Location: Alcudia, Mallorca, Balearic Islands, Spain
The ArchaeoSpain program at Pollentia, celebrates its 15th year in 2017. Those who join us at the archaeological excavation of Pollentia on the island of Mallorca will work as field crew on the ancient settlement of the city alongside professional archaeologists and university students. We will focus on continuing excavation of the Forum, the heart of any Roman city. Students will contribute to the research that aims to piece together the story of how Roman culture developed across the Mediterranean and specifically in the Balearic Islands.
At the Roman city of Pollentia you will have a complete immersion in the archaeological process. We will tell you about the different methods in surveying, you will be learning the methods and techniques of an archaeological excavation, using tools but also working with stratigraphy, writing down your own excavation diary. Collecting, cleaning and classifying different artefacts will be part of your daily work as well as drawing structures and archaeological materials.
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 successful quest to vanquish pirates from the Mediterranean. Pollentia soon became the main urban settlement on the island, and was named a Roman colony during the reign of Augustus (27 BC to 14).
In the residential area of Sa Portella archaeologists excavated the remains of three houses. Two of the homes bear colorful names: The House of the Bronze Head, because diggers found the bronze head of a young girl in one of the rooms, and the House of the Two Treasures, because of two coin hordes found dating to the mid 3rd century and the late 4th century.
Also built during Augustus’ reign, on the outskirts of the settlement, the theatre's foundations were carved into the bedrock. Eleven rows of seats remain. Following its use as a theatre toward the end of the Empire, Pollentia’s inhabitants used the spot as a cemetery as some of the tombs are visible in the rock.
The ArchaeoSpain group will focus its research and work on the Forum, the city’s public square. 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.
Period(s) of Occupation: Roman
Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: 4 weeks
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.
The hotel, which has free Wifi, is a short drive from some excellent beaches as well.
Please let us know if you are a vegetarian or if you require a special diet so that we may discuss the best way to accommodate your needs.
Academic CreditNumber of credits offered: none
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.