Archaeology of Violence in the Spanish Civil War.

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 cancelled fieldwork for 2020 and the information below may not reflect that.

Location: Escamplero, 33191 Escamplero, Asturias, Spain

Season: July 5, 2021 to July 18, 2021

Session Dates: First two weeks of July

Application Deadline: June 18, 2021

Deadline Type: Exact Date


Program Type:
Field School

RPA Certified:

Asociación Española de Arqueología Militar (Spanish Association of Military Archaeology)

Project Director:
Alfonso Fanjul Peraza. Phd. in Archaeology, Autonomous University of Madrid; Degree in Prehistory, University of Salamanca; Degree in History, University of Oviedo; President, Spanish Association of Military Archaeology; Manager, Cuetu Civil War Museum, Lugones, Asturias; Recipient, several cultural research awards; Manager, numerous archaeological excavations relating to the Spanish Civil War.

Project Description:

Our main objective is to document Asturias’ war and conflict history through archaeological research. We examine valuable information and material through a scientific perspective, in a non-political manner that allows a neutral examination of past conflict throughout the region.

We often excavate trenches that saw wartime action in the Battle of Oviedo in 1936-7. These trenches are generally located along the mountains surrounding the city, where both the Nationalist and Communist troops were positioned. This summer season, we will be focusing our excavations on the battlefield of Escamplero. Here, we will be excavating a communist first fire line trench.

The Escamplero is a low mountain pass that connects the western side of Asturias with the city of Oviedo. The Republican troops took to the location in the attempt to prevent the arrival of Nationalist troops to break the siege on the city.  When Nationalists tried to take over the pass, a large battle ensued to defend the Escamplero of their assault.

Period(s) of Occupation: Spanish Civil War (1936-1939).

Getting to Oviedo Or you flight to London, Paris, Lisbon were they have direct flights to Oviedo/Asturias airport, or you flight to Madrid and you pick up a bus. You can buy a bus ticket from the ALSA bus company. These buses leave out of Terminal 4 (there will be signs to direct you) and the journey is usually 6 hours (Don’t worry, there is a toilet!). It is best to buy your bus ticket a week or two BEFOREHAND, or as soon as you know your flight schedule, as these buses tend to fill up. This bus will take you to the Oviedo City bus station (Estación de Autobuses de Oviedo). Give us your estimated arrival time, and we will be there to pick you up! How to Apply? Just an email telling who you are and you would reserve a vacancy when you buy your flight ticket and you send us a copy of it, so we know for sure that you are definitely coming here. Some important things more: Arriving and leaving dates. It´s not a problem if you arrive one day early or you leave one day late, you have a place at home so its not a problem to stay. First day. On the evening of Thursday 29 of June we will do a small walk inside of the city of Oviedo for an introduction of the battle and the project, them we will go to a traditional asturian dinner, so it would be important to be here on that introduction day. Language. All the team speaks English so if you don´t know Spanish its not a problem. Weather. In northen Spain it can be rainy and a bit cold specially on evenings. You will need some clothes to work under the rain. Isurance. Always needed just in case you need some visit to the local hospital. Sleeping bag. We have a few rooms and bathrooms in the house but depending on the number of students perhaphs you´ll have just a mattress and blankets to sleep so I recommend you to take a basic sleeping bag also with you. The region. Asturias is a "Celtic" region of Northen Spain far away of the topics of flamenco and bullfighting, here we have backpipes and the cider is the regional drink. You have a helpfull website on the region in the web: Weekend trips. We are very flexible on the weekend visits. We have a big amount of different archaeological sites from different ages that we can visit, from prehistoric caves with paintings, celtic hillforts, roman ruins,... so normally I tell the members of the team about the options and you all together decide what you prefer to see that day. If the weather is good someday we stop in the beach after working or in the weekend trip. The coast is just 40 minutes drive from Oviedo. WORK SCHEDULE On the first day there will be a guided tour of the ruins of the old city, as an introduction to the project, and on the same day talks will be given on the history of the area, the work schedule for the project and safety guidelines for the works. Team members will work five days a week, leaving a day free to visit the battlefield and a rest day. Work at the street will begin at 7am on weekdays in order to avoid high midday temperatures. In the afternoon, after the lunch break, there will be laboratory tasks and a series of seminars on different aspects of the Spanish Civil War. Between lunch and the laboratory work, team members will have access to the municipal swimming pool. Dinner will be in a local restaurant.

Project Size: 1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers:

Minimum Age: 18

Experience Required: Experience non required

Room and Board Arrangements:
ACCOMODATION Accommodation will be provided in the town. IMPORTANT NOTES: Travel insurance: It is essential to have travel insurance. Climate and clothing: Due to high temperatures, you will need only summer clothing and you will need to bring sunscreen. FEE The fee for 14 days of fieldwork is €1000. This includes accommodation, three meals a day, work materials, and various lectures and cultural excursions. What does a typical day look like? We head out to the site around 9 am in the morning, arriving between 9:30 and 10. There, we will set up continue our excavations until around 1 pm, where we will take a lunch break on site. Depending on weather and the day’s progress, we generally start to pack up and leave around 5 pm. After arriving back at the house (and having a much needed shower), we organize our day’s findings and begin cleaning and documenting the artifacts. Monday through Saturday we are out in the field carrying out excavations. Sunday is our day off, and if car space allows, we will take day trips to surrounding areas, be it a beach and seaside village, or visiting other archaeological sites such as hillforts or Neolithic caves. BOOKING YOUR PLACE: Contact the director, Alfonso Fanjul. Email.

Academic Credit:
A certificate of 110 hours of fieldwork experience - lectures on Conflict archaeology will be given by the Spanish Association of Military Archaeology

Contact Information:

Alfonso Fanjul






support Us

The AIA is North America's largest and oldest nonprofit organization dedicated to archaeology. The Institute advances awareness, education, fieldwork, preservation, publication, and research of archaeological sites and cultural heritage throughout the world. Your contribution makes a difference.

Post a Fieldwork Opportunity