2017 Discover the Underwater Archaeology of the Port of Sanitja & Archaeological Techniques of drawing, photography and digital illustration (Menorca – Balearic Islands – Spain) $2100 (one session, 18 days)

Location: Menorca, Spain

May 1, 2017 to October 15, 2017

Session dates: 
1) May 01 – May 18; 2) May 21 – June 07; 3) June 10 – June 27; 4) June 30 – July 17; 5) July 20 – August 06; 6) August 09 – August 26; 7) August 29 – September 15; 8) September 18 – October 05

Application Deadline: 
Sunday, October 15, 2017

Deadline Type: 
Contact for details

Flyer: PDF icon 0412017.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, archaeological techniques of drawing, photography and digital illustration, conservation, art, museums and archaeological film. Student's fieldwork centers on the survey and excavation of classical sites. - See WEB SITE: http://archaeology.institute

Project Director:

Antonio Talavera, Manuel González and 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 France, UK, Germany 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 interested in underwater archaeology who come from all over the world. It covers advanced and essential techniques used in an archaeological laboratory, such as technical drawing and photo-taking. The skills that students will learn can be externalized to complete studies, publications, or reports from the pieces found on any site.

This program is divided in two main parts:

During the first part of the course students will gain experience in underwater archaeological survey, exploring the Ancient Port of Sanitja and the coast of the Cape of Cavalleria. The aim of this project is to identify structures of the Roman city of Sanisera and underwater shipwrecks, as well as the associated cargo including amphora and anchors.

During the second part of the course, students will learn the Tools and laboratory techniques used with archaeological material.

Part 1. Explore Underwater Archaeology of the Ancient Port of Sanitja

Over the past eight years, The Underwater School in Archaeology has researched the ancient port of Sanitja via an intensive survey program. We have discovered 18 Roman shipwrecks with cargo, including amphora, and more than 10 anchors from different time periods.

There will be a minimum of 8 immersions focusing on underwater archaeological survey, exploring the Ancient Port of Sanitja and the coast of the Cape of Cavalleria. The aim of this project is to identify structures of the Roman city of Sanisera and underwater shipwrecks, as well as the associated cargo including amphora and anchors.

The port of Sanitja was not only occupied by Romans.  There are also ruins of a Muslim mosque and an English defense tower which lead us to believe that we could find other vessels from these time periods. During the last years of survey, several anchors and three shipwrecks from the XVI-XIX centuries were discovered.

During the course we will register archaeological materials (amphora, anchors, fine tableware) using pictures and following the standard photogrammetry  procedures, afterwards we will learn to handle the information in order to create 3D graphic models using Agisoft PhotoScan Professional software.

Students will also attend lectures on Roman shipwrecks, Roman amphora, Mediterranean shipbuilding techniques and handling of software Agisoft PhotoScan.

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

Part 2. Tools and drawing techniques, photography and digital illustration

In the second part the students will practice the techniques that are used in an archaeological laboratory so that they can register the main objects found on a site with the highest quality. The development of those techniques will help us to obtain drawings, photographs and digital archives that will be extremely useful for the elaboration of publications, reports or further studies.

Time dedicated to this part of the program: 50%

What you will learn

In the Fieldwork

  • How to survey and which archaeological techniques are used.
  • Use and handling of the tools that are used during the survey process.
  • Recording data obtained during the survey.
  • Objects photo-taking using photogrammetry standards.
  • Practice in the recognition of archaeological materials and Roman finds from the II century B. C. to VI A. D.

In the Laboratory

  • Recording data obtained during the survey -diary and systematic methodology sheets-.
  • Study and typological classification of archaeological Roman objects discovered during the underwater survey.
  • Relative dating based on the classification of the archaeological objects discovered during the survey.
  • Handling of the pictures from the objects in order to prepare them for 3D processing with Agisoft PhotoScan.
  • Learn how to draw ceramic according with the standards (piece orientation, diameter edge estimation, representation of the decoration and several views generation).
  • Objects drawing exercises (glass, lithics, coins, bone needles).
  • Correct handle of the graphic representation and learning of different scales 1:1, 2:1…
  • General standards of composition and illumination in photography.
  • Photography techniques used on little objects like coins, jewels and ceramics  with decoration and epigraphy.
  • Drawing and photographing with Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop
  • Drawing and vector handling of the archaeological material with Adobe Illustrator.


  • Underwater Archaeological background of Sanisera.
  • Ancient trade in Sanisera and the Western Mediterranean Sea.
  • Ancient navigation.
  • Modern sail merchant ships (centuries 16th - 20th).
  • 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

This course offered by the Sanisera Archaeology Institute is designed to teach with precision this field of research. If you are interested in learning underwater survey techniques and methodology and apply them in a Roman port where you will find amphora, anchors and the remains of shipwrecks, then this is a good option for you. 

During this course, you will learn how to identify archaeological remains on the seabed. In the laboratory, you will learn how to classify archaeological material found and how to determine dates and methods used to determine the location and elements of the cargos from shipwrecks. Students will also gain experience in the handle of 3D images from sunken objects.

If you are interested in underwater archaeology, classification of archaeological material from the Roman world as well as how to process this information using technical drawing, photography and digital illustration then this is the course you are looking for. This course accommodates participants with or without previous experience.

Learn how to excavate is the most important thing for a student who wants to become a professional archaeologist, however during the last years we have noticed that both the archaeological investigation projects and the archaeological management projects are becoming more demanding and strict with the information gathering that take place in an excavation.

Due to current needs of the archaeology world the archaeologist must acquire more experience and knowledge in the laboratory. It´s basic to catalogue all the material from the excavation efficiently and effectively by elaborating drawings, photographs and digital documentation that allow us to develop a rigorous research, for that reason the use of an appropriate image software has become essential for the elaboration of any report, study or publication.

This course takes place on a Mediterranean island, among a pristine and unique landscape, surrounded by the sea.

Previous knowledge or experience in archaeology or computer systems is not required.


To participate in diving activities, it is necessary to have a diving certificate that will allow you to dive up to 18 meters in depth.  For this reason, we have designed two groups to choose from: with or without a diving certificate.                                                       

Group 1. Without a diving certificate: Those that do not have their diving certificate should choose this group.

Group 2. With certificate: Those that have a diving certificate from an internationally recognized organization (i.e. PADI), should choose this group.

Medical Check

On the first day of the course, participants have to show a medical document stating that he/she is fit for diving activities. Participants that do not have this document on the first day will not be allowed to participate until they are able to present this document.

Field School life & language

The fieldwork runs seven hours per day. The day will be divided between diving in the Roman Port of Sanitja, lab work learning mapping techniques, 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 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

Sessions Dates Cost
Session #01 2017 | May 1st - May 18th $ 2,100
Session #02 2017 | May 21st - June 07th $ 2,100
Session #03 2017 | June 10th - June 27th $ 2,100
Session #04 2017 | June 30th - July 17th $ 2,100
Session #05 2017 | July 20th - August 06th $ 2,100
Session #06 2017 | August 9th - August 26th $ 2,100
Session #07 2017 | August 29th - September 15th $ 2,100
Session #08 2017 | September 18th - October 05th $ 2,100


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.

Equipment Needed

We encourage participants to bring their own dive gear, however, a complete set of diving equipment (with the exception of mask and snorkel which each participant must bring) can be rented at the reduced cost of 18 Euros per day.

Period(s) of Occupation: Methods in Archaeology and Underwater Archaeology

Project size: 
1-24 participants

Minimum age: 

Experience required: 

Room and Board Arrangements

Course fee includes

  • Course tuition.
  • Drawing material and photographic gear.
  • Software: Agisoft PhotoScan, Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator.
  • Accommodation in the Student Residency in Ciutadella. Two to six per room.
  • Tanks, tank filling and weights.
  • Walking distance to the historic center, port and beach
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  • Accident insurance at the site.
  • Daily transportation to/from the archaeological fieldwork.
  • Certificate of participation.
  • Open water diving certificate (PADI) for those in group # 1.

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

$2100 (session)

Academic Credit

Name of institution offering credit: 
Please, contact Felipe Esteban, our course coordinator, in order to get more information about this possibility sanisera@arrakis.es
Number of credits offered: none


Contact Information
Felipe Esteban
Apdo. 68
Es Mercadal
Menorca - Spain
+1 347 8710963
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