Santa Susana Archaeological Project: Excavation and Survey of a Roman Villa

Location: Redondo, PT

Season: June 2, 2024 to July 6, 2024

Session Dates: June 2 - June 16, June 16 - July 6, June 2 - July 6

Application Deadline: May 1, 2024

Deadline Type: Rolling


Program Type:
Field School

RPA Certified:

Western Iberia Archaeology

Project Director:
Dr. Emma Ljung, Princeton University, Rui Mataloto, Camara Municipal de Redondo, and Dr. Joey Williams, University of Oklahoma

Project Description:

The Santa Susana Archaeological Project is seeking applicants for its tenth season.

This site, never before systematically excavated, holds a villa complex central to our understanding of the complex processes of settlement in the Western Roman Empire, and the post-depositional processes that shape our access to the ancient world. Preliminary work at the site suggests a rich artifact assemblage dating to the first century B.C.E through the fifth century C.E.

In our tenth season, continuation of our intensive survey will provide targets for subsequent excavation in the pars urbana. The territory around the Roman villa will be carefully mapped and ceramics collected. Visible architectural features both within the villa complex and around it will be cleaned, mapped, photographed, and drawn. Several areas will be excavated, giving students the opportunity to excavate concomitantly with the survey, as well as to conserve previously excavated structures and features. Excavation will run for the duration of the field season, as will the survey. In our tenth season, intensive surface survey of the greater Santa Susana territory will be complemented with aerial photography, GPR, magnetometry, and GIS.

Students will receive instruction in surveying techniques, excavation, the handling and processing of artifacts including drawing, and the recording of exposed architectural and geological features. No prior archaeological experience is necessary but a cheerful “can do” attitude is essential, since field work and conservation in a hot environment can be tiring.

Students with a particular interest in learning the ins and outs of field archaeology and survey and their connection to the “classroom study” of classical archaeology are especially encouraged to apply.

Period(s) of Occupation: Roman Period.

Excavation, intensive survey, aerial photography, GIS, UAVs, data processing, ceramics analysis.

Project Size: 1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: Two weeks

Minimum Age: None

Experience Required: No experience required.

Room and Board Arrangements:
Housing: Students are housed in the town of Redondo, Portugal, near to the archaeological site. Space is communal, and most rooms house two or more students (sometimes in bunk beds). Sleeping arrangements are separated by gender. We share a kitchen, bathrooms, washing machine, and living room, and so we also share the responsibility of cleaning these spaces. Meals: The project provides three meals per day on weekdays. Breakfast is provided at the dig house, and students are expected to prepare it themselves. Lunch is served at a local restaurant, and dinner is provided by other local restaurants but eaten at home. Students should expect to eat the traditional cuisine of the Alentejo region. We make every effort to accommodate vegetarians, but any participant with special dietary requirements or food allergies must contact us before the beginning of the project. On weekends, students should expect to provide their own meals. Redondo has some restaurants that stay open on weekends, and there are two major grocery stores in town as well as numerous cafes and shops. Since we take field trips every weekend, students have the opportunity to sample the cuisine of other towns and regions. Transportation: The project provides transportation while students are in Portugal. Students must purchase their own plane tickets to and from Lisbon, Portugal. We meet students at the Lisbon airport when they arrive and bring them to Redondo, Portugal. At the end of their two-week or five-week session, we also transport students back to Lisbon, either directly to the airport or elsewhere in the city if they are planning on a longer stay after the project. Please be sure to inform us of your travel plans as far in advance as possible. Redondo is a small and very friendly community. Students have ample opportunity to explore the town during their free time. Free wireless internet connections are available in most places across town. Moreover, Santa Susana participants have access to the local community pool -- so bring your swimsuits! Small shops, great little museums, plenty of pottery workshops and the nearby countryside make this lovely community an ideal place for your first - or second, or third - experience in field archaeology. Cost: Two weeks: $1,200 Three weeks: $1,800 Five weeks: $2,800

Contact Information:

Dr. Emma Ljung

Princeton University



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