This listing expired on May 23, 2016. Please contact tt10@soas.ac.uk for any updated information.
The Solomonic-Zagwe Encounters Project


Location: Gannata Maryam, near Lalibela, Ethiopia

Season: 
March 26, 2016 to April 10, 2016

Application Deadline: 
Friday, February 19, 2016

Deadline Type: 
Contact for details

Flyer: PDF icon fieldschoolleaflet.pdf

Discount for AIA members: 
N/A

Program Type

Field school

RPA certified

no

Affiliation:

School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, UK

Project Director:

Dr. Tania Tribe

Project Description

Our overall project (the Solomonic-Zagwe Encounters Project) investigates the process of dynastic change in 13th century Ethiopia, when the Amharic-speaking Solomonic dynasty wrested power from the Agaw-speaking Zagwe dynasty in the northern highlands. We are currently excavating a burial site at Gannata Maryam, an outstanding rock-hewn church associated with the first Solomonic king, Yekunno Amlak. The church is located 11 km (but 30 km/1 hour by road) southeast of the renowned Unesco World Heritage site of Lalibela, a political and religious center comprising 11 rock-hewn churches founded by the Zagwe from the 10th century onward. Gannata Maryam is significant for its cycle of wall-paintings, dateable to around 1270, and is of key importance for our understanding of the process of state formation and royalty in the highlands of Ethiopia. Our excavation of the previously unknown cemetery began in 2013 on a rescue basis, when work on a new access path to the church exposed bones in the hillside in front of the church. Systematic excavations started in November 2014. The Project Director is Dr Tania Tribe, Department of History of Art and Archaeology, SOAS, University of London.

Period(s) of Occupation: Medieval (13th Century)

Notes: 
You will have the opportunity to practice techniques and methodologies of modern archaeological research while working with highly experienced field archaeologists. You will be able to learn the importance of record keeping on and off site, how to approach and perform the excavation, planning, and drawing of a feature, and finally take part in post-excavation work. Lectures on general archaeological fieldwork and topographic surveying will be provided as well as an introduction to bioarchaeology. All levels of experience are welcome. Excursions to nearby sites will be included, particularly to the Lalibela rock-hewn church complex and the outstanding built church of Yemrehanna Krestos, situated within a cave 12 km (40 km by road) north of Lalibela.

Project size: 
1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: 2 weeks

Minimum age: 
18

Experience required: 
All levels of experience are welcome

Room and Board Arrangements

Logistics: Included in the price is all transportation within Ethiopia, including: airport-hotel-airport transfers in Addis Ababa and Lalibela; some sightseeing in Addis Ababa; return flights from Addis Ababa to Lalibela; overland transportation between Lalibela and Gannata Maryam; excursion to Yemrehanna Krestos

Accomodation: Accommodation in a comfortable guesthouse in Addis Ababa, with Wi-Fi (1–2 nights); in a hotel in Lalibela, with Wi-Fi and pool (8 nights); and in local people’s homes in Gannata Maryam (4 nights)

Meals: Three meals a day, including a light packed lunch in the field

Cost: 
$3,300 US (international fare, visa and personal insurance not included)

Academic Credit

Name of institution offering credit: 
N/A
Number of credits offered None
Tuition: 
You will have the opportunity to practice techniques and methodologies of modern archaeological research while working with highly experienced field archaeologists. You will be able to learn the importance of record keeping on and off site, how to approach and perform the excavation, planning, and drawing of a feature, and finally take part in post-excavation work. Lectures on general archaeological fieldwork and topographic surveying will be provided as well as an introduction to bioarchaeology. All levels of experience are welcome.

Location

Contact Information
Dr Tania Tribe
Dept HAA, SOAS, University of London, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square
London
UK
WC1H 0XG
Telephone: 
+44 207 898 4462
Recommended Bibliography: 

Bosc-Tiessé, Claire et al., 2014, "The Lalibela Rock Hewn Site and its Landscape (Ethiopia): An Archaeological Analysis," Journal of African Archaeology, 12 (2): 141–164.

Fauvelle-Aymar, François-Xavieret al., 2010, "Rock-cut stratigraphy: sequencing the Lalibela churches," Antiquity, 84: 1135–1150.

Gerster, Georg, Churches in Rock: Early Christian Art in Ethiopia, Phaidon, 1970

Finneran, Niall, 2007, The Archaeology of Ethiopia; Routledge, UK

Finneran N. and Tribe, Tania, "Towards and archaeology of Ethiopian monasticism: contexts and themes," In: Tim Insoll (ed.), Belief in the Past: the Proceedings of the 2002 Manchester Conference on Archaeology and Religion, B.A.R. International Series 1212, 2004.

Phillipson David W. , Ancient Churches of Ethiopia, Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 2009.

Tamrat, Taddesse, Church and State in Ethiopia 1270-1527, Oxford University Press, London, 1972.