Santa Susana Archaeological Project

This listing expired on October 28, 2022. Please contact for any updated information.

Location: Redondo, PT

Season: June 5, 2022 to July 9, 2022

Session Dates: June 5 - June 19; June 19- July 9; June 5 - July 9.

Application Deadline: April 15, 2022

Deadline Type: Rolling


Discount for AIA members: no

Program Type:
Field School

RPA Certified:

Western Iberia Archaeology

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

Project Description:

The Santa Susana Archaeological Project is seeking applicants for its eighth season of excavation and survey at the large Roman villa site in Alto Alentejo, Portugal.

This site holds a villa complex central to our understanding of the complex processes of colonization and settlement in this part of the Roman Empire. Preliminary work at the site suggests a rich artifact assemblage dating to the first through the sixth century C.E. Work in prior seasons has begun to reveal the remains of numerous structures at Santa Susana, including both the domestic and productive spaces. We are especially interested in further excavation of the large bath complex that we began to uncover in 2014.

Our eighth season will also see a continuation of our landscape survey of the area around the pars urbana. We will continue to carefully map the archaeological remains in the territory around the villa, and students will receive ample training in both the recognition and categorization of artifacts, particularly Roman ceramics. Visible architectural features both within the villa complex and around it will be cleaned, mapped, photographed and drawn. Several test pits will be placed in strategic locations, giving students the opportunity to excavate concomitantly with the survey. Students will have the opportunity to learn aerial photography and to try many different  mapping techinques while in the field.

Students will receive instruction in surveying techniques, excavation, the handling and processing of artifacts, and the recording of exposed architectural and stratigraphic features. Instruction in the field will be supplemented by regular field trips to sites in the region as well as weekly lectures and seminar-style discussions lead by members of our staff. No prior archaeological experience is necessary!

Students with a particular interest in learning the ins and outs of field archaeology, artifact analysis, and their connection to the “classroom study” of the ancient Mediterranean are especially encouraged to apply.

Period(s) of Occupation: late Iron Age, early Roman, imperial Roman, late antiquity, early middle ages

This site of Santa Susana holds a villa complex important to our understanding of the processes of colonization and settlement in this part of the Roman Empire. Preliminary work at the site suggests a rich artifact assemblage dating from the 1st cent. C.E. through the 6th cent. C.E. In our eighth season, landscape survey combined with open area excavation in the pars urbana will aid in understanding the extent and nature of occupation at the site.

Project Size: 1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: 2 weeks

Minimum Age: 18

Experience Required: No experience required - we welcome participants from all walks of life and all disciplinary backgrounds.

Room and Board Arrangements:
Housing: Students are housed in the town of Redondo, Portugal, very 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 well 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 grocery stores in town as well as numerous cafes and shops. Since we often take field trips on weekends, students have the opportunity to sample the restaurants 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! The Town of Redondo: 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 at the community center (closed on Mondays). If you want to make use of this connection you'll need to bring your own laptop. We also 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: $1200 for 2 weeks $1800 for 3 weeks $2800 for 5 weeks Tuition includes room, board (on weekdays), and the cost of transportation within Portugal. Participants are responsible for their own plane tickets to and from Lisbon. Students must provide their own medical insurance. Tuition reduction might be available for returning participants.

Contact Information:

Dr. Emma Ljung

New South Building, Princeton University





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