Total Station & GIS applied in Archaeology

Location: Es Mercadal, Spain

May 21, 2016 to October 5, 2016

Session dates: 
1) May 21 – June 07; 2) June 10 – June 27; 3) June 30 – July 17; 4) July 20 – August 06; 5) August 09 – August 26; 6) August 29 – September 15; 7) September 18 – October 05

Application Deadline: 
Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Deadline Type: 
Contact for details

Flyer: PDF icon 0112016.pdf

Program Type

Field school



The Sanisera Archaeology Institute for International Field Schools offers over 20 international courses focusing on archaeology, anthropology, GIS, underwater archaeology, conservation, art, museums and archaeological film. Student's fieldwork centers on the survey and excavation of classical sites. - See more at:

Project Director:

Dolores Soriano & Fernando Contreras

Project Description

Sanisera Archaeology Institute for International Field Schools

General Information

The Sanisera Archaeology Institute for International Field Schools offers an annual archaeology dig on the island of Menorca, off the coast of Spain. This course is for students who come from all over the world to study abroad and who are interested in archaeology, anthropology and mapping tools applied to Archaeology, as well as for participants who want to learn about topography, photogrammetry and archaeological recording system with a GIS (Geographic Information System).

This program is divided in four main parts.

Part 1. Preparing a Topographic Data Base of the site

In the first part of the course, participants will prepare a Topographic Data Base of the site using an Electronic Total Station, in order to create a DEM (Digital Elevation Model) and archaeological maps in a CAD drawing file. In this way, students will also learn how to use an Electronic Total Station, as well as software like Golden and AutoCAD.

Time dedicated to this part of the program: 35%.

Part 2. 3D Modeling with Photomodeler, Photoshop & CorelDraw

The second part deals with the usage of photogrammetry to create a 3D Modeling, which will be based on photos from some structures of the excavated Roman city and cemetery of Sanisera. Participants will learn how to use software such as Photomodeler, Photoshop and CorelDraw.

Time dedicated to this part of the program: 10%.

Part 3. 3D Modeling using Google Sketchup 8

The third part will combine published images of Roman architecture, photos from the Sanisera city and cemetery that have been excavated, satellite images from Google Maps and Google Earth, and CAD graphics, all in order to create a 3D Model of the site, using Google Sketchup 8.

Time dedicated to this part of the program: 5%.

Part 4. Creating an archaeological GIS platform

Finally, in the last part of the program, students will practice their computer drawing skills, so they can create an archaeological GIS platform from the applied recording system of Sanisera. And in this way, students will also learn how to use the ARCGIS software.

Time dedicated to this part of the program: 50%.

What you will learn

In the Fieldwork

  • Use and handling of a Total Station.
  • Creating a topographical database generated by the Total Station with elementary information from the site to design an archaeological map.
  • Photograph Collection to create three-dimensional models of tombs, structures and remains from the Roman city of Sanisera.

In the Laboratory

  • Learning, handling and practices with AutoCAD, Golden Surfer, Photomodeler, Google Sketchup y ArcGIS.
  • Design of an archaeological map in AutoCAD with the information provided by the Total Station.  
  • Creating 3D models of various archaeological topics (graves, artifacts, structures).
  • Design, preparation and management of archaeological information in a GIS platform using the map created in CAD, and manipulation of the database of the excavation.


  • Archaeology and culture of the Roman civilization.
  • Introduction to the History of the Sanisera Site.
  • Minorcan archaeology before the Roman conquest of the Balearic Islands.

Directed at

This course is designed for students that have participated in an archaeological excavation and would like to learn about archaeological tools used to document research information collected with rigor and quality.

Many students studying archaeology, anthropology and classics have participated as part of a research team.  However, not many have experience in using a total station for creating plans or GIS for processing the large volume of information generated during an excavation.

If you would like to enhance your studies and experiences in archaeology  as well as be more competitive and efficient within your field, then with this course you will learn skills that will set you apart. Currently, using GIS to process collected data shows importance towards any type of research project, be it an archaeological survey or excavation.

This program is advanced and specialized, focusing on extracting the maximum performance from software and technology available to archaeologist.

We recommend that if you have no excavation experience, that you first participate in one of the following Sanisera Field School courses: 006, 008, or 010. This will allow you to better assimilate the essential information that you will be recording and processing with the software. 

This course takes place on a Mediterranean island, among a pristine and unique landscape, surrounded by the sea.

Student Testimonials

Field School life & language

The fieldwork runs 7 hours per day. The day will be divided between learning mapping techniques, lab work, exercises, lectures, videos and excursions. For every seven course days there are two days off. The course is taught in English and Spanish.


At   the   end   of   the 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 up on request.

Sessions & Cost




Session #1

2016 | May 21 – June 07

$ 1350

Session #2

2016 | June 10 – June 27

$ 1350

Session #3

2016 | June 30 – July 17

$ 1350

Session #4

2016 | July 20 – August 06

$ 1350

Session #5

2016 | August 09 – August 26

$ 1350

Session #6

2016 | August 29 – September 15

$ 1350

Session #7

2016 | September 18 – October 05 

$ 1350


Spaces avalaible

The course is limited to 5 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 period and methodology and software

This course focuses on archaeology, anthropology and mapping tools applied to archaeology as well as topography, photogrammetry and archaeological recording systems with GIS (Geographic Information System).

Project size: 
1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: 18 days

Minimum age: 
18 (contact with questions about age)

Experience required: 

Room and Board Arrangements

Course fee includes

  • Course tuition.
  • Electronic Total Station.
  • Mapping Software: ARCGIS, AutoCAD, Golden, PhotoModeler, Photoshop and CorelDraw.
  • 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).

$1350 (session)

Academic Credit

Name of institution offering credit: 
Please, contact Felipe Esteban, our course coordinator, in order to get more information about this possibility
Number of credits offered: none


Contact Information
Felipe Esteban
Es Mercadal
+1 347 8710963