Cova Gran Archaeological Project, Spain: Human Settlement in the South Pyrenees in the Past 50,000 Years – Institute for Field Research

Location: Lleida , ES

Season: June 23, 2019 to July 27, 2019

Application Deadline: April 5, 2019

Deadline Type: Rolling


Program Type:
Field school

RPA Certified:

Institute for Field Research, Connecticut College, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (Spain), Spanish National Research Center for Human Evolution (CENIEH)

Project Director:
Dr. Jorge Martinez-Moreno, Prof. Rafael Mora, Dr. Alfonso Benito-Calvo

Project Description:

Cova Gran de Santa Linya (Lleida, Catalunya) is a rock shelter located at the seam between the first range of the southern Pyrenees and the Ebro Basin. The cave is rich with evidence of human occupation dating to at least as early as 50,000 years ago and continuing through the Late Prehistory. Investigation at the site will allow us to recognize both the evolution of hunting and gathering strategies in the region and recognize important differences between Neanderthals and Modern human adaptive strategies. The deep archaeological sequence at Cova Gran contains animal bones, hearths, and Middle and Upper Paleolithic artifacts. The presence of Early Upper Paleolithic layers in stratigraphic context enable careful examination of two competing models that explains Middle/Upper Paleolithic “transition”: the first suggest continuity and the second suggest population replacement. This program will combine lectures, field survey, excavation and laboratory training. The long human occupation sequence at Cova Gran will provide students with the rare opportunity to explore and document an extensive cultural sequence of the region, beginning ca. 50,000 years ago.

Period(s) of Occupation: Paleolithic & Neolithic

Project Size: 1-24 participants

Minimum Age: 18

Experience Required: No prior experience required.

Room and Board Arrangements:
Students will stay at the Alberg la Cova hostel at Sant Llorenc de Montgai. This village is approximately 30 km north of Lleida (Catalunya, Spain). The building has excellent facilities with communal space, laundry, and Wi-Fi. Students will share communal bedrooms (6-8 people in each room). Alberg la Cova will provide sheets, which will be changed regularly. All members must participate in setting tables for meals and washing up and cleaning common shared spaces after lunch and dinner (living room, bedroom). Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are provided by the program on work days. On free days, students may choose to take their meals at local restaurants in the area. The project accommodates special dietary needs such as celiac, diabetes, and vegetarian. The participant must communicate to project directors to ensure that these, or more challenging dietary needs, can be managed by the house staff. Cost: Room and Board are included in the tuition of the field school.

Academic Credit:
8 Semester Credits credits offered by Connecticut College. Tuition is $4,740.

Contact Information:

Institute for Field Research

2999 Overland Ave. Suite 103

Los Angeles




Phone: 424-209-1173

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