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Santa Susana Archaeological Project: Excavation and Survey of a Roman Villa

Location: Redondo, Portugal

July 6, 2014 to August 2, 2014

Session dates: 
July 6 - July 20, July 20 - August 2

Application Deadline: 
Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Deadline Type: 
Contact for details

Flyer: PDF icon santa_susana_2014_flyer_2_-.pdf

Program Type

Field school

RPA certified



PortAnta Archaeological Research Cooperative

Project Director:

Emma Ljung, Princeton University, Joey Williams, University at Buffalo, and Rui Mataloto, Camara Municipal de Redondo

Project Description

The Santa Susana Archaeological Project is seeking applicants for its second season.

This site, never before systematically excavated, holds a villa complex central to our understanding of the complex processes of colonization and settlement in this part of the Roman Empire. Preliminary work at the site suggests a rich artifact assemblage dating to the first century C.E through the fifth century C.E.

In our second season, continuation of our intensive survey will provide targets for subsequent excavation in the pars urbana. The territory around the Roman villa will be carefully mapped and ceramics collected. Visible architectural features both within the villa complex and around it will be cleaned, mapped, photographed and drawn. Several test pits will be placed in strategic locations, giving students the opportunity to excavate concomitantly with the survey.Excavation will run for the duration of the field season, as will the survey.

Students will receive instruction in surveying techniques, excavation, the handling and processing of artifacts, and the recording of exposed architectural and geological features. No prior archaeological experience is necessary but a cheerful "can do" attitude is essential, since surveying in a hot environment can be tiring.

Students with a particular interest in learning the ins and outs of field archaeology and survey and their connection to the "classroom study" of classical archaeology are especially encouraged to apply.

Period(s) of Occupation: Roman Period

Survey and Excavation of a Roman Villa in the Central Alentejo

Project size: 
1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: 2 weeks

Minimum age: 

Experience required: 

Room and Board Arrangements

Students are housed in the town of Redondo, Portugal, very near to the archaeological site. Space is communal, and most rooms house two or more students (sometimes in bunk beds). Sleeping arrangements are separated by gender. We share a kitchen, bathrooms, washing machine, and living room, and so we also share the responsibility of cleaning these spaces.

The project provides three meals per day on weekdays. Breakfast is provided at the dig house, and students are expected to prepare it themselves. Lunch is served at a local restaurant, and dinner is provided by other local restaurants but eaten at home. Students should expect to eat the traditional cuisine of the Alentejo region. We make every effort to accommodate vegetarians, but any participant with special dietary requirements or food allergies must contact us before the beginning of the project. On weekends, students should expect to provide their own meals. Redondo has some restaurants that stay open on weekends, and there are two grocery stores in town as well as numerous cafes and shops. Since we often take field trips on weekends, students have the opportunity to sample the restaurants of other towns and regions.

The project provides transportation while students are in Portugal. Students must purchase their own plane tickets to and from Lisbon, Portugal. We meet students at the Lisbon airport when they arrive and bring them to Redondo, Portugal. At the end of their two-week or four-week session, we also transport students back to Lisbon, either directly to the airport or elsewhere in the city if they are planning on a longer stay after the project. Please be sure to inform us of your travel plans as far in advance as possible!

The Town of Redondo
Redondo is a small and very friendly community. Students have ample opportunity to explore the town during their free time. Free wireless internet connections are available at the community center (closed on Mondays). If you want to make use of this connection you'll need to bring your own laptop. We also have access to the local community pool -- so bring your swimsuits! Small shops, great little museums, plenty of pottery workshops and the nearby countryside make this lovely community an ideal place for your first - or second, or third - experience in field archaeology.

€700 for 2 weeks, €1,300 for 4 weeks

Academic Credit

Number of credits offered none


Contact Information
Emma Ljung
Princeton University Writing Program
Recommended Bibliography: 

Gonçalves, A., E. Moran, M. Posselt, and F. Teichner. 1999. "New aspects of the romanization of the Alto Alentejo (Portugal): evidence from a geophysical and archeological survey at the Monte da Nora (Terrugem)." Arqueologia 22: 101-110.