LOGISTICS

 

Location: Sanpaul, Harghita County, Transylvania, Romania

 

Excavation Dates:

Session 1 : May 22 - June 11, 2016

Session 2 : June 12 - July 2, 2016

 

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 Sekler cuisine; we can accomodate vegetarian diets

 

Cost:

Session 1 : US$ 1585 (3 weeks)

Session 2 : US$ 1585 (3 weeks)

 

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

          During the late Middle Ages, Transylvania has lived through many fundamental changes, from the European defeat at the Battle of Mohacs resulting in the collapse of the Kingdom of Hungry and the Ottoman invasion all the way to Vienna, to the spiritual struggles triggered by the Reformation, followed by the Counter-Reformation, while separated from the rest of Europe by the Muslim armies. The ensuing crisis was not only political but also social, cultural and religious, resulting in normative behavioral vacuums when confronted to various catastrophic events, such as famine, plague, military or civil strife, epidemics, etc.

 

          In this context, deviant practices are implemented in an effort to bypass the immediate crises and establish normalcy. As a result, unique anthropological sites are created. Our funerary site near Sanpaul is an exemple of this phenomenon. Whoever is buried there, is separated from the community and from the church. Either it is a shunned segment of their social construct, or it is a place where they buried individuals that displayed certain not predetermined physical, social, religious stigmata, or they are the victims of an epidemic. As such, our excavation aims at addressing questions of pathology within the context of catastrophic implementation (and evolution) of rural prophylactic practices and superstitions.

 

          The targeted site for excavation is likely that of an epidemic cemetery. Epidemic cemeteries contain the bodies of those who have succumbed to a fast moving and devastating disease. As can be seen in the plague pits in various European cities, individuals who die during epidemic disease may be buried outside the “normal” burial program for a community. Our site is a relatively large funerary mound, containing an estimated 150 individuals buried in unconsecrated ground. It consists of a single monument (a funerary mound) in which the deceased have been buried, by our estimation, more or less synchronously - i.e. within a very short time frame - in individual graves. It is a mass grave in the sense that it has been generated by a single event in time and space. The site is very unique in Transylvania. This event in question incurred a relatively high and fast mortality and a need to "ostracize" the dead for "moral"/religious and/or physical/physiological prophylactic reasons.

 

          During excavations, students will be instructed on proper field methodology and ethical behavior. Students will be expected to work together in groups, exposing skeletons. They will then record the skeleton’s context, do an in-situ analysis, and respectfully pull the remains for thorough lab analysis (which will occur during the lab portion of the workshop (the final three weeks). These sets of remains will form the basis for lab-based projects revolving around health and disease patterns as well as demographically centered investigations.

 

          Several other projects are available to all our participants to enhance and expand their skills in osteology, bioarchaeology and field archaeology, respectively:

  • Applied Geophysical Survey Workshop

  • Intensive Human Osteology Research Workshop

  • Adult Osteology Research Workshop

  • Juvenile Osteology Research Workshop

  • Pathology Osteology Research Workshop

Deviant Mass Grave
Medieval Funeray Excavation
 

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

WHAT'S UP?
NEWS

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 $400 over the combined costs of the individual programs.

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

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

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

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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