THE FIELD SCHOOL EXPERIENCE
In the field, students will be instructed on how to practice proper excavation techniques using tools such as a pickaxe, hand-axe, trowel, and brush. Students will also learn how to identify various materials and artifacts through hands-on experience. Students are expected to participate in all such aspects of excavation.
Handling & Processing Materials
Following our day in the field, artifacts are brought back to our work and research space in Redondo. After lunch, students will spend time washing and sorting artifacts (primarily ceramics). Students that are particularly interested in lab work will have the opportunity to spend additional time working with these materials in the afternoons.
Archaeological Illustration & Recording
Equally important to excavation is the recording of findings while in the field. Students will be taught how to record features and stratigraphic contexts, taking levels and drawing these contexts a part of this process. Interested students will have the opportunity to learn about archaeological illustration.
During some afternoons, students will have the opportunity to visit local sites and museums located in and around the town of Redondo. Redondo is home to the Castelo de Redondo (Castle of Redondo), Museu Regional do Vinho (Wine Museum), and Museu de Barro (Pottery Museum). Students can expect to go on at least one Saturday field trip to a place like the town of Évora, Elvas, or Monsaraz.
LIFE ON THE PROJECT
The typical weekday schedule (Monday-Friday) will consist of the following. Please note that these times are approximates and are subject to change.
7:00 am → Departure time. Students will be picked up from the dig house and driven to site.
10:30 am → On-site break! Pack snacks.
1:30 pm → Pack up and leave site. Students will be driven back to town to have lunch.
2:00-3:00 pm → Lunch (provided).
3:30-5:30pm → Lab work; pottery washing & recording.
5:30-8:00pm → Free time. Visit the cultural centre for some wifi, hit up the pool, explore the town, or just relax!
8:00-9:30pm → Dinner (provided).
9:30-whenever one is inclined to sleep → Free time!
Students will be housed together in the town of Redondo. The house is located very centrally. Most rooms will be shared by two or more students, and sometimes on bunk beds. Sleeping arrangements are gender-separated. Spaces are communal - there is a shared kitchen, bathrooms, washing machine, and living room. Students are responsible for cleaning these spaces and doing the assigned chores. Students will do their own laundry.
The Town of Redondo
The town of Redondo is quite small but very friendly. During their free time, students are encouraged to explore and familiarize themselves with the town. Free wi-fi is available at the local cultural centre (closed on Mondays) - make sure you bring your own cellphone or laptop. If you’d like to get a phone plan (cellular data plans are very cheap in Portugal) you must do this at the airport in Lisbon - there will be no opportunity to do this at a later time. Students will also have access to the outdoor community pool - so make sure to bring your swimsuits! Please remember - members of the Castelo Archaeological Research Project are guests to the Municipality of Redondo, and your behaviour reflects not just you, but on ours and other projects (like the Santa Susana and Caladinho projects) based in the town. Respect for the town and its residents is of the utmost importance.
Students are expected to provide their own transportation to and from Portugal (Lisbon airport) as airfare is not included in the tuition. Once in Portugal, transportation will be provided by the field school. Upon arrival at the Lisbon airport on Sunday July 29th, students will be greeted by either Bianca, Kathryn, or Rui and brought as a group to Redondo. At the end of the three week session (Saturday August 18th), students will be brought back to the Lisbon airport or elsewhere in the city if they plan to stay in Portugal a while longer after the project. Please inform us of your travel plans as far in advance as possible.
On weekdays, the field school provides students with three meals per day. Breakfast is provided at the dig house and students are expected to prepare it themselves. Lunch is served at a local restaurant. Dinner is provided by a local restaurant but eaten at home. Students should expect to eat a great deal of local Alentejan cuisine. The project will do its best to accommodate dietary needs, but students must inform us of any dietary requirements, and/or allergies in their forms. Due to the nature of Alentejan cuisine, we are able to accommodate vegetarian diets, but any other dietary requirements must be discussed with one of the directors.
Health & Safety
Archaeological fieldwork involves doing a great deal of manual labour. It can be difficult, physically challenging, and hot as summers in the Alentejo are extremely warm and dry. Students are expected to spend many hours outside in this heat, partaking in fieldwork. In addition to this, students are expected to help load and unload tools from the pick-up truck daily. We take the health and safety of all field school students very seriously. As we care very much about maintaining a safe environment, all students are expected to bring at least two litres of water and a snack to site everyday, apply sunscreen regularly, wear sturdy shoes (no open-toed shoes are allowed on-site and hiking/work books are recommended), and talk openly with directors about any concerns. If you are not feeling well on site, tell someone - we want every student to be safe. Keep in mind archaeology involves a great deal of dirt as well - everything you wear will get dirty - so don’t excavate in any clothes you really care about. Students should also make sure to inform us of any medical conditions prior to payment. Students are responsible for bringing the correct quantity of any necessary medications. There is a pharmacy and a hospital located in Redondo in the event of an emergency. All participants on the excavation are required to provide their own health and/or travel insurance - make sure it will cover medical care in Portugal.