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Discover Amphora & Shipwrecks in the Underwater Port of Sanisera & Make an Archaeological Film (Menorca, Spain)

Location: Fornells, Menorca, Spain

May 12, 2014 to November 22, 2014

Session dates: 
1) May 12-31; 2) June 3-22; 3) June 25 - July 14; 4) July 17 - August 5; 5) August 8-27; 6) August 30 - September 18; 7) September 20 - October 9; 8) October 12-31; and 9) November 3 - November 22

Deadline Type: 
Contact for details

Flyer: PDF icon course028.pdf

Program Type

Field school



The Sanisera Field School: International Archaeology Courses

Project Director:

Macià Florit and Fernando Contreras

Project Description

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.

Why participate?

General Information


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 how to creating a documentary.

Part 1. Explore the Ancient Roman Port of Sanitja (Menorca, Spain)

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 7 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.

The course will combine teaching of methodology, as well as techniques and tools used in underwater archaeological survey. Students will also attend lectures on Roman shipwrecks, Roman amphora and Mediterranean shipbuilding techniques.

Course time dedicated: 50%.

Part 2. Archaeological Video Documentary

The film program consists of two main parts. The first part consists of filming a video documentary so that a larger audience can learn about the underwater archaeological findings, the history of the site and the archaeological work carried out both on site and in the laboratory. During the second part of the course, participants learn about the process of creating a documentary: preparing the plot, shooting on site, selection of scenes, editing the video documentary and sound, as well as different elements regarding audiovisuals.

Course time dedicated: 50%.

Directed at:
If you are interested in learning about underwater archaeology, the techniques and methodology used and classifaction of archaeological material as well as learning elements of filming editing and video production, then this is course is a good option for you.

The combination of underwater archaeology and creating a video documentary related to the research being conducted allows participants to learn how to communicate and present their research, be it university research or, personal projects with the tools that are more frequently used on line. 

The program focuses on the research of a Roman port focusing on locating shipwrecks, amphorae and anchors in order to get a better understanding of the maritime history of the area. During the first part of the course, participants will learn underwater techniques and methodology during dives in the port.  During the second part of the course, participants will use the experience from the first part of the course to create a script for a documentarily focused on underwater archaeology following the guidance of an expert.   

You will have the opportunity to learn how to film underwater with a high quality professional camera in order to film live footage on the of the underwater archaeology research being conducted that you form part of.

The water is very clear in Menorca, with an astonishing visibility…often up to 18 to 20 meters. The water is calm and mild in temperature and currant, allowing for excellent diving conditions in a natural and pristine Mediterranean atmosphere. 

Previous knowledge or experience in archaeology is not required.

Student testimonials


Field School Life & Language
The course runs six hours per day.  The day will be divided between diving in the Roman Port of Sanitja, lab work, exercises, lectures, videos and excursions. The course is taught in English and Spanish.

After the diving portion of the course, participants will then take video footage of archaeologists while working and process the digital documentation in order to create an underwater archaeological documentary film.

Participants will also be given lectures on methodology regarding film productions, movie trailers and some examples of films about Archaeology.

Participants will also visit 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.

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.

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 (For 2014: 9 sessions, 20 days each)

  • Session #1 May 12th - May 31st $ 2,400
  • Session #2 June 3rd - June 22th $ 2,600
  • Session #3 June 25th - July 14th $ 2,600
  • Session #4 July 17th - August 5th $ 2,600
  • Session #5 August 8th - August 27th $ 2,600
  • Session #6 August 30th - September 18th $ 2,100
  • Session #7 September 20th - October 9th $ 1,900
  • Session #8 October 12th - October 31th $ 1,900
  • Session #9 November 3rd - November 22th $ 1,900

Spaces Available
The course is limited to 3 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) & Movie Programm

This course focuses on underwater survey, Mediterranean ship building techniques, and creating an archaeological film. The aim is to identify underwater structures of the Roman city of Sanisera and shipwrecks, as well as anchors and amphorae related to those shipwrecks and its cargoes. Students will also learn about the process of creating documentary video footage, preparing a plot, selection of scenes, sound and different aspects of audiovisuals.

Project size: 
1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: 20 days

Minimum age: 

Experience required: 

Room and Board Arrangements

Course fee includes:

  • Course tuition.
  • Tanks, tank filling and weights.
  • Open water diving certificate (PADI) for those in group # 1.
  • Accident insurance at the site.
  • Video recorder cameras.
  • 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.
  • Daily transportation to/from the archaeological fieldwork.
  • Accident insurance at the site.
  • Excursions.
  • Certificate of participation.

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

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 15 Euro per day.


Between $1,900 to $2,600 per session

Academic Credit

Number of credits offered: none


Contact Information
Cesar Gonzalez
Apdo. 68
Es Mercadal
Menorca - Spain
(34) 666 68 65 50