Early Christian Basilica of Sanisera

Session #1: May 19 – June 03
Session #2: June 06 – June 21
Session #3: June 26 – July 11
Session #4: July 14 – July 19
Session #5: August 01 – August 16

In Sanisera we have been excavating different necropolises from the period between V and VII AD.
Since 2018, we have been able to discover an early Christian basilica that is related to the necropolis. In 2021, we will excavate the central nave of the basilica dating from the 6th century AD.

The training provided in this course and the experience you can acquire can strengthen you if you are thinking about archaeology in a professional level.
If you are contemplating for the first time to be a volunteer in an archaeology field school, this course could be right for you. This program accommodates participants with or without previous experience.
You can learn from the beginning excavation techniques and methodology. During the excavation you will find archaeological remains from the classical period including Roman pottery, amphorae, glass, etc. that you will learn how to identify in the laboratory.
The comprehensive experience that you will gain in this course will help you to decide if you want to pursue archaeology in university or as a profession.
The fieldwork focuses on Classical archaeology, and specifically on Late Antiquity.

On a normal working day at the Field School, students wake up in the morning and have breakfast at the students’ residence before the staff members pick them up with the vans. Then we take a ride to the North of the island to get to the beautiful port of Sanitja, where the Roman city of Sanisera is located. Once there, students devote 4 hours to fieldwork, where they learn proper excavation techniques to improve their skills, while they dig in different buildings in an area of the city very close to the sea.
During fieldwork students recover the materials located in the rooms and other contexts, including tons of Roman ceramics such as amphorae and fine wares, glass wares, faunal remains and metal pieces such as adornments, tools and coins.
After fieldwork we go to the Field School center, where students have a sandwich break to get some energy back! Our center holds the laboratories, where students work with the Roman pottery found on site. The main aim is to wash, label, classify and prepare the materials’ inventories. Also students are given lectures on Roman pottery typologies (both for amphorae and fine wares), History of the site, archaeological practice and methodology and Classical History in the Western Mediterranean.
Digging at the Roman city of Sanisera is a first-hand experience to get an insight on the Classical world in a Mediterranean island.
It runs 7 hours a day, and is divided between excavation, lab work, exercises, and lectures. For every seven course days, there are two days off. The course is taught in English and Spanish.
Previous knowledge or experience in archaeology or computer systems is not required.

What you will learn
In the Fieldwork:
-How to dig and which archaeological techniques are used.
-Use and handling of the tools that are used during the excavation process.
-Basic principles of stratigraphy.
-Recording the data obtained during the excavation using the Harris Method.
-Practice on the recognition of archaeological materials and Roman finds from the II century B.C. – VI A.D.
-Basic procedures for sample collection.
In the Laboratory
-Study and typological classification of archaeological objects of Roman archaeology: ceramics, numismatics, faunal remains, metals and glass.
-Relative dating based on the classification of archaeological objects discovered in stratigraphic sequence.
-History, archaeology, economy and culture of the Roman civilization.
-Introduction to the History of the Sanisera Site.
-Minorcan archaeology before the Roman conquest of the Balearic Islands.


Geographic Location

Menorca, Balearic Island, Spain

Periods of Occupation

Late Antiquity

Dates of the Dig

Session #1: May 19 – June 03
Session #2: June 06 – June 21
Session #3: June 26 – July 11
Session #4: July 14 – July 19
Session #5: August 01 – August 16

Minimum Stay

18 days

Academic Credit/Cost per Credit/Institution

Yes. Sanisera Archaeology Institute



$1800.00 per session.


Fernando Contreras Rodrigo

Director Sanisera Archaeology Institute


Fernando Contreras Rodrigo
Director Sanisera Archaeology Institute

Sanisera Archaeology Institute Apdo. 68
Menorca, Balearic Island 07740

+34 608894650

[email protected]