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Roman Forum of Pollentia: High School Archaeology

Location: Alcudia, Mallorca, Spain

July 3, 2016 to July 31, 2016

Application Deadline: 
Monday, June 15, 2015

Deadline Type: 

Flyer: PDF icon pollentia_2016.pdf

Program Type

Field school



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: 4 weeks

Minimum age: 

Experience required: 

Room and Board Arrangements

Participants will stay in a hotel in the center of Alcudia, a walled, Medieval town. The site is a short walk from the hotel. Students will share rooms for 2-3 people. Each room has air conditioning and a TV. There is also free Wifi at the hotel.

Meals will be eaten at the hotel restaurant. The cost includes full room and board, airport pick-up/drop-off on the first and last days of the program, historical excursions, seminars, medical insurance, application fee, and administrative costs. Airfare is not included.


Academic Credit

Number of credits offered: none


Contact Information
5 Ironwood Lane
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.