Ossuary Excavation and Commingled Remains Osteology Research Workshop
Lost Churches Project

          Participants enrolled in this workshop will have a unique opportunity to gain both field and laboratory experience working with commingled human remains. Excavations at the Lost Church of Valeni in summer 2017 revealed an almost intact, stone built, medieval ossuary with excellent preservation. While ossuary excavation began in summer 2018, much work remains.

          Students will spend 3 days (weather permitting) in the field learning excavation techniques for highly commingled contexts as well as honing their osteological knowledge. Two days of the week will be spent in laboratory analysis of an additional medieval ossuary. This will provide intensive training in excavation, processing, and analysis of commingled human assemblages.

          Participants will have the unique opportunity to work with not one, but two medieval commingled collections. Lab days will also feature lectures on site history, working with commingled assemblages, calculating MNIs and alternative measures, and data collection. Students will process skeletal remains, analyze taphonomic and pathological characteristics, estimate biological sex and age, and collect landmark data on the collections.

          Due to the intensive hands-on nature of the excavation and laboratory analysis, team size is limited to 8 participants to ensure an optimal learning experience.

          Our participants will be required to formulate a small research project, in groups of 4, using the materials from the commingled burial. Students will create a research design, including the formulation of a research question, collection of suitable data, analysis, and presentations as part of the Eighth International Osteology and Bioarchaeology Student Colloquium in Odorheiu Secuiesc.

          Participation to this workshop requires previous experience in human morphology, anatomy, and/or practical human osteology, such as our Adult Osteology Research Workshop or equivalent.

LOGISTICS

 

Location: Valeni, Harghita  County, Transylvania, Romania

 

Dates:

Session 1: June 6- July 3, 2021

Session 2: July 4 - July 31, 2021

 

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

 

Meals: Breakfast and dinner served at the hotel Mon-Fri; traditional Romanian and Sekler cuisine; vegetarian diets can be accomodated

 

Cost: US$ 2495  per session (4 weeks mandatory) - tuition fees not included

Single Room Supplement: US$400 (per 4 week session - optional)

 

Fee includes: registration and field fees, lectures, field and laboratory gear, housing and meals as described above.

Academic Credit (optional): 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.

... about travel and safety, room and board, sightseeing

WHAT'S UP?
NEWS

NEW PROJECTS

 

  • Because of the continuing high demand for our 4-week long combined Geophysics (GPR) Exploration and Roman Field Excavation program and the fact that both existing June and July sessions are full, we have set up an additional third session in August, running from August 1-28, 2021.

  • 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 $400 over the combined costs of the individual programs.

2021

​​April 15, 2021: The Promise Of International Travel: April EU Travel Restrictions, Covid-19 Test Requirements, Quarantine By Country

https://www.forbes.com/sites/alexledsom/2021/04/15/the-promise-of-international-travel-april-eu-travel-restrictions-covid-19-test-requirements-quarantine-by-country/?sh=b4bf3b437cec

Greece to Lift Self-Isolation Requirement for All EU & Five Non-EU Countries (including the USA).

https://www.schengenvisainfo.com/news/greece-to-lift-self-isolation-requirement-for-all-eu-five-non-eu-countries/

And: Belgium Health Minister: International Travel Ban Should Be Lifted on April 18:

https://www.schengenvisainfo.com/news/belgium-health-minister-international-travel-ban-should-be-lifted-on-april-18/

April 12, 2021: As previously reported, international air travel appears to be safe in terms of Covid-19.

https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/flying-safely-pandemic-2021-wellness/index.html

 

March 24, 2021: The White House plans to lift the entry ban for EU travelers around mid-March, which has also been suggested by Secretary A. Blinken during his latest visit to Brussels. Reciprocity agreements would result in the EU opening its borders to US travelers shortly afterwards.

https://www.schengenvisainfo.com/news/us-may-lift-entry-ban-for-travellers-from-eu-uk-brazil-by-mid-may/ 

 

March 18, 2021: The US has been removed from the Romanian high risk countries in terms of Covid-19

At the present time, the infection rate in the US is considered a low risk according to Romania's standards. In practical terms, this means that if the infection rate in the US continues to drop (as expected), once Romania lifts its state of alert, US residents can enter Romania without quarantine (although vaccination seems to be the surer - all things considered - way in). Even though the US infection rate has not dropped yet to a point where it is considered safe by EU standards, since Romania is not part of Schengen, it has active borders, therefore has more latitude in implementing EU restrictions.

www.cnscbt.ro/index.php/liste-zone-afectate-covid-19/2326-lista-state-cu-risc-epidemiologic-ridicat-14-03-2021/file

March 17, 2021: Good News: The EU is moving forward towards opening the borders for the summer to internal and international travel to vaccinated travelers:

https://www.schengenvisainfo.com/news/ec-confirms-green-certificates-to-be-used-only-for-travel-within-the-eu-for-now/

March 9, 2021:

Covid-19 Vaccine: For residents in eligible states, you can also book an appointment (based on your own state’s eligibility requirements) through https://www.kroger.com/i/coronavirus-update/vaccine . Kroger has been approved as a site for vaccination distribution in many/most states. It seems it’s easiest to go to that link at midnight and then type quickly to get the appointment.

 

March 7, 2021:

Individuals who are not currently eligible Covid-19 vaccine can call your local Walmart, CVS, and pharmacies and ask to be placed on their Waste Protocol lists. Once the vaccines come out of frozen storage, they need to be used that day or else they will be thrown away. If more vaccine is available than appointments for eligible patients, distribution locations will call their lists to ensure the vaccine does not go to waste.

 

March 2, 2021:

THE US WILL HAVE ENOUGH VACCINE FOR EVERY ADULT BY THE END OF MAY:

Keep a close watch of your state vaccine registration methodology and get an appointment as soon as you have access.

https://www.cnn.com/2021/03/02/politics/biden-merck-johnson--johnson-vaccine/index.html

February 18, 2021:

HOW DO I SIGN UP FOR A COVID-19 VACCINE IN THE US:

Some good and potentially useful advice to get the vaccine in time to travel:

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2021/02/18/967448680/how-to-sign-up-for-a-covid-19-vaccine-in-your-state?utm_source=pocket-newtab

February 16, 2021:

GREAT NEWS: ROMANIA IS IN THE PROCESS OF OPENING ITS BORDERS TO VACCINATED TRAVELERS:

https://edition.cnn.com/travel/article/countries-open-to-vaccinated-travelers/index.html?fbclid=IwAR3OvHxxL4JQxNPMl5GkLMwBsQ0EW5hPWrSxElLLCp_Nu4DYk2MYdenbKEg

February 2, 2021:

SUMMER 2021: DOES IT STILL HAPPEN? SHORT ANSWER: YES!

OUR PROJECTS ARE STILL UP AND RUNNING

As we are approaching the summer, it appears that there is some light at the end of the... trowel!!!

 

The new recommendations from the European Council to lift international travel restrictions are official (https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2021/02/02/covid-19-council-updates-recommendation-on-travel-restrictions-from-third-countries-into-the-eu/ ) and, if the trend continues, both Canada and the US will meet those standards by the end of May (maybe sooner as the vaccination campaign progresses).

 

Furthermore, Dr. Fauci has indicated that all Americans who want the Covid-19 vaccine will have access to it by April (https://people.com/health/dr-anthony-fauci-coronavirus-vaccine-april-open-season-logistics-several-more-months/ ). If that is the case, both June and July participants could get vaccinated in time for the summer sessions. I strongly recommend you find out what is the procedure in your state and place yourself on the vaccine list as soon as possible.

 

Although Canada is significantly behind in the vaccination game, it will pick up the pace within the next month or so. It looks like it might be available for participants for the June session. However, it is almost certain participants to the July session will have access to it.

 

At the present time, a negative PCR test taken 72-48h (depending on destination) is required to board any international flight, it also appears more and more that Covid-19 vaccination will become a condition for unrestricted international travel (https://www.bbc.com/news/explainers-55718553 ). At least one airline has made vaccination mandatory to access their planes - I suspect more will follow. Although it seems that coming from a country with a very low infection rate and having a negative PCR test might be enough for the EU in general, there would be additional restrictions on arrival for specific destinations for individuals who are not vaccinated.

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