Most archaeological degrees in universities do not emphasize a comprehensive training in fieldwork techniques and methods and field-related data analysis. Although most field schools expose students to fieldwork, they also provide a limited training in field methods and archeological material analyses. This requires a specific and intensive focus. Paleolithic field archaeology has been characterized by embracing a wide range of scientific methods and approaches to analyses of sites, spanning from geoarchaeological studies of archaeological contexts to the interpretation of archaeological lithic and bone materials and their collective interpretation within the framework of site formation processes.

The Paleolithic International Training School (PI-TS) has been created with the goal of providing intensive training in Paleolithic fieldwork and material analysis methods. It aims at providing a foundational basis for future Paleolithic archaeologists in understading how excavations are designed, implemented and how information is retrieved from sites and analyzed. This approach emphasizes that Paleolithic archaeologists should be knowledgeable in an array of techniques, which will enable them to be autonomous in decision making and interpretation. 

Our international faculty has several decades of experience in Paleolithic research in three continents and they are prominent researchers in their fields. This is our best guarantee.   

Location

The Paleolithic International Training School (PI-TS) is based at the picturesque location of Salvatierra de Miño (Pontevedra, Galicia) in Spain. This locality, situated at the margin of the Miño river, which has been occupied by humans since the Middle Pleistocene (more than 300.000 years ago). Salvatierra de Miño is also located at one of the interntional crossings between Spain and Portugal, in one of the richest areas of cultures and vineyards of Galicia. Some of the best Albariño wines are cultivated right there. Situated one hour from Santiago de Compostela, final destination of the “Camino de Santiago” famous pilgrimage, Salvatierra provides the visitor with many opportunities of enjoying nature as well as relaxation in the open-air spas overlooking the Miño river or visiting its rich historical heritage and that of the surrounding localities on the Spanish and Portuguese sides of the Miño river.

This town is strategically situated few minutes away from the oldest archaeological sites in Galicia. These sites possess a unique quality for the Middle Pleistocene archaeological record: some of them contain Acheulian assemblages very similar to those excavated in Africa. Some of these sites will be the focus of the practical excavation sessions of our field school.

The International Paleontology School

Program

The Paleolithic International Training School (PI-TS) will have a three-week session consisting of practical excavation methods in the mornings (from 9:00 am to 13:00 pm) and intensive practical seminars in the afternoons (from 16:00 to 18:45 pm) covering a wide range of fields (see program below). Week-ends will be free. Students will be able to choose between consolidating some of the information gathered during the week and enjoying the relaxing surroundings or participating in several excursions that will be provided at no cost by PI-TS.

The afternoon sessions will take place in the beautiful XVIth century fortress of Salvaterra, overlooking the Miño river.

First Week

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

16:00
16:45

Faunal lab:
Skeletal and
taxonomic
identification

Faunal lab:
Quantification
methods

Faunal lab:
Breakage
patterns

Faunal lab: Identification
from fragments

Faunal lab:
Bone Surface
modifications I

17:00
17:45

Lithic
technology lab:

Analysis and
reduction
sequences I

Lithic
technology lab:

Analysis and
reduction
sequences II

Lithic
technology lab:

Analysis and
reduction
sequences III

Lithic
technology lab:

Diacritic schemes

Lithic
technology lab:

Experimental
knapping

18:00
18:45

Spatial statistical
analysis I

Spatial statistical
analysis II

GPS techniques
and GIS analysis

Spatial statistical
analysis III

Spatial statistical
analysis IV

Second Week

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

16:00
16:45

Faunal lab:
Bone Surface
modifications II

Faunal lab:
Bone Surface
modifications III

Faunal lab:
Bone Surface
modifications IV

Geommetric
Morphometric
analysis I

Geommetric
Morphometric
analysis II

17:00
17:45

Analysis of
archaeological
fabric (orientation
of materials) I

Analysis of
archaeological
fabric (orientation
of materials) II

Geommetric
Morphometric
analysis II

Data analysis

Geommetric
Morphometric
analysis II

18:00
18:45

Spatial statistical
analysis V

Spatial statistical
analysis VI

Topography
and GIS

Spatial statistical
analysis VII

Spatial statistical
analysis VIII

Third Week

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

16:00
16:45

Faunal lab:
Diagenesis and
other taphonomic
processes

Faunal lab:
Differentiating
carnivore types

Photogrammetry I

Photogrammetry II

Geoarchaeology
practicum

17:00
17:45

Spatial statistical
IX

Spatial statistical
X

Use of
Autocad to map
archaeological
levels I

Use of
Autocad to map
archaeological
levels I

Geoarchaeology
practicum

18:00
18:45

Geoarchaeology
I

Geoarchaeology
II

Geoarchaeology
III

Geoarchaeology
IV

Geoarchaeology
practicum

It is recommended that students bring their own laptops. Software and readings in pdf format will be provided.

Faculty

International senior faculty

Manuel Domínguez-Rodrigo

Professor of Archeology
Manuel Domínguez-Rodrigo is co-director of the IDEA and professor of the Area of Prehistory in the Department of History and Philosophy of the Alcalá University.

He has been co-director of the paleoanthropological projects of Peninj (Lago Natron) (1995-2005), Eyasi (2002-2006) and, currently, of the Olduvai Gorge (2006-present). He has participated as a guest researcher in the projects of Gona (Ethiopia) and Swartkrans (South Africa). He has published 8 books and more than 200 impact articles.

He has been guest professor and researcher at the Universities of Harvard, Rutgers and St. Louis and the Royal Complutense College in Harvard (USA). His specialties are taphonomy and paleoanthropology.

He is a pioneer in the application of high computing tools, such as algorithms of “machine learning” and “deep learning” or “computer vision” to the world of paleoanthropology. He is currently co-director of TOPPP.

Charles P. Egeland

Professor of Archeology
Dr. Egeland received his PhD in Anthropology from Indiana University, where he carried out zooarchaeological and taphonomic studies of the large mammal fossils recovered by Mary Leakey's excavations at Olduvai Gorge. He has conducted fieldwork in Armenia, Germany, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, and the United States, and his experience with faunal remains stretches from Late Archaic bison bonebeds on the American Great Plains to Early Pleistocene assemblages from Tanzania. Dr. Egeland also maintains an active program of experimental taphonomic research. His work has been published in Quaternary International, the Journal of Human Evolution, the Journal of Archaeological Science, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 

Dr. Egeland co-directs the Lori Depression Paleoanthropological Project, which seeks to document the Paleolithic settlement of northern Armenia, and The Olduvai Paleoanthropology and Paleoecology Project, where he oversees excavations at the Middle Bed II site of BK East. Since 2014, he has also directed the University of North Carolina at Greensboro Olduvai Gorge Paleoanthropology Field School. His research interests include vertebrate taphonomy, zooarchaeology, paleoecology, diet and subsistence, and quantitative methods 

Christian Tryon

Professor of Archeology
Christian Tryon received his BA (1996), MA (2000), and Ph.D. (2003) from the University of Connecticut (UConn), where he is now Professor in the Department of Anthropology. He was previously a postdoctoral fellow with the CNRS (French National Center for Scientific Research) in Sophia-Antipolis, France, and at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. He has also served on the faculty at George Washington University, New York University, and Harvard University.  He has done field, museum, and archival work in the northeastern U.S., France, Turkey, Tanzania, and especially Kenya.  He is an archaeologist with a deep interest in ancient environments, chronology, and the evolution of human behavior.  He has particular expertise in the geochemical correlation of volcanic ashes (tephra) and lithic analysis, the study of stone tools.  For stone tools, he has done extensive work on the study of raw materials and the origin and diversification of Levallois technology at Acheulian and Middle Stone Age/Middle Paleolithic sites.

Julia Aramendi

Archeologist
Julia Aramendi has a degree in Archeology at the Complutense University of Madrid (2010-2014), she received a scholarship from la Caixa for postgraduate studies (2014-2015) abroad to perform the Master of Human Anatomy and Evolution at the University of York (United Kingdom). From there she began to specialize in the anatomical study of hominin species. She currently enjoys an FPU grant from the Spanish Ministry of Education (2016-2020) to investigate the biomechanics of the long bones of some of the hominin species that evolved between 2 and 1.3 million years ago in Olduvai Gorge (Tanzania). Since 2012, she has participated in the excavations carried out in Olduvai under the direction of the TOPPP research team, as well as in the subsequent study of the materials. At the same time, she collaborates in teaching in the Department of Prehistory of the Complutense University and the Institute of Evolution in Africa (IDEA) and participates in a project oriented to the application of techniques of virtual reconstruction and geometric morphometry to taphonomic marks.

David Uribelarrea del Val

Geoarchaeologist and associate professor
David Uribelarrea del Val is a Geoarchaeologist and associate Professor in the Department of Geodynamics, Stratigraphy and Paleontology (GEODESPAL) at the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM).
He teaches in the Degrees of Geology and Biology, in subjects such as Geomorphology, External Geodynamics, Environmental Geology and Applied Geology to Biology. He has also taught classes in the Master of Archeometry at the Autonomous University of Madrid and the Master’s Degree in Prehistoric Archeology at the Complutense University of Madrid.
He has participated in numerous research projects as a geoarchaeologist in sites in Spain (Toledo, Ciudad Real, Córdoba, Madrid), in Tanzania (Olduvai Gorge and Laetoli) and in Iraq (Erbil). He is currently the senior geologist of the research team “The Olduvai Paleontology and Paleoecology Project (TOPPP)”.
His main line of research focuses on the geomorphological reconstruction of landscapes in open environments that contain archaeological sites.
His work, therefore, includes sedimentary and quaternary stratigraphic records, external processes that are contemporary with human settlements and the geomorphology of paleosurfaces within the deposits.

Eduardo Méndez Quintas

Doctor in Human Evolution, quaternary paleocology and applied geophysical techniques
Eduardo Méndez Quintas is a Doctor in Human Evolution, Quaternary Paleoecology and Applied Geophysical Techniques. He focuses his research on the technological aspects of the Acheulean industries of the Lower and Middle Pleistocene of the Iberian Peninsula and Africa, as well as on the analysis of the formation processes that affect these deposits. He carries out research in different peninsular Acheulean sites, especially in the Miño river basin, where he is a researcher of the project “Minho / Miño. Ocupações Pleistocénicas do Baixo Minho “and has directed excavations at sites such as Arbo, Porto Maior or Gándaras de Budiño. He participates in various East African projects such as Melka Kunture (Ethiopia) and since 2018 in Olduvai Gorge, as a member of TOPPP.

Leisure

We have some activities programmed for Saturdays and Sundays, in which you can enjoy the Galician experience and its gastronomy. All of them are included in the school package.
 
We will visit popular festivals of some nearby towns, gastronomic events, visits to a wine cellar with tasting, visits to Celtic Castros, hiking, and a visit to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela and Brejoeira Palace in Portugal.

Saturday 8

VISIT WINERY AND TASTING.
VISIT CASTILLO VILLASOBROSO AND CASTROS

Sunday 9

GASTRONOMY:
Octopus fair at Carballiño

Saturday 15

Visit to Monçao Castle and the Brejoeira Palace.

Sunday 16

VISIT to SANTIAGO COMPOSTELA

Saturday 22

HIKING AND THERMAL SPAS

Sunday 23

FIESTA DO VIÑO IN SALVATERRA AND RETURN TRIPS

Lodging

Upon arrival at the Vigo – Peinador airport, we will have a transfer for the students, which will take them to the corresponding hotel.
There, the school coordinator will provide a package containing all the necessary information for the stay, additional activities and map of the area. Students will be staying at nearby hotels, and will be transferred daily transfer to the site and to the school at the established times.

Students will have the option of staying at the hotel in a shared room or in a single room (with supplement). Within the price of the fieldschool, accommodation and all meals are included, as well as the weekend visits.

CODE OF CONDUCT

Archaeological fieldwork requires an environment of mutual respect, and the Paleolithic International Training School asks that all students and staff commit to a code of conduct for the duration of the field school. All team members must commit to providing a safe and welcoming environment to fellow team members, as well as to members of the host community in Spain, regardless of the sex, gender, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, age, physical ability or disability of an individual.
Verbal, physical, sexual, or gender-based misconduct will not be tolerated at the field school. Verbal misconduct may include but is not limited to insults, threats, or disparaging comments. Physical misconduct may include but is not limited to harm or threats of harm to another person’s body. Sexual misconduct includes sexual harassment, sexual assault, and sexual exploitation. Sexual harassment includes but is not limited to: comments of a sexual nature, unwanted physical contact, or threats or insinuations of sexual assault. Gender-based misconduct includes violence, discrimination, bullying, or stalking based on gender. Any incidents should be reported to the project co-directors, who bear responsibility for and have the authority to enforce the code of conduct. Appropriate support will be provided to victims; in the case of physical or sexual assault, this may include reporting the incident to local authorities and documentation of the incident at a police or medical facility. A field school member who violates the code of conduct by engaging in harassing or abusive behavior may be asked to leave the project immediately and at their own expense. The co-directors will document the incident and notify the violator’s home institution.Click here for details on the policy and protocols against sexual harrassment and code of conduct of the field school. 

For further information and application procedures contact info@pi-ts.com