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Najerilla Valley Regional Survey

Location: Camprovin, La Rioja, Spain

July 19, 2014 to August 17, 2014

Application Deadline: 
Friday, April 25, 2014

Flyer: fieldwork_flyersmall.pdf

Program Type

Field school


Central Michigan University

Project Director:

Scott de Brestian, CMU, Victor Martinez, UNC-CH, Maria Milagros Martinez, Universidad Internacional de La Rioja

Project Description

The Najerilla Valley Research Project is looking for fieldwork volunteers for Summer 2014. Our field project is located in La Rioja, Spain, not far from the charming medieval town of Nájera, on the ancient pilgrimage road to Santiago de Compostela.

Our goals for 2014 and 2015 are to begin to better understand the cultural sequence in the valley, with a particular focus on urban and rural settlements. Our plans for this summer are to conduct a surface survey in select portions of the valley.

The rural survey seeks to understand the transition from the Roman period to the later Middle Ages in the valley. We wish to understand the early history of the villages of the valley, and to discover what continuities, if any, there are with the Roman occupation of the valley. We will be looking for several medieval villages abandoned in 1362 when the monastery of San Millán consolidated them into the modern town of Badarán. Their existence is known from medieval documents, but their precise location is unknown. We hope to locate then survey these villages in order to discover their early history and relationship, if any, to the Roman rural settlement pattern.

In addition, we also wish to better understand the urban development of the valley. The site of Tritium Magallum, modern Tricio, was an important Roman town and fine pottery production center. In the Middle Ages, it appears to have lost its importance, and the political center of the valley shifted a few kilometers northwest to Nájera. We plan to survey a series of transects across the ancient territory of Tritium Magallum to discover the full extent of the urban area (and its relationship with known kiln sites) and its processes of growth and decline.

Participants will assist in the field survey as well as in pottery processing and drawing. No prior fieldwork experience is necessary. Accommodation will be in a local casa rural in the small village of Camprovín.
Weekends will include excursions to cultural sites in the region including:

• The medieval monastery of San Millán de la Corolla

• The Celtiberian city of Numantia, captured by the Romans in 133 B.C.
• Burgos, home of El Cid
• Logroño, the capital of La Rioja

Detailed instructions for applying appear on our website, or please contact us via email or phone.

Period(s) of Occupation: Roman, Medieval

Project size: 
1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: Four weeks

Minimum age: 

Experience required: 

Room and Board Arrangements

Accommodation will be at a casa rural (traditional house reconditioned as a hotel) in Camprovín, Spain. Water, electricity, phone service, limited internet service, linen service, laundry service will be available. Rooms will be shared, two students to a room, with shared bathrooms. The casa rural has a common room with television and a garden patio.

$1,500 (not including airfare)

Academic Credit

Number of credits offered: none


Contact Information
Scott de Brestian
Central Michigan University, 133 Wightman Hall, 1202 S. Washington St.
Mount Pleasant