Biological Anthropology & Dig in Sanisera (Menorca, Balearic Islands –Spain-)

Location: Es Mercadal, Menorca, Balearic Islands, Spain

Saturday, March 29, 2014 to Saturday, November 22, 2014

Session dates: 
1) March 29 - April 17; 2) April 20 - May 9; 3) May 12-31; 4) June 3-22; 5) June 25 - July 14; 6) July 17 - August 5; 7) August 8-27; 8) August 30 - September 18; 9) September 20 - October 9; 10) October 12-31; and 11) November 3 - November 22

Flyer: course010.pdf

Program Type

Field school


The Sanisera Field School: International Archaeology Courses (more than 20 courses)

Project Director:

Fernando Contreras and Carmen Olivares

Project Description
Our commitment is to promote Archaeology in its different aspects of research, training, and conservation, with a basic and clear purpose: to involve anyone from around the world who wishes to gain access to this scientific field. Sanisera is an international archaeological organization whose main aim is that of promoting and developing research , so that our current and future generations can be enriched by culture and education in this field.
Why participate?
Courses Quick Guide
General Information
This course is divided in two parts. In this way, students can learn and experiment in both archaeological digs, developed in the land site: Digging in the Roman city and Biological Anthropology in the tombs of Sanisera.
Part 1. Digging in Sanisera
In the area which is under archaeological excavation, an ecclesiastical complex has been found, which dates from the 4th and 6th centuries AD. It includes an Early Christian basilica. Rome adopted Christianity as its official religion in the 4th century AD. From that time onwards, Christian basilicas started been built all over the Empire.  Participants will receive an intensive introduction to basic aspects of field excavation techniques following the Harris Matrix. In the laboratory students will learn to classify all the artifacts found on site, including Roman pottery, numismatics and faunal remains. Time dedicated to this part of the program: 50%.
Part 2. Bioarchaeology in the Necropolis of Sanisera
Death in Rome has been studied in Sanisera since we started digging the first necropolis in 2008. So far we have excavated 72 tombs belonging to a Roman cemetery which could have been related to a basilica in the Roman city if Sanisera, which dates from the 4th and 6th centuries AD. The Osteology corpus in this necropolis includes more than 270 individuals.
The fieldwork focuses on funerary structures, specifically inhumation graves. Participants will learn and apply excavation techniques used in biological anthropology when excavating tombs. Students will also participate in lectures on skeletal anatomy and pathologies, classes, exercises and excursions related to the course material. In the laboratory participants will be instructed by an anthropologist and other archaeologists in the classification, study, and conservation of human remains and other related materials found. Time dedicated to this part of the program: 50%.
Directed at
If you have not previously participated as a volunteer in a field school and would like to experiment and gain knowledge with different excavation techniques and methodology during 20 days in two distinctly different sites, this course would be a good option for you.
It is difficult to find a course that allows you to explore both biological anthropology and archaeology where you can gain experience and knowledge in both excavating tombs with human remains and techniques used in excavating Roman structures.
You will experiment in both archaeology and biological anthropology, two areas with many similarities, but also many differences when excavating and treating recovered archaeological material in the laboratory.
At the end of this program you will have experience in both areas and will be able to better decide what path is best for you; biological anthropology or archaeology.
Both of the excavation sites are located on the northern coast of the island, surrounded by the sea and pristine and dramatic Mediterranean landscapes. 
Previous knowledge or experience in archaeology or computer systems is not required.
Student Testimonials
Video 1:
Video 2:
Field School life & language
Participants will also be given lectures on methodology, Roman archaeology, Biological anthropology and classification of archaeological materials.  Participants will visit other archaeological sites on the island through organized excursions. Courses are given in both English and Spanish. For every seven course days there are two days off.
At the end of the Field Program, students will receive a certificate of participation stating the hours and activities of the course. Participants that perform exceedingly well in the course may receive a letter of recommendation from our organization upon request.
Sessions & Cost
11 session, 20 days each
Session #1 March 29th – April 17th $ 1,400
Session #2 April 20th – May 9th $ 1,400
Session #3 May 12th - May 31st $ 1,900
Session #4 June 3rd - June 22th $ 2,100
Session #5 June 25th - July 14th $ 2,100
Session #6 July 17th - August 5th $ 2,100
Session #7 August 8th - August 27th $ 1,900
Session #8 August 30th - September 18th $ 1,600
Session #9 September 20th - October 9th $ 1,300
Session #10 October 12th - October 31th $ 1,100
Session #11 November 3rd - November 22th $ 1,100
Spaces available
The course is limited to 8 participants per session. Reservations are only effective when payment of the registration fee is received. If for any reason the course is cancelled, payment is returned according to the field school refund policy.

Period(s) of Occupation: Roman (Classical Archaeology)

Project size: 
1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: 20 days

Minimum age: 
18 (contact with questions about age)

Experience required: 

Room and Board Arrangements

  • Course tuition
  • Accommodation in the Student Residency in Ciutadella. Two to six per room.
  • Walking distance to the historic center, port and beaches
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  • Morning snack at the Sanisera site.
  • Accident insurance at the site.
  • Daily transportation to/from the archaeological fieldwork.
  • Excursions.
  • Certificate of participation

Airfare not included from the student home to/from Menorca (Spain).

Between $1200 and $2100 per session

Academic Credit

Number of credits offered: none


Contact Information
Cesar Gonzalez
Es Mercadal
(34) 666 68 65 50