Intensive Osteology Research Workshop
Medieval Crisis Populations - Field Osteology

          Transylvania, Romania, has been in a perpetual state of religious and political upheaval for centuries as outsiders have tried to force their identities on the people of the area. Despite this, the people of the area have a culture, which is deeply rooted into their historic landscape. The on-going excavation of a medieval church from the village of Patakfalva (Valeni) in Transylvania, Romania and the cemetery associated with it, have resulted in the excavation of over 200 individuals to date. Through time, the church moved from servicing the three- village area to the immediate area of Patakfalva. The unexpected discovery of a pre-Christian cemetery underneath the church has extended the use of the funerary landscape back to late Migration Period.

          This is an intensive osteology course aimed to prepare students for field osteology, which is challenging in that one must be able to correctly identify, side, and age skeletal elements when minimal osseous material is visible, to properly plan the excavation of the burial. Goals of this three-week intensive workshop include: identification of skeletal fragments (human and nonhuman); estimation of general age of the bones and whether one should expect epiphyses or other additional ossification centers during excavation; identification of element side; and evaluation of pathological and taphonomic modification to bone.

 

          The high number of well-preserved burials and time depth of the cemetery allows for multiple research questions to be addressed during the course of the project:

 

1. How have cemetery demographics changed through time and how does this correlate with changing religious and political influences in the area?

2. How have indicators of health changed over time and how do they correlate with changing religious and political influences in the area?

3. How has biological kinship use of the cemetery changed over time? Can we biologically detect a transition from three villages using the cemetery to a single village? Also, can we identify family groups within the cemetery?

 

          Course material will be presented in lectures, discussions, and hands-on exercises at the Haaz Rezso Museum. The workshop will run from approximately 8h00 to 18h00 Monday to Friday. Typically, mornings will be reserved for lecture and hands-on instruction while afternoons will be dedicated to study time and data collection. Instruction of adult and juvenile remains will occur concurrently. This course is an intense but general course meant to prepare students for successful and efficient field osteological identification and examination.

          Students and participants are strongly encouraged to expand their skills and experience in the field, by applying for a 3 week (June 12 - July 2, 2016) session of the Medieval Cemetery Funerary Excavation or Deviant Mass Grave Excavation immediately following the Intensive Osteology Session.

LOGISTICS

 

Location: Odorheiu Secuiesc, Hatghita County, Transylvania, Romania

 

Dates: May 22 - June 11, 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: US$ 1685 (3 weeks mandatory)

 

Fee includes: registration and laboratory fees, museum clearence, lectures, laboratory gear, housing as described above

... 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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