AD). Two field school sessions are available:

Session 1: 1 - 15 August 2012 Session 2: 16 - 30 August 2012

Academic credits available for students: up to 9


Excavations of the impressive ancient (Late Hellenistic, Roman, Early Byzantine) city of Stobi, Macedonia. Two field school sessions are available:

Session 1: 29 July - 12 August 2012 Session 2: 13 - 27 August 2012

Academic credits available for students: up to 9


The workshop will guide the participants through the history of ancient Greek pottery, its production and consequent stages of archaeological conservation, documentation, study, and restoration. It will take place consequently in Emona and Sozopol (ancient Apollonia Pontica) on the Black sea coast, Bulgaria. Both the theoretical and practical courses will be based on Ancient Greek pottery found in Sozopol. During the workshop participants will work with authentic Ancient Greek shards.

Dates: 3 - 16 September, 2012

Academic credits available for students: 6

For more information, go to http://bhfieldschool.org/bh2007.html

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Archaeological Field School Opportunities in Egypt

For the past 36 years from 1975 to the present, The Akhenaten Temple Project, a program initially created to study and reconstruct on paper the dismantled sun-temples of the heretic Pharaoh Akhenaten (14th Century B.C.), has undertaken archaeological work at four major sites in Egypt: At East Karnak (Luxor), our excavations have uncovered the largest temple of this king; across the river in the Theban necropolis, we initiated a tomb survey of burials and sepulchres including that of Akhenaten's butler Parennefer; at Tel el-Rub’a in the eastern Nile delta, we commenced excavation of the ancient city of Mendes; and in the Sinai, a New Kingdom fortress today known as Tel Kedwa.

The archaeological field work of the A.T.P. has made significant contributions to our knowledge of all the major time periods of Ancient Egypt, and opened untold opportunities for student participation and training. From 1998, directors, Prof. Donald Redford and Dr. Susan Redford, have combined the work of the project with a field school run under the sponsorship of Penn State Education Abroad, which has been highly successful in training undergraduates, not only in history, but also in the mechanics of archaeological field methodology, epigraphy, recording of reliefs and artifacts, human osteology, paleobotany and conservation. Since field operations always involve native Egyptian labor, the student moves within the local native community and is obliged to learn a little Arabic. It is a marvelous opportunity for the undergraduate to come into close contact with another important world culture and the Islamic way of life.

Penn State’s Summer Abroad field school offers students six credits in the area of archaeology, ancient Mediterranean studies and international cultures toward their degrees. Those who are interested in taking part in this exciting research and gaining a memorable cultural experience may find more detailed information and submit an application on-line at www.outreach.psu.edu/summerabroad/study-egypt for the up-coming 2012 expeditions. The application deadline is December 20, 2011.

This narrative was written by Professor Donald Redford and Dr. Susan Redford.

Photo courtesy Susan Redford and the Theban Tomb Survey

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Maya Research Program at Blue Creek

When we think of the ancient Maya civilization, the monumental centers of Tikal, Palenque, Chichen Itza, and Copan usually come to mind. These, however, are only a few of the countless ancient sites, many of which, though known to exist, still lie unexcavated and unexplored. Still others are yet undiscovered, and their number is still a mystery. The jungle shrouds their secrets. The archaeologists who uncover and investigate these sites have many years of work ahead them before a complete picture of the Maya civilization, and how it mysteriously and suddenly declined, emerges.

Blue Creek

A comparatively small site in northwestern Belize promises to add an important chapter to the story. It will help answer questions about how a medium-sized community of approximately 20,000 people managed to support an unusually wealthy class of residents and a large public precinct surrounded by numerous, well-defined residential structures and agricultural components. Known as Blue Creek, scientists at this site have uncovered a large number of exotic goods, unusual for a community of this size. It is thought that its strategic location, in combination with the techniques the ancient inhabitants employed in agricultural production, defined the foundation for its wealth.

The Project

Dr. Thomas Guderjan of the Maya Research Program (MRP) is leading a team of archaeologists and other professional staff to find answers to the questions surrounding the site. In 2012, the team will be returning to continue excavations.
They are calling for students and volunteers to join them for their 2012 season, which begins May 28 and runs through July 29.

The Field School

Participants will receive training in field and laboratory techniques as well as receive a "crash course" on the Maya and archaeological methodology The Field School is certified by the Register of Professional Archaeologists (see participant guide at http://www.mayaresearchprogram.org/web-content/helpdig_form.html).
Accommodation is at the Blue Creek research station, which has 35 small residential cabanas, a 1500 square foot laboratory building, a main building with a dining hall, and men's and women's restrooms and showers. All meals, equipment and supplies are provided. There will be four two-week sessions. Participants are welcome to join any or all of them.

For the student or enthusiast of Maya archaeology, the Blue Creek experience represents one of the best field school opportunities available for this region of the world. It is open to all, regardless of experience. Academic credit and scholarships are available.

The 2012 Field Season Dates are:

Session 1: Monday May 28 - Sunday June 10;
Session 2: Monday June 11 - Sunday June 24 ;
Session 3: Monday July 2 - Sunday July 15;
Session 4: Monday July 16 - Sunday July 29

For additional information please contact the Maya Research Program:

1910 East Southeast Loop 323 #296
Tyler, Texas 75701

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Specially Featured Digs

6.Archaeological Field Services
7.Excavating a Colonial Era Fort