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BARCELONA - La Roca dels Bous (European Project POCTEFA) 2013

Location: Barcelona and Sant Llorenç de Montgai, Spain

June 15, 2013 to July 3, 2013

Application Deadline: 
Saturday, June 1, 2013

Deadline Type: 
Contact for details

Discount for AIA members: 
15% discount. Final Tuition: 2000€ (app. $2,585)

Program Type

Field school

RPA certified



archaeoBarcelona and Autonomous University of Barcelona (European project POCTEFA)

Project Director:

Rafael Mora, Adrià Millán, Jorge Martínez-Moreno, and Xavier Roda

Project Description

Heralded as one of the most important research programs about the last testimonies of Neanderthals and archaeological art technology, "Barcelona - La Roca dels Bous" is part of the European project (POCTEFA), which combines the efforts of the University Autonomous of Barcelona, ArchaeoBarcelona and three countries: France, Spain and Andorra.

This program is divided into two parts. In the first one our participants will carry out archaeological work -fieldwork, laboratory and theory- in the Neanderthal archaeological site of La Roca dels Bous (50,000 B.C.E.), in Sant Llorenç de Montgai (Spain), which form part of the European Project POCTEFA. Here we will be in contact with and we will learn to use the most advanced technologies in the world of archeology with professors at the University Autonomous of Barcelona. We also will visit the Archaeological Park where we can find real-size replicas of the huts and their interiors of our ancestors and see how their quotidian life was. The Catalan Pyrenees are caracterized for having a great variety of archaeological heritage, with archaeological remains from the Middle Paleolithic and Neolithic to the Middle Ages.

The first 14 days we will excavate stratigraphic levels from 50,000 years ago in which we will find the remains left by the last testimonies southern European Neanderthals. The goal of this project is to explore and understand the social organization and the critical changes that drove Neanderthals to their disappearance during the Paleolithic. 

The site utilizes advanced technology, not found in most other excavations. During the last two years the project has developed, exclusively for this site, a worlwide innovative digital system to classify the pieces found. This reduces the labeling time in half and the error rate from 40% to 1%. The novelty also lies in incorporating datamatrix codes that, by collecting information on site with a handheld device, allows you to have control of the artifacts and access to more information available in the network. The methodology used in La Roca dels Bous is starting to be adapted to other archaeological investigations across Europe. Participants will learn to use these innovative technologies.


The last four days we will travel to Barcelona to carry out different cultural tours around the city. The city of Barcelona has a very ancient history and the city has much to offer.

The Monuments and Modernism tour allows us to see the most important sites of the city, such as The Cathedral of Barcelona or La Sagrada Familia, La Pedrera and the Park Güell of Gaudi, among others. There are also the Archaeological tour and the Museum Tour.

Period(s) of Occupation: Middle Paleolithic

Art technology in archaeology, last Neanderthals in Europe and cultural tours in Barcelona (European Project POCTEFA)

Project size: 
1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: 16 June to July 3, 2013

Minimum age: 

Experience required: 

Room and Board Arrangements

La Roca dels Bous: The participants will stay in communal rooms of 6 to 8 people in a hostel in the center of Sant Llorenç of Montgai, next to the excavation. This is also a few meters from the river Segre.
The hostel has wireless internet service, laundry, suite bathrooms, as well as nursing service.
Lunch is eaten as a group at the hostel before going to the excavation. Lunch and dinner service is provided at the hostel’s restaurant, which serves typical Spanish and Mediterranean food.
If you have problems with any kind of food, please contact us in advance.
Barcelona: In Barcelona we will stay in communal hostel rooms of 4 to 8 people. The program provides breakfast and lunch at the hostel’s restaurant. Dinner in Barcelona is responsibility of the participants.
Breakfast will take place before the tours and the group will eat lunch in city restaurants, which serve typical Mediterranean and Spanish food.

€2,350 (US$ 3.040 check current exchange rates)

Academic Credit

Name of institution offering credit: 
Agreement with participant's own institution
Number of credits offered Depending on the institution
Adrià Millán


Contact Information
Adrià Millán
42 Tirso
+34 600857061
+34 932196141
Recommended Bibliography: 

de la Torre, I., J. Martínez-Moreno and R. Mora (2012). "When bones are not enough: Lithic refits and occupation dynamics in the Middle Palaeolithic level 10 of Roca dels Bous (Catalunya, Spain)." In Bones for tools - tools for bones. The interplay between objects and objectives., K. Seetah and B. Gravina , eds. Cambridge, McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research: 9-19.

Martínez-Moreno, J., P. González Marcén and R. Mora Torcal (2011). "Data matrix (DM) codes: A technological process for the management of the archaeological record." Journal of Cultural Heritage 12(2): 134-139.