This listing expired on September 1, 2015. Please contact for any updated information.
New course 2015: Archaeology in the Roman City of Sanisera. Digging & Advanced laboratory focused on Classical archaeological remains: Roman coins, faunal remains and collection of soil samples

Location: Ciutadella de Menorca, Spain

April 9, 2015 to November 12, 2015

Session dates: 
1) April 9 - April 28; 2) May 01 - May 20; 3) May 23 - June 11; 4) June 14 - July 03; 5) July 06 - July 25; 6) July 28 - August 16; 7) August 19 - September 07; 8) September 10 - September 29; 9) October 02 - October 21; 10) October 24 - November 12

Application Deadline: 
Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Flyer: PDF icon 035.pdf

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, conservation, art, museums and archaeological film. Student's fieldwork centers on the survey and excavation of classical sites. - See more at:

Project Director:

Fernando Contreras and Tatiana Valente

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

In 2008 the Sanisera Archaeology Institute for International Field Schools started its courses at the Roman city of Sanisera. During all these years many students have come from all over the world to study abroad to Menorca (Balearic Islands, Spain) in order to dig up the Roman remains located at this classical site on the Northern coast of the island.

This course is divided in two parts. In this way, students can have to two archaeological experiences which are related to the land site: Digging in the Roman city and Advanced Laboratory focused on Classical archaeological remains – except for Roman pottery-, Roman coins, faunal remains and collection of soil samples.

Part 1. Digging in the Roman City of Sanisera (Menorca, Spain)

The research is focused on the archaeological excavation of Sanisera and studies what happened in this Roman port connected to the maritime traffic that sailed the Mediterranean during those times. As a result, we know that this is a very interesting archaeological site, with abundant findings of multiple artifacts that will help us to reconstruct its past.

The excavation at the Roman city of Sanisera provides all the archaeological documentation necessary for the student to acquire enough training and experience in all aspects involving an excavation from the Roman period dating between the 2nd century BC and the 6th century AD.

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

Part 2. Advanced Laboratory focused on Classical archaeological remains: Roman coins, faunal remains and soil samples (Menorca, Spain)

During fieldwork students recover materials located in rooms and other contexts, including Roman ceramics such as amphorae and fine wares, glass wares, faunal remains and metal pieces such as adornments, tools and coins.

Nowadays flotation machines are widely used in archaeological sites, since they have become essential instruments for the sieving of sediment that comes from sites, with the main aim of obtaining a collection of soil samples.

The soil that is removed during fieldwork can be collected as a sample. By analyzing it we can detect microbotanical remains (pollen, phytoliths), macrobotanical items (seeds, nuts, charcoal, fibers and other plant materials) and faunal specimens (bones from small animals and fish).

The advanced laboratory in materials has the principal goal of discovering the main activities and the life style of the inhabitants who occupied Sanisera between the 1st century BC and the 6th century AD.

On one hand, the cataloging of coins will give us basic information about their economy. On the other, the collection of soil samples and microremains located on them will tell us what they ate, which will give as an insight on times of prosperity, poverty or even basic survival.

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.
  • Proper use of the tools during the excavation process.
  • Basic principles of stratigraphy.
  • Recording the data obtained during the excavation using the Harris Method.
  • Practice on the recognition of archaeological materials and Roman finds from the 2nd century BC to the 6th AD.
  • Basic procedures for collecting soil samples from the site.

In the Laboratory

  • Study and typological classification of Roman archaeological objects: ceramics, coins, faunal remains, shells, metals, glass and soil samples.
  • Relative dating based on the classification of archaeological objects discovered in the stratigraphic sequence.
  • Cleaning, inventory and cataloging of recovered faunal bones and Roman coins.
  • Learning how to identify roman coins.
  • Learning how to identify species of animal and molluscs to discover the Roman inhabitants of Sanisera’s diet.
  • Use of wet sieving or flotation machine for the selection of samples.  
  • Practice on the recovery of washed soil for its analysis at the laboratory, which will become a soil sample collection for seeds, microfauna, charcoal, plants, etc.


  • Introduction to Roman numismatics.
  • History, archaeology, economy 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

During the first days of the course you will learn from the beginning proper excavation techniques and methodology. At the site you will find archaeological remains from the Classical period including Roman pottery, amphorae, glass, etc, which you will learn how to identify in the laboratory.

On the second half of the course, fieldwork will focus on the in-depth analysis of Classical archaeological remains, - expect for Roman pottery, which is studied in more detail in course number 6 taught by The Sanisera Archaeology Institute-, recovered in the Roman City of Sanisera. Those materials are included basically in three groups:  Roman coins, faunal remains and the collection of soil samples.

Many European excavations take place in Greek and Roman sites, where the most abundant material found is always pottery. Hence, pottery is usually the material studied at the laboratory.

Just in few occasions you will have the chance to learn how to classify other materials which are not pottery, such as coins, faunal remains and soil samples. Even though they are not as frequent as pottery finds, their study is very important in order to understand the type of site under investigation.

The opportunity of classifying coins, faunal remains and soil samples can be of your interest if you are thinking about specializing yourself on a specific archaeological field for a research work related to a postgraduate degree in Archaeology.

Also the training provided in this course will give you more experience, since you will get to know how specialists work in a laboratory, research center or certain museums.

Field School life & language

Participants will also be given lectures on methodology, Roman archaeology and classification of archaeological materials.  Participants will visit other archaeological sites on the island through organized excursions. Courses are given in both English and Spanish. For every seven 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

In 2015, 10 sessions, 20 days each

Session #1 April 9 – April 28 $ 1,600
Session #2 May 01 – May 20 $ 1,600
Session #3 May 23 - June 11 $ 2,100
Session #4 June 14 – July 03 $ 2,300
Session #5 July 06 – July 25 $ 2,300
Session #6 July 28 - August 16 $ 2,300
Session #7 August 19 – September 07  $ 1,800
Session #8 September 10 - September 29 $ 1,500
Session #9 October 02 - October 21 $ 1,300
Session #10 October 24 – November 12 $ 1,300

Spaces available

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)

This course is divided in two parts. In this way, students can have to two archaeological experiences which are related to the land site: Digging in the Roman city and Advanced Laboratory focused on Classical archaeological remains – except for Roman pottery-, Roman coins, faunal remains and collection of soil samples.

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
  • Accomodation
  • Daily transportation to/from the archaeological fieldwork.
  • Transportation while in Spain
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Accident insurance.
  • Excursions.
  • Certificate of participation

Airfare not included from the student home to/from Menorca (Spain)

From $1300 to $2300

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
Islas Baleares
+1 347 8710963