2016 Biological Anthropology & Dig in Sanisera (Menorca, Balearic Islands –Spain-)

Location: Es Mercadal, Menorca, Balearic Islands, Spain

April 12, 2016 to November 14, 2016

Session dates: 
1) April 12 – April 29; 2) May 01 – May 18; 3) May 21 – June 07; 4) June 10 – June 27; 5) June 30 – July 17; 6) July 20 – August 06; 7) August 09 – August 26; 8) August 29 – September 15; 9) September 18 – October 05; 10) October 08 – October 25; 11) October 28 – November 14

Application Deadline: 
Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Deadline Type: 
Contact for details

Flyer: PDF icon 0102016.pdf

Program Type

Field school



The Sanisera Archaeology Institute for International Field Schools offers over 20 international courses focusing on archaeology, anthropology, GIS, underwater archaeology, conservation, art, museums and archaeological film. Student's fieldwork centers on the survey and excavation of classical sites. - See more at: http://archaeology.institute

Project Director:

Fernando Contreras, Bernardo Vila and Julie Thomas

Project Description

Sanisera Archaeology Institute for International Field Schools

General Information


In 2008 the Sanisera Archaeology Institute for International Field Schools started its courses at the Roman city of Sanisera. During all these years many students have come from all over the world to study abroad to Menorca (Balearic Islands, Spain) in order to dig up the Roman remains located at this classical site on the Northern coast of the island.

We recommend this field school to those students interested in bioanthropology, osteology, digging remains of the roman cities and classical archaeology.

This course is divided in two parts. In this way, students can learn and experiment in both archaeological digs, developed in the land site: Digging in the Roman city and Biological Anthropology in the tombs of Sanisera.

Part 1. Digging in Sanisera

The research is focused on the archaeological excavation of Sanisera and it studies what happened in this Roman port connected to the maritime traffic that sailed the Mediterranean during those times. As a result, we know that this is a very interesting archaeological site, with abundant findings of multiple artifacts that will help us to reconstruct its past.

The excavation at the Roman city of Sanisera provides all the archaeological documentation necessary for the student to acquire enough training and experience in all aspects involving an excavation of the Roman civilization from the II century B.C. to the VI A.D.

Time dedicated to this part of the program: 50%.

Part 2. Digging roman graves in the Necropolis of Sanisera

Death in Rome has been studied in Sanisera since we started digging the first necropolis in 2008. So far we have excavated 90 tombs belonging to a Roman cemetery which could have been related to a basilica in the Roman city if Sanisera, which dates from the 4th and 6th centuries AD. The Osteology corpus in this necropolis includes more than 232 individuals.

The fieldwork focuses on funerary structures, specifically inhumation graves. Participants will learn and apply excavation techniques used in biological anthropology when excavating tombs. Students will also participate in lectures on skeletal anatomy and pathologies, classes, exercises and excursions related to the course material. In the laboratory participants will be instructed by an anthropologist and other archaeologists in the classification, study, and conservation of human remains and other related materials found.

Time dedicated to this part of the program: 50%.

Directed at

If you have not previously participated as a volunteer in a field school and would like to experiment and gain knowledge with different excavation techniques and methodology during 18 days in two distinctly different sites, this course would be a good option for you.

It is difficult to find a course that allows you to explore both biological anthropology and archaeology where you can gain experience and knowledge in both excavating tombs with human remains and techniques used in excavating Roman structures.

You will experiment in both archaeology and biological anthropology, two areas with many similarities, but also many differences when excavating and treating recovered archaeological material in the laboratory.

At the end of this program you will have experience in both areas and will be able to better decide what path is best for you; biological anthropology or archaeology.

Both of the excavation sites are located on the northern coast of the island, surrounded by the sea and pristine and dramatic Mediterranean landscapes. 

Previous knowledge or experience in archaeology or computer systems is not required.

Student Testimonials

Video 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tnY3oRBu_Fo

Video 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Mg46RhSt-s

Field School life & language

Participants will also be given lectures on methodology, Roman archaeology, Biological anthropology and classification of archaeological materials.  Participants will visit other archaeological sites on the island through organized excursions. Courses are given in both English and Spanish. For every seven course days there are two days off.


At the end of the Field Program, students will receive a certificate of participation stating the hours and activities of the course. Participants that perform exceedingly well in the course may receive a letter of recommendation from our organization upon request.

Sessions & Cost




Session #1

2016 | April 12 – April 29

$ 900

Session #2

2016 | May 01 – May 18 

$ 1100

Session #3

2016 | May 21 – June 07

$ 1200

Session #4

2016 | June 10 – June 27

$ 1200

Session #5

2016 | June 30 – July 17

$ 1200

Session #6

2016 | July 20 – August 06

$ 1200

Session #7

2016 | August 09 – August 26

$ 1200

Session #8

2016 | August 29 – September 15

$ 1200

Session #9

2016 | September 18 – October 05 

$ 1200

Session #10

2016 | October 08  – October 25 

$ 900

Session #11

2016 | October 28  – November 14

$ 900

Spaces available

The course is limited to 8 participants per session. Reservations are only effective when payment of the registration fee is received. If for any reason the course is cancelled, payment is returned according to the field school refund policy.

Period(s) of Occupation: Roman (Classical Archaeology)

This course focuses on the excavation and study of both the urban structures of the Roman city of Sanisera and the excavation of inhumation tombs from the classical period. In the laboratory students will learn to classify artifacts found, including Roman pottery, numismatics and faunal remains.

Project size: 
1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: 18 days

Minimum age: 
18 (contact with questions about age)

Experience required: 

Room and Board Arrangements

  • Course tuition
  • Accommodation in the Student Residency in Ciutadella. Two to six per room.
  • Walking distance to the historic center, port and beaches
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  • Morning snack at the Sanisera site.
  • Accident insurance at the site.
  • Daily transportation to/from the archaeological fieldwork.
  • Excursions.
  • Certificate of participation

Airfare not included from the student home to/from Menorca (Spain).

From $900 and $1200 per session

Academic Credit

Name of institution offering credit: 
Please, contact Felipe Esteban, our course coordinator, in order to get more information about this possibility sanisera@arrakis.es
Number of credits offered: none


Contact Information
Felipe Esteban
Es Mercadal
+1 347 8710963