Archaeological fieldwork in the “Circular Monument” of Carthage (Carthage, Tunisia), May – June, $ 2300

COVID-19 NOTICE: Please be sure to reach out to the project contact to find out the status of their upcoming season. Many projects have altered fieldwork plans and the information below may not reflect that.

Location: 10 Bd de l'Environnement, Site archéologique de Carthage, Tunisia

Season: May 1, 2021 to June 26, 2021

Session Dates: Session #1 2022 | May 01 – May 15 $ 2300 Session #2 2022 | May 15 – May 29 $ 2300 Session #3 2022 | May 29 – June 12 $ 2300 Session #4 2022 | June 12 – June 26 $ 2300

Application Deadline: December 9, 2022

Deadline Type: Contact for Details


Program Type:
Field School, Volunteer

RPA Certified:

Sanisera Archaeology Institute

Project Director:
The fieldschool promoted by the Sanisera Archaeology Institute will be developed in collaboration with the Scuola Archeologica Italiana di Cartagine (SAIC) and the Institut National du Patrimoine (INAP), which will supervise the development of the archaeological project.

Project Description:

The Sanisera Archaeology Institute for International Field Schools offers an annual international archaeology program. Since then it has organized courses for students who come from all over the world to study abroad and who are interested in archaeology, anthropology and osteology.

The purpose of this course is focused on the practical archaeological training of fieldwork excavation of the well-known area called circular monument that integrates a very outstanding and unique architectural center complex of the archaeological zone of Carthage that was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1979.

The circular monument is located a short distance from the Roman theater, on the hill of the Odeon, dominating in a privileged way the maritime plain of Carthage, configuring an outstanding religious complex of Christian worship that integrates an unpublished basilica yet to be discovered and investigated.

The circular monument has been partially excavated in several campaigns. In 1951 by A. Lézine, and, from 1974 to 1983, by P. Senay. The building was built in the late 4th century AD and it is supposed that it could have been a complex of martyrdom, with highly revered relics, and that perhaps it was dedicated to Saint Cyprian.

The monument measures 38.60 meters long from east to west and 31.20 meters wide from north to south. Between the 5th and 7th centuries AD it underwent several reforms. Later it was abandoned and its space was used as a funerary burial place.

The architectural plan of the monument bears similarities to the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem, the Church of the Nativity, in Bethlehem, and has even come to be compared to the Church of Saint Constance in Rome.

The dig at the circular monument a 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 in the Late Antiquity period from the IV century AD to the VII AD.

Carthage was founded around 814 BC as one of the Phoenician ports in the western Mediterranean that were created to facilitate the trade of the cities of Sidon, Tire and other cities of Phenicia that were located on the coast of what is now Syria, Lebanon and Israel.

The city was called Qart-Hadash (new city), and it grew to become the most powerful city in the Mediterranean. His supremacy was challenged by Rome through conflicts known as the Punic Wars (264-146 BC) that Carthage repeatedly lost. After the last Punic conflict, Rome destroyed the city and founded on its rubble, a new city, to which it gave the name of Carthage and erected it as the capital of the Roman province of Africa.

In the time of the Emperor Hadrian, it became the second most important city in the Roman Empire, after Rome with a population of almost half a million inhabitants. Among its great buildings are the circus, the theater, the amphitheater, the aqueduct and the Antonine Baths.

In the 3rd century Christianity began to consolidate in Carthage, with its own bishopric and the presence of illustrious figures from the early church such as Saint Cyprian, Tertullian and Saint Agustin.

Carthage, suffered several episodes of conquests. The first was from the Vandal Germanic tribe, who made the city the capital of the Vandal kingdom from 439 AD. In 533 AD it was reconquered by the eastern Roman world of Byzantium, becoming the capital of the Byzantine government of the North African provinces.

Currently, Tunisia is one of the richest countries in archaeological remains, citing among them the classical city of Dougga. It also highlights the amphitheater of El Djem, which was the third largest amphitheater in the world, after those of Rome and Capua. And in Carthage, it is exhibited in the Bardo Museum, the collection considered the most important in the world in Roman mosaics.

From the 4th century, various types of Christian buildings were developed all over Tunisia: basilicas, cathedrals, baptisteries, martyrium (for the cult of martyrs) or funerary chapels, votive chapels, crypts, etc. To imagine the wealth of heritage, just thinking of Carthage, the city had 24 basilicas.

Directed at

The training provided in this course and the experience you can acquire can strengthen you if you are thinking about archaeology in a professional level.

If you are contemplating for the first time to be a volunteer in an archaeology field school, this course could be right for you. This program accommodates participants with or without previous experience.

You can learn from the beginning excavation techniques and methodology. During the excavation you will find archaeological remains from the classical period including Roman pottery, amphorae, glass, etc. that you will learn how to identify in the laboratory.

The comprehensive experience that you will gain in this course will help you to decide if you want to pursue archaeology in university or as a profession.

What you will learn

In the Fieldwork:

  • How to dig and which archaeological techniques are used.
  • Use and handling of the tools that are used during the excavation process.
  • Basic principies of stratigraphy.
  • Recording the data obtained during the excavation using the Harris Method.
  • Practice on the recognition of archaeological materials and Roman finds from the IV century AD – VII AD.
  • Basic procedures for sample collection.

In the Laboratory

  • Study and typological classification of archaeological objects of Roman archaeology: ceramics, numismatics, faunal remains, metals and glass.
  • Relative dating based on the classification of archaeological objects discovered in stratigraphic sequence.


  • History, archaeology, economy and culture of the Roman civilization.
  • Introduction to the History of the Carthage Site.
  • Tunisia archaeology.

Field School life & language

The fieldwork focuses on Classical archaeology, and specifically on Roman archaeology.

On a normal work day at the field school, students have an early breakfast in the student residence. Once at the archaeological site, students dedicate 4 hours to field work, where they learn proper excavation techniques to improve their skills, while digging in different sectors.

During fieldwork students recover the materials located in the rooms and other contexts, including pottery such as amphorae and fine wares, glass wares, faunal remains and metal pieces such as adornments, tools and coins.

After fieldwork we go to the Field School center, where students have a sandwich break to get some energy back! Our center holds the laboratories, where students work with the Roman pottery found on site. The main aim is to wash, label, classify and prepare the materials’ inventories. Also, students are given lectures on Roman pottery typologies (both for amphorae and fine wares), History of the site, archaeological practice and methodology and Classical History in the Mediterranean.

It runs 7 hours a day, and is divided between excavation, lab work, exercises, and lectures. For every seven course days, there are two days off.

The course is taught in English.

Sessions & Cost

Sessions Dates Cost
Session #1 2022 | May 01 – May 15 $ 2300
Session #2 2022 | May 15 – May 29 $ 2300
Session #3 2022 | May 29 – June 12 $ 2300
Session #4 2022 | June 12 – June 26 $ 2300

Period(s) of Occupation: The "circular monument" of Carthage provides all the archaeological documentation necessary for the student to acquire enough training and experience in all aspects surrounding an excavation of the Late Antiquity period from the 4th - 8th centuries AD.

Certificates - 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.

Project Size: 1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: 15

Minimum Age: 18 and young students between 16 and 18 years old can apply with special permission from their parents.

Experience Required: Previous knowledge or experience in archaeology.

Room and Board Arrangements:
Course fee • Course tuition. • Accident insurance at the Carthage archaeological site. • Certificate of participation. • Accommodation in the Student Residency in Carthage. • Scrupulous daily cleaning of the entire residence by professionals with hygienic products against Covid. • Following the protection measures, the staff will ensure that the use of the mask covering the nose and mouth is mandatory throughout the day, whether during field work, laboratory activities or visits. In the common spaces of the residence it will also be mandatory. If any participant does not follow these rules, they will be expelled from the course. • Each participant upon arrival at the facilities of Sanisera Archeology Institute, will sign a responsible statement in accordance with the preventive measures of COVID and that in case of discomfort or symptoms that both he and the staff consider may be harmful to the rest of the participants, they must go to a medical assistance center to diagnose your condition. Airfare not included from the student home to/from Carthage (Tunisia). Entry tickets to museums and historical buildings are not included either. Catering will be provided for the main meal the day after the daily field school activities. The kitchen catering will take into account allergies, vegetarian diet and religions. The cost of this service will be 150 dollars that will be delivered on the first day of the course and will be optional for the convenience of the participant. Payment is not mandatory if the participant is not interested.

Academic Credit:

Contact Information:

Fernando Contreras Rodrigo

Apdo. 68

Es Mercadal




Phone: +34 608894650

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