Castelo Velho de Safara – Summer Season 2024 (75£ a day)

Location: 7875 Safara, Portugal

Season: July 14, 2024 to July 28, 2024

Session Dates: 14th to the 28th July 2024

Application Deadline: June 1, 2024

Deadline Type: Exact Date


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 winter we will be focusing on the residential area of this settlement, and we will be digging two Roman Republican houses found last summer.

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

Fee is £75 a day. You can apply for a 2-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. 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

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