2020 Biological Anthropology in the Sanisera Necropolis (Spain) & Making an Archaeological Film (Menorca, Spain) from $2100 (one session, 16 days)

Location: Es Mercadal, Balearic Island, ES

Season: May 1, 2020 to October 25, 2020

Session Dates: Session #01 May 19 – June 03 Session #02 June 06 – June 21 Session #03 June 26 – July 11

Deadline Type: Rolling


Program Type:
Field School

RPA Certified:

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

Project Director:
Fernando Contreras

Project Description:

Sanisera Archaeology Institute for International Field Schools

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.

We are not only in Spain, but we also have courses in Greece, Portugal, France, UK, Croatia, Turkey and Italy. We offer students more than 20 courses that can enrich their CVs, validate university credits and get recommendation letters to enter the job market or get into prestigious scientific research centers.

Our work is focused on the archaeological study of ancient cities, anthropology, osteology, digging graves, conservation in archaeology, art, museums, excavate shipwrecks and submerged cities of ancient ports in the underwater school in archaeology, how to make a movie, learning GIS Software for archaeologists and discovering the most important monuments from Ancient civilizations such as Athens and Rome.

Why participate?

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 biological anthropology and want to learn how to produce a video documentary and film studies related to archaeology.

This program is divided in two main parts. In the first part of the course students will gain experience in biological anthropology in the tombs of Sanisera. During the second part, students will learn about the process of creating a documentary.

Part 1. Bioarchaeology in the Necropolis of Sanisera (Menorca, Spain)
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%.

Part 2. The archaeological video documentary
This film program consists of two main parts. The first one deals with filming a video documentary so that the audience can get to know more about the archaeological findings, the history of the site and the archaeological work carried out both on site and in the laboratory. In the second part of the course students who participate in this course will learn about the process of creating a documentary: preparing the plot, shooting on the site, selection of scenes, editing the video documentary and sound, as well as different elements regarding audiovisuals.

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

What you will learn

In the Fieldwork

  • How to dig and which archaeological techniques are used.
  • Use and handling of the tools that are used during the excavation process.
  • Basic principles of stratigraphy.
  • Basic procedures for collecting C14 samples.
  • Preparing the plot for a video documentary.
  • Shooting on the site.

In the Laboratory

  • Cleaning, Inventory and cataloging of recovered human bones during the excavation process.
  • Basics of the methods used in human osteological analysis, including skeletal anatomy, palaeodemography and palaeopathology.
  • Learning how to identify age, sex and height of buried individuals.
  • Relative dating based on the classification of archaeological artifacts discovered in stratigraphic sequence.
  • Selection of scenes for editing.
  • Editing the video documentary and sound.


  • Introduction to Physical Anthropology and Bioarchaeology
  • Skeletal Anatomy –Terminology-: generalities, dental structure, skull and other bones.
  • History, archaeology, economy and culture of the Roman civilization.
  • Introduction to the History of the Sanisera Site.
  • The background to Roman funerary Rituals.
  • Minorcan archaeology before the Roman conquest of the Balearic Islands.
  • Filming a video documentary.

Directed at
If you study anthropology or are interested in studying tombs for the first time, or are interested in studying human remains while also learning concepts of film, editing and video production, this course is a good option for you. This program accommodates participants with or without previous experience.

The combination of anthropology and assembling a documentary related to the research and fieldwork in which you participate will give you experience in how to  communicate and present your work with the highest quality, be it university projects, personal projects or just learning more about communication tools that are increasingly more frequently used.

This program centers on the excavation of the Roman necropolis of Sanisera. During the first half of the course, participants learn to excavate tombs and in the laboratory learn how to analyze and classify archaeological material, mainly human remains and grave goods discovered during the excavation. During the second half, participants will use the experience they gain in the first part of the course to create a script and produce an archaeological video documentary centered on Roman archaeology following the guidance of an expert.

You will have the opportunity to film real live footage of the excavation of the Roman necropolis of Sanisera and the discovered archaeological material studied such as human remains and grave goods in the laboratory. This program takes place on a Mediterranean island with unique and pristine scenery, next to the sea and stunning Mediterranean landscapes.

Previous knowledge or experience in archaeology or computer systems is not required.

Student testimonials

Field School life & language
The first half of the course will focus on the excavation in the roman necropolis of Sanisera, where they will work for 6 days. The fieldwork runs 7 hours a day with time dedicated to both excavations, the study of human osteology by the analysis of the skeletal remains and laboratory work on roman pottery.

After the fieldwork in the Necropolis, students will also dedicate 7 hours per day to both video footage while the archaeologists are excavating, and the processing of the digital documentation in order to create the archaeological documentary film.

Participants will also be given lectures on methodology regarding film productions, movie trailers and some examples of the best films about Archaeology.

Courses are given in both English and Spanish. For every six 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

Session #01 May 01 – May 16 $ 2100
Session #02 June 06 – June 21 $ 2100
Session #03 June 26 – July 11 $ 2100

Spaces avalaible
The course is limited to 6 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) & Movie Program

This course has two main parts. During the first part, fieldwork focuses on the excavation of funerary structures, specifically inhumation graves. In the laboratory students will learn to classify artifacts found, mainly human skeletal remains. During the second part of the course, students will learn about the process of creating documentary video footage, preparing a plot, selection of scenes, sound and different aspects of audiovisuals.

Project Size: 1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: 16 days

Minimum Age: 16 (contact with questions about age)

Experience Required: No

Room and Board Arrangements:
Course fee includes Course tuition. Video recorder cameras. Accommodation in the Student Residency. Two to six per room.  Walking distance to the historic center, port and beaches. 3 Meals a day. Morning snack at the Sanisera site. Daily transportation to/from the archaeological fieldwork. Accident insurance at the site. Certificate of participation. Airfare not included from the student home to/from Menorca (Spain). Cost: $2100 per session

Academic Credit:
Please, contact Aida Roman, our course coordinator, in order to get more information about this possibility. info@archaeology.institue

Contact Information:

Aida Roman

Apdo. 68

Es Mercadal

Menorca - Spain



Phone: +1 347 8710963

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