Najerilla River Research Project

Location: Nájera, La Rioja, Spain

May 29, 2016 to July 2, 2016

Session dates: 
May 29 - July 2, 2016

Application Deadline: 
Monday, February 1, 2016
Monday, February 15, 2016

Deadline Type: 
Exact date

Flyer: project_brochure_cmu_2016.pdf

Program Type

Field school



Central Michigan University

Project Director:

Dr. Scott de Brestian, CMU, Dr. Victor Martinez, Monmouth College, Dr. Maria Milagros Martinez

Project Description

The Najerilla Valley Research Project is looking for fieldwork participants for Summer 2016. Our field project is located in La Rioja, Spain, in the charming medieval town of Nájera, on the ancient pilgrimage road to Santiago de Compostela.

The project is examining the transition in material culture between the Roman and Medieval periods in Nájera, La Rioja, and the valley of the Tirón river, in neighboring Burgos. Summer 2016 will be our second season of fieldwork.

This coming summer we will continue our work of documenting the visible medieval structures in and around the city of Nájera, and documenting Roman and Medieval sculpture inside the Iglesia de la Asunción, in San Vicente del Valle, Burgos. We are also looking to begin geophysical prospection of selected areas with potential Late Roman/Early Medieval structures at both locations.

Our goals for 2015 and 2016 are to investigate the patterns of urbanization and cultural transformation in northern Spain between the Late Roman period and the Middle Ages.

Participants will assist in a variety of tasks, gaining hands-on experience in survey, architectural measurement and drawing, Latin epigraphy, medieval ceramics, and mapping. No prior fieldwork experience is necessary. Accommodation will be in the town of Nájera.

Participants will gain credit for ART 586, Special Topics in the Art, Archaeology and Culture of Spain through Central Michigan University.

The program will start in Madrid, where participants will visit the National Archaeological Museum and the Prado Museum in order to learn about the material and cultural heritage of the peninsula. We will then move to Nájera to begin our fieldwork.

Weekends will include excursions to cultural sites in the region including:

  • The medieval monastery of San Millán de la Corolla

  • The Celtiberian city of Numantia, captured by the Romans in 133 B.C.
  • Burgos, home of El Cid
  • Logroño, the capital of La Rioja
  • Zaragoza, a major Roman and Islamic center

More information can be found at the CMU Study Abroad website. For additional information, to apply, or if you have questions, send an email to the contact address.

Period(s) of Occupation: Roman, Medieval

architecture, epigraphy, ceramics, mapping

Project size: 
1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: Five weeks

Minimum age: 

Experience required: 

Room and Board Arrangements

Accommodation will be at a hotel in Nájera, Spain. Participants will be given lunches in the field and dinners at local restaurants in Nájera. Students will be responsible for their own breakfasts and all meals on weekends.

Program fee: $2000 - 2300 (includes lodging and weekday lunches and dinners)

Academic Credit

Name of institution offering credit: 
Central Michigan University
Number of credits offered 3 credits
In-state tuition: $374 x 3 credit hours (undergraduate) ----- Out-of-state tuition: $789 x 3 credit hours (undergraduate)


Contact Information
Scott de Brestian
Central Michigan University, 133 Wightman Hall, 1202 S. Washington St.
Mount Pleasant