Geophysical Exploration and Excavation:
GPR Applications and Roman Villa Excavation and Survey
Transylvania, Romania
June 6 - July 3, 2021 (session 1)
July 5 - July 31, 2021 (session 2)



Location: Rapoltu Mare and Micia, Hunedoara County, Transylvania, Romania


Dates (4 week mandatory):

  • Session 1: June 6 - July 3, 2021

  • Session 2: July 3 - July 31, 2021


Housing: guests of Romanian families, 2-3 participants per room, semi private bathrooms available in each house.


Meals: breakfast and dinner is served Mon-Fri; traditional country cuisine; we can accommodate vegetarian diets. During the week of the GPR Applications Workshop, breakfast, lunch and dinner will be served Mon-Sat


Cost: US$ 2495 per session (4 weeks mandatory)


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

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

          This program is designed for participants who are interesting in adding a new skill set to their archaeological field work. The program is the result of two programs brought together in one package:

our Applied Field Geophysics Workshop - GPR Applications


          The Roman castrum and town of site of Micia and the medieval castle of Uroi (Southern Transylvania, Romania) provide an unparalleled access to a diverse set of features and conditions.  Our GPR exploration program encompasses 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 (construction and operation of a nearby thermal power plant), and any additional and as-yet undiscovered features. Participants will be trained to be fully proficient on two GPR systems, Noggin 250MHz in a cart configuration and Noggin 500MHz in a rough terrain configuration, covering all exploration methods for shallow investigations, down to about 4m (13ft).

Our ground penetrating radar (GPR) survey near Rapolt (Southern Transylvania, Romania) from 2015 and 2017 has revealed a rural villa of “palatial” size, unique in the Dacian Provinces, covering ca. 1.2ha of built space. Our test excavations have unearthed a rich environment, with 2 story buildings, painted walls, potential colonnades, several buildings outside the villa complex itself and a plethora of artifacts. We have started in 2014 the systematic excavation of the gate complex as well as surveying the region around the villa itself, and in 2016 the intensive excavation of the villa’s main building, with spectacular results. In 2021, we will continue both vectors of research and expand our exploration of the villa's internal arrangements.




  • 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.



This year, COVID-19 caught us (and the entire world) unprepared. But we have learned our lessons and we are setting up our 2021 projects accordingly. We will be taking all the necessary prophylactic measures to keep our staff, our participants and our hosts safe, while providing, as usual, an educational and training experience to the highest standards.

All our projects will be back in 2021 and we are looking forward to a season of archaeology, bioarchaeology, osteology and ground penetrating radar (GPR) exploration!!!

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