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


• Daily transportation to/from the archaeological fieldwork.
• A washing machine is available in the residence to clean personal clothes free of charge.
• Accident insurance at the site.
• Certificate of participation.
• Visits to museums and archaeological heritage of the island. It is also possible to visit places of charm and beaches. All visits will be made with the utmost caution avoiding any type of large group of people.
• Accommodation in the Student Residency in Ciutadella. The rooms are spacious and easily ventilated. Room occupancy is limited to two to three people in single beds. They are not bunk beds.
• Scrupulous daily cleaning of the entire residence by professionals with hygienic products against Covid.
• The staff will supervise the cleaning with hygienic hand gel at different times of the day, especially when the group arrives at the residence.
• Following the protection measures, the staff will ensure that the use of the mask covering the nose and mouth is mandatory throughout the day, whether during field work, laboratory activities or visits. In the common spaces of the residence it will also be mandatory. If any participant does not follow these rules, they will be expelled from the course.
• The staff will ensure that the group of participants has the minimum contact and relationship with other Spanish citizens or tourists, and the distance of 1.5 m will be taken into account between people.
• Each TEST COVID participant must present the negative certificate to the staff upon arrival in Menorca with less than 72 hours.
• Each participant upon arrival at the facilities of Sanisera Archeology Institute in Menorca, will sign a responsible statement in accordance with the preventive measures of COVID and that in case of discomfort or symptoms that both he and the staff consider may be harmful to the rest of the participants, they must go to a medical assistance center to diagnose your condition.
Airfare not included from the student home to/from Menorca (Spain). During the pandemic, no type of food service will be carried out. However, the safest, most hygienic and economical places serving food and supermarkets will be recommended. They will be accompanied by our Staff and it should be noted that Spain takes serious measures in public places against Covid. *If you sign up for two sessions in a row (32 days) that take place in Menorca, the days between sessions (3 or 4 days) you will have the accommodation for free.


$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]