Adult Osteology Research Workshop
Medieval Crisis Populations
July 7 - June 4, 2020
Transylvania, Romania

          The aim of this project is to evaluate how the major political events of the 16th and 17th centuries have physically impacted local Transylvanian populations. For that purpose, we have been studying human remains excavated from several medieval cemeteries from eastern Transylvania.  During the summer of 2020, we will concentrate our efforts on analyzing the exceptionally well preserved skeletal remains excavated from the collapsed medieval „Lost Church” located in the community of Valeni/Patakfalva. 

          The osteology workhop will train students to conduct osteological analyses and frame bioarchaeolgoical research questions. Students  will  receive  daily lectures on topics related to human skeletal biology and spend the first two weeks intensively reviewing human osteology, evaluating of sex and age estimation, osteometrics, and skeletal and dental pathologies.

           This summer’s workshop is designed to conduct an exhaustive osteological survey of the adult population from our active Lost Church Medieval Cemetery Excavation. Although a basic knowledge of human anatomy and morphology is useful, this laboratory workshop session is intended for both inexperienced and advanced students. The workshop comprises daily intensive lectures on human anatomy (including determination of sex, age, stature and ancestry), biomechanics and pathology, bone quizzes, group discussions, laboratory work, bone restoration and analysis, leading to individual and group research projects and presentations in a conference setting. Daily mandatory readings will accompany the specifics each lab day.

 

Upon completion of this workshop:

  1. Students will have in-depth knowledge of all bones in the human body, including landmarks, muscles attachments and articulations.

  2. Students will understand fundamental concepts related to the human dentition.

  3. tudents will understand how to obtain basic demographic data from archaeological skeletal populations.

  4. Students will understand how systematic data collection and peer review facilitates bioarchaeological research.

 

          Our participants are tought to conduct proper intensive research under laboratory conditions. This process entails the intensive acquisition of the skills and knowledge required to fulfill the expectations of a genuine research project. As students become more familiar with the questions that the osteological collection allows to address, they will choose a research topic they will address in small groups, leading to formal podium presentations at the Eighth International Student Colloquium on Osteology and Bioarchaeology, in Odorheiu Secuiesc.

          This osteology research workshop is highly recommended for the participants interested in our more advanced projects, respectively the Juvenile Osteology Research Workshop. Students who wish to expand their skills and experience in the field can register for a 4 week (July 5 - August 1, 2020) session of the Medieval Cemetery Funerary Excavation  or the Ossuary Excavation and Commingled Remains Workshop immediately following the Adult Osteology Session.

LOGISTICS

 

Location: Odorheiu Secuiesc, Hatghita County, Transylvania, Romania

 

Dates: June 7 - July 4, 2020

 

Housing: housed in a beautifully renovated hotel, 2-3 participants per room, with private bathrooms

 

Meals: breakfast and dinner is served Mon-Fri at the hotel; traditional Romanian and Szekler cuisine; we can accommodate vegetarian diets

Program Fees: US$ 2495 (4 weeks mandatory) - fees do not include tuition

 

Fee includes: registration and lab fees, lectures, access to study collections,  laboratory gear, housing and meals as described above.

Academic Credit: 3 or 6 undergraduate (graduate - if applicable) credits can be earned through University of South Florida - additional USF tuition fees apply. See USF Program Brochure for more information. USF procedures and deadlines apply. Contact Dr. Jonathan Bethard at USF for more details.

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

CORONAVIRUS COVID-19 ADVISORY UPDATE

The latest update from our Romanian scientific partners indicates that field and museum work will resume, in Romania, by June 1. However, due to the severe mismanagement of the health crisis in the US, the travel restrictions a lot of other countries (including Romania) have set in place in regards to US citizens and/or people traveling from the US will not be lifted at the end of the Romanian state of emergency, on May 15. This aspect of the problem should be resolved by early to mid-June.

As a result, considering that most of the students and staff are coming from the US, the first session (June 7 - July 4, 2020) of our programs is not sustainable any longer, therefore, we are forced to cancel it. The second session (July 5 - August 1, 2020) is still active and we are working on the premise that we will be in the field and lab on July 5 to run the second session as planned. In this context, we will run the session with a much smaller crew, so we can enforce additional prophylactic measures (including housing, meals, work) effectively.

Please keep in mind that the Budapest arrival (and pick up for the osteology and bioarchaeology participants) is no longer an option, due to the unstable political situation in Hungary. The osteology and bioarchaeology pick up has been moved to Cluj Napoca. The GPR/Roman Villa Excavation pick up remains in Simeria, with a potential pick up option in Sibiu.

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