Aditu Medieval Archaeology Field School

This listing expired on September 1, 2018. Please contact for any updated information.

Location: Uharte-Arakil, NV, ES

Season: July 1, 2018 to August 31, 2018

Session Dates: Session 1: July 3-27, 2018 Session 2: July 31 - August 24, 2018

Application Deadline: May 31, 2018

Deadline Type: Rolling


Discount for AIA members: No

Program Type:
Field school

RPA Certified:

Aditu Arkeologia

Project Director:
Francisco Jose Valle de Tarazaga

Project Description:

The Aditu Medieval Archaeology Field School is a research project investigating the origins of the medieval Sanctuary of San Miguel in Excelsis, at the top of the Aralar mountain in Navarre (Spain). During the 2017 season, structures related to the Sanctuary were uncovered. In the 2018 season invetigation of the medieval structures discovered will continue in the hopes of furthering our understanding of this site that has been shrouded in myth for centuries. 

This research is part of a regional study that started with the associated monastic complex of Santa María de Zamartze in the municipality of Uharte-Arakil and extended into the nearby Sanctuary of San Miguel In Excelsis (both in Navarre, Spain). The main element in Santa María de Zamartze is a 12th century AD Romanesque church built on top of an earlier Roman mansio. Restoration works to the complex in 2005 revealed medieval graves and Roman structures. San Miguel de Aralar includes a church from the 9th century AD and a series of structures from even earlier periods.

Although previous excavations at San Miguel de Aralar have focused on the excavation of burials at the cemetery, the discovery of unusual and previously unknown structures associated to the Sanctuary in 2017 has led to the need for further investigation relating to the extent and purpose of these recently uncovered structures. This excavation will form part of the larger study of the population of this part of Navarre during the medieval period.

The field school is aimed at students or graduates of archaeology and associated disciplines, although if places are available it will be open to anyone that has an interest in developing their knowledge and skills in archaeological field methodology. The course will focus on excavation of the medieval structures at San Miguel de Aralar, but will also include lectures on excavation techniques, Basque archaeology, funerary archaeology, and relevant topics in field archaeology and processing of materials. Students will spend 7-8 hours per day engaged in field work or in the processing of materials recovered from the field. Throughout the course, students will become proficient in excavation procedures, field drawing, documentation, and find processing and analysis.

The field school will run concurrently with the Aditu Osteology Summer School which will allow students the opportunity to attend some lectures and hands-on activities related to the processing and analysis of human remains. Arrangements to participate in these activities can be arranged on site and at the discretion of the directors.

Period(s) of Occupation: Medieval (9th-14th centuries AD)

The Aditu Medieval Archaeology Field School is designed to provide students with practical experience in the excavation of a medieval archaeological site, including field drawing, photography, and processing of archaeological finds. The school provides students with the opportunity to live and work in a unique setting: the historically significant sanctuary of San Miguel in Excelsis on the mountain of Aralar.

Project Size: 1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: One full session

Minimum Age: 18

Experience Required: Some archaeological experience is preferred, but is not a requirement for participation.

Room and Board Arrangements:
Board and accommodation will be provided in the Sanctuary. All necessary facilities are provided. Cost: 1750 Euros

Contact Information:

Danee Wilson

Maddalen 35





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