New course 2019!! Archaeological Fieldwork in the ancient city of Petra (Petra – Jordan)

Location: Petra, Jordan, JO

Season: July 14, 2019 to September 3, 2019

Session Dates: #01 - July 14th - July 29th #02 - August 1st - August 16th #03 - August 19th - September 3rd

Application Deadline: April 10, 2019

Deadline Type: Contact for details


Program Type:
Field school

RPA Certified:

The Sanisera Archaeology Institute for International Field Schools offers over 20 international courses focusing on archaeology, anthropology, GIS, underwater archaeology, conservation, art, museums and archaeological film. Student's fieldwork centers on the survey and excavation of classical sites. - See more at:

Project Director:
Fernando Contreras & Tatiana Valente

Project Description:

1.General Information

Petra prospered in the first centuries BC and AD and was the capital of the Nabatean Empire. It was a major trading route of incense, myrrh and spices connecting ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt. Petra was later annexed to the Roman Empire by Trajan in 106AD, until its abandonment in the early 8th century.

Petra is a fascinating and beautiful ancient city located in south western Jordan. The Nabateans buried their dead in intricate tombs –Bab Al Siq, Al Khazna, The Royals Tombs– which were cut out of the mountain sides. The city had also the temples –Qasr al-Bint, Great Temple, Ad Deir– a theatre, a colonnaded street and churches following the Roman annexation and later the Byzantine influence.

The Treasury (Al Khazna) is the most significant façade. It is almost 40 meters high and decorated with Corinthian capitals. The Treasury is crowned by a funerary urn constructed in the first century BC. The Monastery (Ad Deir) is one of the largest monuments in Petra and was used for the meetings of religious associations. The Monastery dates to the early 2nd century AD. 

Petra is an UNESCO world heritage site since 1985, and it was announced as one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

The Sanisera Archaeology Institute for International Field Schools has just been given the amazing opportunity to expand the Sanisera field school to Petra, Jordan. At the site of Hirbat Braq on collaboration with the Petra Archaeological Park (Petra Development & Tourism Region Authority) and Al-Hussein Bin Talal University (Petra College for Tourism & Archaeology).

The site Hirbat Braq is approximately located 2km to the south east of Petra and 1km to the south of the out skirts of the town Wadi Musa, its highest point is at 1338m and its lowest point is at 1316m above the sea level. Hirbat Braq covers an area of 1.5 hectares. Hirbat Braq has a important presence of ceramic from the occupation of the Nabataean Kingdom, Roman and Byzantine empires, dating from the 3rd century BC to the early 8th century AD. The many structural remains of the site include a temple in the middle of the site, numerous stone wall terraces and cisterns that have collapsed over the time. The study of this site will help us greatly to understand and reconstruct the human occupation and traffic on the outskirts of the Petra and the trade in the region.

Period(s) of Occupation: Classical Archaeology & Conservation

The training provided in this course and experience can strengthen the university students’ ability to perform in an archaeological professional level, being directed to both participants, with or without previous archaeological experience. The student will be able to learn from basic principles of archaeological excavations and laboratory research, without any previous experience required. You can learn from the beginning excavation techniques and methodology. During the excavation you will find archaeological remains from the classical period including Roman pottery, amphorae, glass, etc. that you will learn how to identify in the laboratory. The comprehensive experience that you will gain in this course will help you to decide if you want to pursue archaeology in university or as a profession. Previous knowledge or experience in archaeology or computer systems is not required.

Project Size: 1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: 16 days

Minimum Age: 18 (contact with questions about age)

Experience Required: No

Room and Board Arrangements:
On a normal working day at the Field School, students wake up in the morning and have breakfast at the students’ residence before the staff members pick them up with the vans. Once there, students devote 4 hours to fieldwork, where they learn proper excavation techniques to improve their skills, while they dig in different buildings in an area of the city.  During fieldwork students recover the materials located in the rooms and other contexts, including tons of Roman ceramics such as amphorae and fine wares, glass wares, faunal remains and metal pieces such as adornments, tools and coins. After fieldwork we go to the Field School center, where students have a sandwich break to get some energy back! Our center holds the laboratories, where students work with the Roman pottery found on site. The main aim is to wash, label, classify and prepare the materials’ inventories. Also, students are given lectures on Roman pottery typologies (both for amphorae and fine wares), History of the site, archaeological practice and methodology and Classical History. It runs 7 hours a day, and is divided between excavation, lab work, exercises, and lectures. For every seven course days, there are two days off. The course is taught in English. Cost: $2450 per session

Contact Information:

Aida Roman


Es Mercadal




Phone: (34) 699 680 513

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