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Roman Forum of Pollentia: High School

Location: Mallorca, Balearic Islands, Spain

July 2, 2017 to July 22, 2017

Application Deadline: 
Thursday, June 15, 2017

Deadline Type: 

Flyer: PDF icon pollentia_high_school_flyer.pdf

Program Type

Field school

RPA certified



Balearic Government and ArchaeoSpain

Project Director:

Dr. Miguel Angel Cau, University of Barcelona; Dr. Esther Chavez, University of La Laguna

Project Description

For more than a decade, the field school at the Roman city of Pollentia on the Mediterranean island of Mallorca has been teaching high school students all aspects of field archaeology.

Students ages 16 and 17 will work as field crew alongside Spanish archaeologists and university students. Our classroom will be the excavation of the ancient city's Forum.

Over the years archaeologists have uncovered the remains of several temples, platforms, and altars, in addition to an open space lined with tabernae (shops). The constant activity in antiquity in the Forum makes for a complicated but exciting archaeological project, and each year's work helps clarify the chronology of the structures being uncovered. Archaeologists at Pollentia have also excavated more than 200 graves dug into the Forum layers, suggesting that the plaza ceased to be used as such sometime during the 4th century. Participants at this site will contribute to the research of the introduction and development of the Roman culture across the Mediterranean and specifically in the Balearic Islands.

Roman consul Quintus Caecilius Metellus conquered Mallorca around 123 BC and it is thought that Pollentia was founded between 70 and 60 BC during Pompey's bid to vanquish pirates from the Mediterranean. Pollentia soon became the main urban settlement on the island, named a Roman colony during the reign of Augustus.

ArchaeoSpain students will learn about excavation methodology and stratigraphy, mapping, photography, and the conservation and cataloguing of artifacts. Archaeologists will also hold several conferences on Pollentia's archaeology, plus a few workshops that cover drawing pottery by hand and archaeological mapping.

We will also experience Spain away from the picks and shovels by relaxing on the island's beaches, sitting at a cafe, or touring several nearby pre-historic, Roman, and Medieval sites of interest.

Period(s) of Occupation: Roman, Medieval

The archaeological field school at the Roman city of Pollentia on the Mediterranean island of Mallorca is specifically geared toward teaching high school students all aspects of an archaeological dig. Our crew will be working alongside professional archaeologists as we excavate the Roman city's Forum. We will also spend time cleaning and processing artifacts, hold talks on Spanish history and archaeology, visit nearby historical sites, and enjoy the island's beaches.

Project size: 
1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: 3 weeks

Minimum age: 

Experience required: 

Room and Board Arrangements

The group, including ArchaeoSpain staff, will be staying at a hotel in the center of Alcudia, a walled, medieval town.

The hotel is about a five-minute walk from the excavation and students will be sharing double and triple rooms with air conditioning and TV. Meals will be eaten at the hotel restaurant, and an arrangement will be made to provide us with the mid-workday snack.
Breakfast in Spain is a light meal, while lunch is more substantial, eaten around 2pm. Dinner is at 9pm.

$ 3,870 3 weeks

Academic Credit

Number of credits offered: none


Contact Information
41 Crossroads Plaza, Suite 133
West Hartford
Recommended Bibliography: 

Orfila Pons, M.; Chavez Alvarez, M. E.; Cau Ontiveros, M. A. "Pollentia and the Cities of the Balearic Islands." Early Roman Towns in Hispania Tarraconensis, Journal of Roman Archaeology Supplementary Series, 62 (2006). Portsmouth, Rhode Island. pp. 133-145.