Castelo Velho de Safara – Summer Season 2023 (65£ a day)

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: 7875 Safara, Portugal

Season: July 2, 2023 to July 30, 2023

Session Dates: 2nd to 30th July 2023

Application Deadline: June 2, 2023

Deadline Type: Rolling


Program Type:
Field School

RPA Certified:

South-West Archaeology Digs (SWAD)

Project Director:
Mariana Nabais

Project Description:

Castelo Velho de Safara is an Iron Age and Roman Republican site (dating from the 4th to the 1st century BC). It is located in the south of Portugal, at the confluence of the rivers Ardila and Safareja. Positioned on a hilltop in a commanding position, it presents defensive walls and three ditches.

The residential area seems to be divided according to status, and evidence of metal work on site is confirmed. The site might have served as a trading post with important connections to the nearby mines of copper and silver, and with manufactured products from the Eastern Mediterranean. Castelo Velho de Safara has been known about since the 1970s, but no archaeological excavation has been conducted until 2018.

This summer we will be digging the defensive ditches and also the residential area of this settlement.

Period(s) of Occupation: Iron Age (4th century BC) Roman Republican (1st century BC)

Fee is £65 a day. You can apply for a 2- or 4-week stay.

Project Size: 1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: 2 weeks

Minimum Age: 18

Experience Required: None

Room and Board Arrangements:
Room: SWAD staff and students are provided with accommodation in a shared house in Safara, in the village centre. The house has four bedrooms that accommodate three or four students each. The kitchen, the two bathrooms, the living room and the terrace are also shared, so it is the group’s responsibility to keep them clean and tidy. A rota with basic cleaning tasks will be designed to be carried out by all participants. You can get public wi-fi at the village’s main square (a two-minute walk from the house). Board: Three meals and a morning snack are provided on working days. Breakfast will happen at home and students will prepare it themselves. Every participant should prepare a morning snack before leaving the house in the morning, which commonly consists of a cheese sandwich and fruit. Lunch and dinner will be in the village centre, in Casa do Povo. We will do our best to accommodate students with special dietary requirements or food allergies, but those candidates must contact us before the beginning of the project. Students will have the pleasure of eating traditional Portuguese food from the Alentejo region.

Academic Credit:
We are happy to sign any forms you may need so you can get academic credit. University College London undergraduate students are automatically credited.

Contact Information:

Mariana Nabais



Phone: +351 91 608 40 80

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