Total Station & GIS applied in Archaeology -2015-

Location: Es Mercadal, Spain

June 14, 2015 to September 7, 2015

Session dates: 
1) June 14 - July 03; 2) July 06 - July 25; 3) July 28 - August 16; 4) August 19 - September 07

Application Deadline: 
Monday, November 30, 2015

Deadline Type: 
Contact for details

Flyer: 011.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

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 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

In 2015, 4 sessions, 20 days each:
Session #1 June 14 – July 03 $ 2,300
Session #2 July 06 – July 25 $ 2,300
Session #3 July 28 - August 16 $ 2,300
Session #4 August 19 – September 07  $ 1,800

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: 20 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).

From $1800 to $2300 (session)

Academic Credit

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


Contact Information
Cesar Gonzalez
Es Mercadal
+1 347 8710963