Visigothic City of Recópolis: High School Fieldschool
Zorita de los Canes,
Season Dates: July 1, 2013 - August 18, 2013
Session Dates: July 1 - July 27; July 30 - August 18
May 15, 2013
Affiliation: ArchaeoSpain, La Mancha regional government
Project Director: Dr. Lauro Olmo, Dr. Dionisio Urbina, and Catalina Urquijo
Led by professional archaeologists, the High School crew at Recópolis will excavate and research this one-of-a-kind Visigothic city that was founded in the year 578 by the Germanic tribe that briefly conquered Iberia between Roman and Moorish rules.
This program is designed for students 16 and 17 years old. Our objective is to prepare you as future archaeologists.
Recópolis is the only Visigothic city built from scratch currently known to scholars. Some historians think that it was the first city built in all of Europe following the fall of Rome.
This summer we will be excavating the defensive walls near the city's Western Gate in an area that archaeologists know little about. Our task will be to analyze the artifacts we find to create a chronology for this part of the city.
Students will learn to work as archaeologists – in the mornings we will be on site, learning excavation methodology, working with tools and technical instruments, and extracting artifacts. You'll analyze the clues like a detective, recording everything with photos, sketches, and a fieldwork notebook. You will also learn to draw archaeological maps and take biological samples such as pollen, seeds, and plant remains.
In the afternoons we will wash and classify the pottery, bones, and other artifacts found on site. Some afternoons we will hold seminars on Spanish history, on drawing pottery shards, and on how archaeologists use aerial photography to spot ancient remains.
Other afternoons we will explore the 9th-century Zorita Castle that is literally our backyard or we will go on archaeological surveys to learn how archaeologists decide where to dig and why. Weekends will be spent visiting several Bronze Age, Roman, and Medieval sites of interest in the area.
Period(s) of Occupation:
Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers:
Room and Board Arrangements
The group will be staying at a small, rustic hotel in the nearby village of Zorita de los Canes, under the shadow of a massive medieval castle dating to the ninth century.
The hotel is about a 15-minute walk from the excavation and students will be sharing rooms, each with en-suite bathrooms and air conditioning. The hotel has free WiFi.
Meals will be eaten at a nearby restaurant, and an arrangement will be made to provide us with the mid-workday snack.
Cost: Session 1: $4,280 Session 2: $3,180
Number of credits offered: none
5 Ironwood Lane