ZoritaCastle. Archaeology & Osteology

This listing expired on January 1, 1970. Please contact for any updated information.

Location: C. del Castillo, 14, 19119 Zorita de los Canes, Guadalajara, Spain

Season: June 26, 2024 to August 15, 2024

Session Dates: 1st Session July 7 - 21 2nd Session July 21 - 3 August

Application Deadline: July 1, 2024

Deadline Type: Rolling


Program Type:
Field School

RPA Certified:

ArchaeoSpain Castilla-La Mancha Regional Government

Project Director:
PhD. Dionisio Urbina Complutense University Madrid MA Victor Barrera Complutense University Madrid

Project Description:

The Castle History. 
Between the 9th and 13th centuries, Zorita Castle thrived as a focal point for commerce and military adventures during the wars to take control of Spain between Muslim and Christian armies. Since then, the castle has fallen into obscurity. Geographically unpopular, ignored by academia, and until recently left to crumble. Today the former headquarters of one of Spain’s most important military orders is coming back to life. Since 2014 and overseen by the Heritage Office of the regional Castilla-La Mancha government, Zorita Castle field school teaches students and archaeology lovers from around the world how to conduct an archaeological excavation while uncovering part of the castle history.
The excavation of the graveyard
During the first week the team will continue the excavations at Zorita castle, to fully understand the process of the excavation of a burrial and the importance of the information taken during the excavation process.  The complexity of this graveyard makes of Zorita Castle the perfect  site to start or to gain experience with the archaeology of the death. Once the grave has been located, the strategy for its excavation will be determinated, in orther to obtain all the information from the bones and their position, at the same time, the alterations that the extraction process could cause to the human remains are minimized. The most delicate moment when excavating a grave is the extraction of the skeleton. Care must be taken not to cause damage to the bones and they should be clasified for easy identification in the laboratory, packing and labelling them appropriately. The transportation of the human remains from the tomb to the place where they must be inventoried and studied constitutes a delicate moment in which extreme care must be taken.
The study of the bones
The second week will be dedicated to the study of the human remains discovered at Zorita Castle. After packaging, the bones will be transported to the laboratory where the inventory of each skeleton will be carried out as well as the preparation of the registration forms for each tomb.
For the photographic record of the human remains the reconstruction of the skeleton will be necessary. This process will allow obtaining a first evaluation of the body. Later, the bones will be studied in detail and  marks and pathologies will be analyzed.

Period(s) of Occupation: Medieval

SEMINARS AND WORKSHOPS Afternoon workshop on osteology Afternoons will be dedicated to lab work. Cleaning and cataloging bones will be part of your daily schedule, combined with workshops on: - Introduction to osteology: the human skeleton - Anthropometry. Systematic measurements of standard parameters - Determination of variability. Epigenetic characters (non-metric). - Determination of size and sex. - Determination of age of death - Health of the population: degenerative diseases, deficiency diseases, infectious diseases, traumatic pathologies.

Project Size: 1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: 2 weeks

Minimum Age: 18

Experience Required: None, but apreciated

Room and Board Arrangements:
Zorita de los Canes is a tiny village 90-minute-drive east from Madrid. Located between the castle and the river Tajo, It has a charming little hotel, a restaurant over an old tower and a nice beach next to the remains of an old bridge.  The group, including ArchaeoSpain staff, will be staying at Posada de Zorita Hotel, just five-minute walk down from the castle. The students will be sharing double rooms with bathroom and air conditioning.   Cost: US$ 1,950 session, Fees Include: • Full Room and Board • Fieldwork training • Seminars and workshops • Excursions and other activities • Medical Insurance • Transportation to and from airport • Application fee • Administrative costs Fees DO NOT include airfare

Contact Information:


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Phone: 001 860 881 2227

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