Vale Boi Archaeological Project, Portugal – Institute for Field Research

Location: Budens, PT

Season: July 1, 2019 to July 28, 2019

Application Deadline: April 5, 2019

Deadline Type: Rolling


Program Type:
Field school

RPA Certified:

Institute for Field Research, Connecticut College, Universidade do Algarve (Portugal)

Project Director:
Dr. Nuno Bicho, Dr. João Cascalheira

Project Description:

What was the nature of interaction between Neanderthals and our own ancestors – Anatomically Modern Humans (AMH)? Did AMH replace Neanderthals, contributing to their extinction? Or, was there interaction between the species and at least some Neanderthals absorbed into the AMH genetic line? The site of Vale Boi is a superb location to examine these, and other exciting questions related to the evolution of our species. Covering a time span between ca. 33,000-13,000 years ago, preservation conditions at the site, especially of organic fauna materials, are superb. Vale Boi shows evidence of both Neanderthals and AMH presence, making it ideal to study AMH-Neanderthal interactions. Located in coastal Southern Portugal, Vale Boi offers all the excitement of archaeology with comfortable living at an area catering to global tourism. This program combines lectures, excavation and laboratory training, providing students with the rare opportunity to explore and document one of the most interesting and important moments of the human career:  the emergence of our own species.

Period(s) of Occupation: Paleolithic

Project Size: 1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: Participants are required to stay for the full duration of the field school.

Minimum Age: 18

Experience Required: No prior experience is required to participate in this field school.

Room and Board Arrangements:
Students will live in a comfortable, but modest, field house in the small town of Budens, located a couple kms from the site of Vale Boi. Conditions at the field house are basic, with electricity, drinking water and hot water for showers (please be prepared and bring bathing suits for showering, because sometimes students may have to use outside showers). Students will sleep on bunk beds so should bring either bedding or sleeping bags (or both). Night temperatures are comfortable with rare cold or hot nights. There are two large communal rooms, divided by gender, each with its own bathrooms. In addition, there is a large communal eating room. Students will prepare their own breakfast and light lunch from supplies provided by the project. Dinner will be prepared by a cook. The daily diet in Southern Portugal is Mediterranean diet and includes a wide diversity of food elements, including fish, shellfish, pork, beef, chicken, fresh vegetables, bread, beans, pasta, rice and potatoes. Although there is a wide diversity, it is near impossible to prepare dinners for specialized diets such as vegan, kosher, etc. It is possible to handle lactose intolerant meals, but those need special preparation. Students will prepare their own breakfast in the dig house at 7.30am and we leave for the field at 8.00am. A light lunch will be individually prepared at the dig house at 1:00pm, when we gather for a break from excavations until 3.00pm. Work in the field concludes each day at 6:00pm. A few late afternoons daily lectures. At 6:00pm we get together in the labs to discuss the day’s work. Every work group gives a brief report on the results, problems and successes. During these meetings we will discuss results and interpretations. You are urged to contribute information and suggestions. Dinner is typically served at 8:00pm to the group as a communal meal. Cost: Room and Board are included in the cost of the field school.

Academic Credit:
8 Semester Credits credits offered by Connecticut College. Tuition is $4,295.

Contact Information:

Instiute for Field Research

2999 Overland Ave. Suite 103

Los Angeles




Phone: 424-209-1173

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