The Archaeological Summer School is so far our largest and most important project, developed in collaboration with different Romanian institutions (Institute of Archaeology and History of Art of the Romanian Academy Cluj-Napoca, Tarisznyas Marton Museum – Gheorgheni, Valahia University – Targoviste, Satu-Mare Museum - Satu-Mare and Cris County Museum - Oradea).
The project aims to promote and protect the archaeological heritage of Transylvania (and beyond), through the involvement of volunteers in archaeological activities. At the same time, this is a great chance for us to share the experience of an archaeological adventure with other archaeology enthusiasts (specialized or unspecialized.
Place and duration: The project runs throughout the summer (May-September) and it’s being carried out in six different locations (archaeological sites) within Transylvania: Roșia-Peștera Vacii, Carei-Bobal, Pricske , Lăzarea, Bothvar, and Toplița. The minimum period of participation is 3 weeks, while the maximum period coincides with the length of the program.
Activities: All volunteers will have the opportunity to engage in various activities. Effective participation in an archaeological dig is, in our opinion, the only opportunity to learn and fully understand the methods applied in archaeology. The archaeological excavation is actually a process with several stages, starting with choosing the areas to be excavated, followed by tracing its limits, implementing strategies and methods for proper excavation, collecting and registering artifacts, photographing and drawing the features of the dig, processing data and issuing final interpretation and assumptions. All these processes will be completed by volunteers, with constant support and guidance provided by specialists.
Volunteers will also participate in archaeological field walks (called by some periegesis), which are intended to identify potential areas of archaeological interest. They are carried out in the form of field trips in which participants can learn how to identify an archaeological site in the field and what measures they have to take in this situation. In the present case this type of research aims to clarify some aspects of communication paths through the mountains between the current areas of Moldavia and Transylvania in the early Bronze Age. We also intend to locate potential lithic raw material areas within the Gheorghieni basin, formerly exploited by Paleolithic hunter-gatherers.
On weekdays (Monday to Friday), in case weather conditions (or some other reasons) do not allow outdoor activities, specialized workshops will be organized (drawing, restoration, etc.). In addition, recreational trips will be held on weekends (for a list of potential touristic destinations, see section Visiting Transylvania on our website).
What one can learn
Obviously, the learning level depends a lot on everyone’s involvement in these activities. At the end of the program we hope that each participant (volunteer or student) will hold the basics of archaeological research (the theories and techniques used by archaeologists in excavating a site), will understand and be able apply the methods of documentation (photography, drawing, etc.), will have the ability to operate the tools and equipment provided. Participants will have the opportunity to experience a small fraction of Transylvanian culture, by directly interacting with the history, geography, architecture and traditions of the area. Also, by working in a large group, participants will gain team work experience and have a great chance to socialize and make new friends.
• Project languages: Română, English, Deutsch, Magyar