Archaeological Field School: Exploring Ancient Mountain Society in Guarda (Portugal) with the GAP project

Location: Beira Alta (Portugal)
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In this archaeological field school, you explore with an international team the archaeology of mountain society between the Iron age and the Roman times in the municipality of Guarda (Beira Alta, Portugal). This practicum is conducted within the GAP project (Guarda Archaeological Project) that aims to shed light on the role played by rural sanctuaries, hillforts, villages and settlement organization during the Roman expansion in the Serra da Estrela mountains. In the past this was a very important place for mineral mining and metal exploitation, located at the fringes of the Western Mediterranean world. The GAP project is a collaboration between the Universities of Lisbon (NOVA) (coordinator dr. Tomás Cordero Ruiz), Groningen (RUG) and KNIR Institute in Rome (coordinators dr. Anita Casarotto and Prof. dr. Tesse D. Stek), and the Museum of Guarda (coordinator dr. Tiago Ramos), and is part of the overarching research project ‘The impact of Roman imperialism in the West’.

Coordinators and teaching staff
Anita Casarotto
Tesse D. Stek
Tomás Cordero Ruiz
Tiago Ramos
Daniel Sardinha
Berend Beekhuis
Giordano De Coste

Target group and admission
This fieldwork is open to Bachelor, Master, Research Master and PhD students in Archaeology, Ancient History, Classics, Geoarchaeology and related fields enrolled in one of the KNIR partner universities in the Netherlands (RU, RUG, UL, UU, UvA, VU) or in Portuguese universities. Students from Italian, Spanish or other international universities are emphatically welcome to apply too, with the only difference that no travel costs can be reimbursed.

Because of the international character of the project, the standard project language is English.

Activities and time period
30 June (arrival) – 28 July (departure)
This field work project is conducted in the Guarda area of the Serra da Estrela mountains. The area is characterised by a beautiful landscape of rolling granite hills with a high proportion of arable land. It consists of work in the field at mountain sites, especially excavation, point-sampling, field survey, geophysical prospection as well as the study of the finds and GIS documentation in the lab of the Museum of Guarda. The high staff-student ratio provides ample room for learning in practice. Autonomy, creativity and initiative are key. We give priority to students who can participate the whole period. Students who cannot stay longer, may apply for a two-week period: 30 June (arrival) -14 July (departure); 14 July (arrival) – 28 July (departure).

Expenses and Accommodation in Guarda
The participants will stay at an hostel in Guarda. Students sleep in shared rooms (up to 4 people). Our working base for data processing after the daily field activities will be the lab of the Museum of Guarda. Tuition is free for participants, as well as lodging and meals which are generously offered by the Municipality of Guarda. After successful completion of the campaign, travel expenses will be reimbursed by the Dutch Cultuurfonds up to €250 for students enrolled in the KNIR partner universities (flight and bus/train tickets) and up to €50 for students based at Portuguese universities (bus/train tickets). Please bring your trowel if you have one, clothes for both hot, warm and cold weather, a hat and sturdy mountain boots. Guarda is the city located at the highest altitude in Portugal (1,056 m a.s.l.), the weather is often unpredictable, so equip yourself with proper clothes for both warm and cold temperatures.

Credits and assessment
The study load is the equivalent of max. 6 ECTS (168 hours) for the full campaign. Each student should arrange with his/her home coordinator whether this can be a part of the existing curriculum. Students will be assessed on the basis of participation and their development of insights and skills during the field school. A certificate of participation will be provided after the campaign by the KNIR.

Application and admission
Students can apply via the link below. Include in your application:
• a brief letter of motivation (max. 1 A4)
• a brief CV (if applicable, pointing out previous field work experience, max. 1 A4)
• a recent list of courses followed and grades provided by your university

6 June 2024, 23:59 CET.
Please note that the decision of the selection committee is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

More info
Phone: (+39)063269621


This field school has been organised in collaboration with

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