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 7 - July 4, 2020

Session 2: July 5 - August 1, 2020

 

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

 

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?
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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