Caladinho Archaeological Project 2024: Excavation Of A Late Iron Age/Early Roman Watchtower

Location: 7170 Redondo, Portugal

Season: July 6, 2024 to July 27, 2024

Session Dates: July 6 to July 27, 2024

Application Deadline: April 12, 2024

Deadline Type: Rolling


Program Type:
Field School

RPA Certified:

Western Iberia Archaeology

Project Director:
Dr. Joey Williams, University of Oklahoma; Rui Mataloto, Camara Municipal de Redondo; Karilyn Sheldon, Western Iberia Archaeology

Project Description:

The Caladinho Archaeological Project is seeking qualified applicants for its seventh season of excavation at the site of Caladinho, Portugal. The 2017-2019 fieldwork seasons at Caladinho built on previous recording of small forts and tower enclosures in the Alto Alentejo region. The 2022-2024 seasons continue to explore the remains of the Roman occupation on the hilltop, and to investigate the domestic spaces associated with the tower. Caladinho is the first example of one of these small, fortified, rural structures to be systematically excavated in Alentejo. As such, the primary goal of this project is the identification of the inhabitants, the chronology of the site’s occupation, and its place within the larger region. In previous summers, our team uncovered the remains of a fortified structure related to the Roman colonization of the region in the 1st century B.C.E. along with ample evidence for increasing contact with Mediterranean markets and a prehistoric occupation on the same hilltop. This upcoming season of fieldwork will complete the excavation of Caladinho’s domestic spaces. Following the completion of excavation at Caladinho, we plan to open limited test pits at other towers nearby.

Given that many similar structures dot the Alentejan landscape, Caladinho’s position within the larger regional context is quite important to its interpretation. These small, fortified structures appear at the moment of the colonial encounter between Romans and indigenous Lusitanians. Large-scale survey of the Alentejo has revealed numerous archaeological sites which, when considered together, paint a picture of indigenous resistance, imperial acquisition, and a complex negotiation of territorial and ideological boundaries. By contextualizing Caladinho as part of a larger, regional response to colonial action, we hope to shed light on the processes, responses, and entanglements which resulted from the Roman reorganization of this region.

Field school students will receive instruction in excavation techniques, the handling and processing of artifacts, and the drawing of exposed areas and features. No prior archaeological experience is necessary.

Period(s) of Occupation: Iron Age/late Roman Republic, early Roman Empire

Excavation, Roman surveillance, colonization, Romanization, ancient watchtowers, ceramics analysis, Portugal, Lusitania, Caladinho, army, military

Project Size: 1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: 3 weeks

Minimum Age: 18

Experience Required: No experience required

Room and Board Arrangements:
Housing: Students are housed in the town of Redondo, Portugal, very near to the archaeological site. Space is communal, and most rooms house two or more students (sometimes in bunk beds). Sleeping arrangements are separated by gender. We share a kitchen, bathrooms, washing machine, and living room, and so we also share the responsibility of cleaning these spaces. Meals: The project provides three meals per day on weekdays. Breakfast is provided at the dig house, and students are expected to prepare it themselves. Lunch is served at a local restaurant, and dinner is provided by other local restaurants but eaten at home. Students should expect to eat the traditional cuisine of the Alentejo region. We make every effort to accommodate vegetarians, but any participant with special dietary requirements or food allergies must contact us before the beginning of the project. On weekends, students should expect to provide their own meals. Redondo has some restaurants that stay open on weekends, and there are two grocery stores in town as well as numerous cafes and shops. Since we often take field trips on weekends, students have the opportunity to sample the restaurants of other towns and regions. Transportation: The project provides transportation while students are in Portugal. Students must purchase their own plane tickets to and from Lisbon, Portugal. We meet students at the Lisbon airport when they arrive and bring them to Redondo, Portugal. At the end of their two-week or four-week session, we also transport students back to Lisbon, either directly to the airport or elsewhere in the city if they are planning on a longer stay after the project. Please be sure to inform us of your travel plans as far in advance as possible! The Town of Redondo: Redondo is a small and very friendly community. Students have ample opportunity to explore the town during their free time. Free wireless internet connections are available at the community center (closed on Mondays). If you want to make use of this connection you'll need to bring your own laptop. We also have access to the local community pool -- so bring your swimsuits! Small shops, great little museums, plenty of pottery workshops and the nearby countryside make this lovely community an ideal place for your first - or second, or third - experience in field archaeology. Cost: Tuition is $1800 for 3 weeks, and includes room, board (on weekdays), and the cost of transportation within Portugal. Participants are responsible for their own plane tickets to and from Lisbon. Students must provide their own medical insurance.

Contact Information:

Dr Joey Williams

650 Parrington Oval




United States

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