Celtic-Iron Age Necropolis of Pintia

Location: Padilla de Duero, Valladolid, Spain

June 1, 2015 to July 28, 2015

Session dates: 
June 1 – 18; June 21 – July 8; July 11 – 28

Application Deadline: 
Monday, June 1, 2015

Program Type

Field school


University of Valladolid and ArchaeoSpain

Project Director:

Dr. Carlos Sanz, University of Valladolid

Project Description

The archaeological field school at the Celtic-Iron Age necropolis and Roman settlement of Pintia will undertake a unique experience that combines archaeological fieldwork and cultural immersion.

For more than 10 years, ArchaeoSpain and the University of Valladolid have worked together at Pintia to help create a window into the lives of the ancient Vaccean culture, an Iron Age people with Celtic links that settled in north-central Spain around the 5th century BC.

Our focus is the excavation of their cemetery, located about 300 meters (984 feet) from the main settlement. It was used between the 4th century BC and the 1st century.

In the past decade archaeologists have uncovered around 300 cremation tombs, including warriors, women, and children. The grave goods recovered have been essential to the study of the social organization of these pre-Roman peoples. For example, not long ago the Pintia crews excavated 44 tombs containing around 600 man-made artifacts. In one section around 100 giant limestone slabs (some weighing nearly a metric ton) covered the tombs, which protected them from subsequent farming and left the funerary jars and grave goods in excellent condition.The artifacts recovered included daggers, broaches, spear points, grills, knives, tongs, tweezers, shaving blades and necklaces.

This coming summer the plan is to excavate a new area in the necropolis. 

Also, each week the archaeologists will prepare seminars and workshops concerning the fieldwork and the history of Pintia. Topics include Funerary Archaeology, Archaeological Drawing, and a day-long theoretical and practical course in human and animal bone studies by professors from the Valladolid University Medical School. We will also hold a Vaccean pottery workshop, during which we will create and decorate our own replicas.

The group will also tour several historical sites in the area, such as the Roman aqueduct of Segovia, the prehistoric cave art in Cantabria, and the restored Roman villa of La Olmeda. Visiting these places is essential to understand the historical context of the archaeological work at Pintia. Participants are expected to contribute to all aspects of the project, including excavation, mapping, photography, and artifact conservation and cataloging.

Period(s) of Occupation: Iron Age, Roman

Project size: 
1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: 3 weeks

Minimum age: 

Experience required: 

Room and Board Arrangements

Participants will live at the site's research facilities in the small town of Padilla de Duero for the duration of the program. Our crew will share a large, dorm-style room with bunk beds, with adjacent bathrooms and showers. The facilities are co-ed. Food will be prepared by a local cook and meals will be eaten in the research facility's dining room. Fees include full room and board, seminars, airport pick-up/drop-off, excursions, medical insurance, application fee, and administrative costs.

$1,675 per session

Academic Credit

Name of institution offering credit: 
In participation with student's institution
Number of credits offered: none


Contact Information
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