Sarmizegetusa, Roman Capital of the Dacian Provinces

Roman Imperial Urban Excavation

2015 Evaluation

Pre-arrival:

 

Did the project staff provide you with enough information beforehand to organize your packing for and travel to the project?

 

                        Poor    1          2          3          4          5          Excellent

Evaluation:                  0          1          1          4          7          Average: 86%

Evaluation participation: 13/17 (76% of participants)

 

Was the pickup arrangement made prior to the project adequately seen to by project staff?

 

                        Poor    1          2          3          4          5          Excellent

Evaluation:                  1          0          1          2          10        Average: 89%

Evaluation participation: 14/17 (82% of participants)

 

Comments:

  • The travel information was decently helpful, but the packing list was not. I was told to bring the wrong type of clothes and many items that ended up being useless.

  • I arrived late-only came for the last 3 weeks- and Alec made it extremely easy to find my way to where I needed to be. They were very generous in picking me up and everything was clearly communicated beforehand.

  • We appreciated Andre bringing us across from Rapoltu

  • Luckily I have been on previous digs, because the packing info was unhelpful. And the info provided concerning the pick up was confusing to say the very least.

  • Pick up worked well, there was some concern over promptness (5:00 vs. 5:45) also the gear section still says we need to provide our own trowels?

  • We had already been to Rapoltu. We appreciated Andre’s help in moving to Sarmizegetusa.

 

 

Housing:

 

Were the living accommodations provided by the project adequate for your needs?

 

                        Poor    1          2          3          4          5          Excellent

Evaluation:                  0          0          0          4          11        Average: 95%

Evaluation participation: 15/17 (88% of participants)

 

Comments:

  • Great place. Showers were a little testy, though.

  • The shower/bathroom had a few issues

  • I absolutely loved Pensiunea Zamolxe and have thought about coming back just for leisure.

  • Very adequate, comfortable

  • N/A

  • Feli was awesome, the accomodations perfect.

  • Loved the pension, completely beautiful, and Feli and her kids were incredibly hospitable.

  • Feli was amazing

  • Amazing, much better than I had imagined

 

 

Food:

 

Were the meals provided by the project adequate for your needs?

 

                        Poor    1          2          3          4          5          Excellent

Evaluation:                  0          1          0          5          9          Average: 89%

Evaluation participation: 15/17 (88% of participants)

 

Comments:

  • I appreciate the attempt at accommodating vegetarians, but in the future I think it would be beneficial to further enforce meat in everyone’s diet for health and energy reasons. Also a lot of people said the food made them feel ill on more than one occasion during the dig- myself included.

  • The food was very good, I would hope for some more nutrients, and I also feel like the local flavors made a few people sick.

  • Nothing too hard for me, but everything was delicious!

  • Food was very good. Freshly cooked and a good variety. Staff of the pensuinea were friendly and always helpful.

  • The food was good, bud did often make us feel rather ill.

  • Great cook, that Feli

  • Thank you for accommodating vegetarians!

  • Feli was amazing

  • Thanks for making vegetarian accomodations

 

 

 

General Logistics:

 

Did you encounter any problems with the accommodations, food or travel?

 

  • Just upset stomach from the food (or water?)

  • Yes

  • n/a

  • None

  • Shower did not drain at times

  • The travel information was not helpful. Also posting it only to facebook is silly! I would recommend sending it out in an email in addition to posting it.

  • No

  • No

  • Not really

  • No, everything was great

  • No

  • No

  • No

  • No real complaints. The diet needs a bit more fibre.

  • Acoomodations- showers a bit on and off.

 

If so, did you ask the project staff for assistance?

 

  • Travel help was great and useful.

  • Yes

  • Yes

  • Yes and they were able to help, but it seemed very begrudging.

  • N/A

  • Help was provided when needed

  • Would have

  • N/A

  • No, it wasn’t a big deal. We had access to supermarkets, stores, etc.

  • Yes

 

Was the project staff able to address your concerns to your satisfaction?

 

  •  

  • Yes

  • When we went on weekend outings, Alec made sure we had nice lodging and transporation

  • Everything!

  • Yes

  • Yes

  • N/A

  • Yes

  • Would have been able to

  • Yes

  • Yes

  • Yes

  • Yes

  • Yes

 

Lectures:        

 

Were the formal lectures presented informative and useful?

 

                        Poor    1          2          3          4          5          Excellent

Evaluation:                  2          0          4          4          4          Average: 71%

Evaluation participation: 14/17 (82% of participants)

 

Were the formal lectures presented interesting and engaging?

 

                        Poor    1          2          3          4          5          Excellent

Evaluation:                  2          1          5          3          3          Average: 66%

Evaluation participation: 14/17 (82% of participants)

 

 

Comments:

 

  • A lot of people were first time diggers, so more lectures on methodology, tutorials, how-to lectures would have been nice. Work on powerpoint and speaking skills to keep everyone’s attention.

  • Alec is very smart, but the material was not presented in the best way.

  • Coming in late I had a disadvantage in that I missed the first two weeks of lectures, but everything was interesting.

  • We appreciated being exempted as having attended them at the previous dig

  • It was very upsetting that the lecture content had the potential to be so interesting, but how they were done was mind-numbingly boring and I got nothing out of them.

  • Good topics, could use less overview, more detail, better planning

  • The powerpoints sometimes had too much text

  • Alec work on your lecture delivery! It also would have been nice to have a full schedule of lectures set out and given to us before the dig started. Also perhaps an absolute introduction to digging lecture (how to, what to look for, etc.) for 1st timers before actual digging starts

  • I knew nothing about Romans and Dacians so it was good.

  • Need some system to exempt experienced “school” joins from repetitive lectures

 

Excavation and Survey:

 

Were the instructions provided by project staff in the field clear and helpful?

 

                        Poor    1          2          3          4          5          Excellent

Evaluation:                  0          3          1          10        1          Average: 72%

Evaluation participation: 15/17 (88% of participants)

 

Did the project staff offer you a thorough theoretical understanding of the methods being employed?

 

                        Poor    1          2          3          4          5          Excellent

Evaluation:                  2          1          3          3          6          Average: 73%

Evaluation participation: 15/17 (88% of participants)

 

Did your participation in the project offer new understandings of archaeological field methods?

 

                        Poor    1          2          3          4          5          Excellent

Evaluation:                  1          1          2          2          9          Average: 83%

Evaluation participation: 15/17 (88% of participants)

 

Did you feel actively engaged in all aspects of data collection in the field?

 

                        Poor    1          2          3          4          5          Excellent

Evaluation:                  1          2          1          4          5          Average: 65%

Evaluation participation: 15/17 (88% of participants)

 

Comments:

 

  • I would have liked to be much more involved in all aspects of data collection, not just manual labor. I had to go out myself and ask to be taught new things by members of the staff. Definitely would like better communication between the Romanian and American field directors in the future as well as more how-to’s on drawing, GIS/total station use and cataloging.

  • The Romanian team and American team had too many opposing instructions. While we did get to tag and wash pottery many times it felt like the Romanian team would take over our area in the trench when we discovered something.

  • The fact that this was the first dig for many students, I was rather upset that there was no instruction on how to actually use the tools they were given. As far as the methods go, it often seemed that our directors were unclear, which gave us no chance to know what was going on. The understanding I achieved was almost more of a “how I do not want to do things” approach. Having our directors stand above us and watch us work and occasionally giving orders on where next to dig wasn’t helpful. It felt more like we were doing their manual labor than we were their students. We were never made/allowed to be part of the “discovery conversations”, we were told what it was and that was all. Concerning the data collection, the fact that we were never told to/ involved in keeping a field journal or doing much more than writing tags, sorting pottery, and a brief and painful lesion in poterry drawing, I felt totally excluded from the data collection process.

  • More involvement in mapping/photos/logging would be better

  • More lab work would have been helpful

  • Confliction with what the Romanian archaeologists were saying happened a lot! But what can you do? This wasn’t really that educational in terms of theory. Data collection seemed to be mostly in the hands of Romanians. Since this really wasn’t a field school at all, the lack of theory and education is understandable, however I think communicating the strictly experiental nature of the dig should be made clearer early on to avoid disappointing people who expected otherwise.

  • There was some lack in communication between the Archaeotek and Romanian teams at times

 

 

General:

 

Did you feel overall intellectually engaged with your work?

 

                        Poor    1          2          3          4          5          Excellent

Evaluation:                  0          1          1          7          6          Average: 84%

Evaluation participation: 15/17 (88% of participants)

 

Was the project staff able to adequately answer all of your questions?

 

                        Poor    1          2          3          4          5          Excellent

Evaluation:                  0          0          1          5          9          Average: 91%

Evaluation participation: 15/17 (88% of participants)

 

Were your interactions with the Romanian staff informative and helpful?

 

                        Poor    1          2          3          4          5          Excellent

Evaluation:                  0          0          2          3          10        Average: 91%

Evaluation participation: 15/17 (88% of participants)

 

Comments:

 

  • In the future, the students should be better kept in the loop about what’s going on in the trench.

  • Both Alec and Kaylie were very patient with my questions and answered any that I had.

  • I learned a lot-about archaeology and beyond. Not speaking Romanian was a challenge, but everything got communicated eventually.

  • Enjoyed having the interactions and viewpoints with the Romanians

  • As I previously stated, I didn’t feel like we were a part of the process. We were told what to do and that’s it. I got more comprehensive instructions from the Romanian staff.

  • Love the Romanians!

  • Romanian team was great

  • the Romanian staff- very helpful

  • Loved digging the domus! Glad we weren’t doing the north gate.

  • They were very knowledgeable. The Romanians sometimes did not explain their reasons for their actions.

  • Soren took off with all my tools! But he tried hard to teach us so what can you do.

 

Overall Comments:  

 

Please provide us with your thoughts on what you found most rewarding about your archaeological experience on the project:

 

  • Being able to develop relationships with the Romanian staff- it’s a really great experience to see their culture and not be surrounded by only Americans all the time. They were very welcoming, helpful and greatly appreciated both in the trench and out.

  • Learning new methods and interacting with different archaeologists

  • I learned a lot about Dacian archaeology. Actually being able to see what each team uncovered in each section of the trench was so cool. I think given the nature of the site, I learned most about figuring out how to tell when something is important.

  • This was my first archaeological dig so everything was new and exciting. I learned so much and made some great new friends and saw some amazing places.

  • This was a contrasting style at dig from the previous; which was an interesting experience.

  • The chance to work w/ the Romanian team. It was nice to get their cultural perspective.

  • Clear and significant progress and involvement with the hypocaust

  • Having the personal experience of how a project works to decifide if this lifestyle is good for me.

  • So much. The constancy of the good nature really allowed me to enjoy this. The archaeology was why I came. I’m glad I had a good time too.

  • Each experience was beneficial and helpful. I learned so much in many different aspects of archaeology.

  • I found the days I spent troweling were most rewarding because those were the days I found the most

  • 10/15: Good pension/people/site/weather. I really enjoyed this dig!

  • The most rewarding was definitely the excavating because it gave me hands on experience

  • The team was great. There was great camaraderie

  • Being trusted enough to be allowed to get on with the job.

                                                                                          

Other comments?

 

  • The staff and students were all fun to work with, and thus my favorite part of the dig!

  • I loved my experience! I will definitely be recommending Archaeotek and hopefully be returning myself.

  • Alec was a much improved dig director, we were much appreciative of the concern and help given in regards to Michael’s health. We were sorry to be leaving early.

  • Thanks for an awesome summer, guys!

  • Alec and Kaley both did a great job and I would highly recommend any field school they are involved in.

  • I hope I’ll be back.

  • An enjoyable 2+ weeks despite my health worries. I am very thankful for the concern and help given.

WHAT'S UP?
LAST EVENT

NEW PROJECTS

 

  • The outstanding success of our 2018 and 2019 GPR projects, the Applied Field Geophysics Workshop - GPR Applications, prompted us to buy a second GPR unit with a different central frequency and a different configuration. As a result, our participants will have the unique opportunity to get fully proficient on a 250MHz GPR system, in a cart configuration, as well as 500MHz system, in a rough terrain configuration.

  • Furthermore, participants who are committed to expand their field skill set can register to our new Geophysics Exploration and Field Excavation program. It is a 4 week program, combining the GPR Applications Workshop (5 days) and  Roman Villa Excavation (3 weeks). Participants save $200 over the combined costs of the individual programs.

2020

New for our 2020 season: our Applied Field Geophysics Workshop-GPR Applications will allow the comparative professional training on the core GPR systems and configurations used in near surface investigations: 250MHz and 500MHz transducers, in respectively cart and rough terrain configurations. Our program is open to all disciplines, focusing on GPR theory, methods, techniques and applications.

 

As a result of overwhelming positive response and further request from our participants, we are offering the possibility to combine all sessions of our the GPR Applications Workshop with both field sessions of our Roman Villa Excavation as a stand alone program, allowing to save $200 on the combined fees. Our two research/training case study sites have been carefully chosen to combine increasing complexity of ancient, historical and modern features. These sites provide an unparalleled access to a diverse set of features and conditions.  We address urban and proto-urban settlement construction, complex anthropogenic stratigraphic relationships, variation in soil structure and conditions, wide range of materials and their use/reuse, unmapped ancient and modern utilities, potential graves, modern and ancient civil works projects (including the remains of roads, aqueducts, and wells), changes in hydrogeological environment caused by modern human intervention, and all as-yet undiscovered features. The highest quality for the best price on any GPR courses available anywhere!!!

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