Let’s admit it: there are many Archaeology field schools all around the world, which offer many different types of programs, many of them in beautiful locations and giving students the opportunity to dig in amazing sites and enroll in exciting activities.
There’s also a wide variety of types of lodgings they offer, as well as benefits and, of course, prices; some field schools offering affordable tuition fees and others being much more expensive. Also, the location, country, weather, etc., are things that are considered by the person deciding where to go for an Archaeology dig.
There are so many options for people interested in signing up for a program that they have to think in several aspects, including price, what’s offered or included in the course, number of hours devoted to different activities, location, etc. And of course, they have to think in the following: what do they expect from a field school?
The vast majority of field schools offer programs that include fieldwork and laboratory tasks, as well as lectures and excursions to visit other sites or interesting locations in the area. So, which field school should a student choose? Even though many of them can seem very similar or, at least, just offering the same to students, the difference lays in the quality of the tasks devoted to fieldwork, lab, etc.
For instance, it is not the same to attend a field school where you just pick-axe for several hours every day as part of fieldwork, than another that offers students the chance to dig, (of course!), but also help the team with the on-site drawing, use topographical instruments, learn how to use different tools and when to use them, learn about Stratigraphy, take samples, etc.
The same comes to the lectures, the content of the lecturers and the people giving them are decisive in order to see just someone talking or, on the contrary, to attend to a great informative and relevant lecture.
And what about field trips? It is not just about taking students out. It is more than that. It’s a matter of designing excursions that will help them understand the Archaeology they are dealing with at the field school, as well as getting a good understanding about several aspects, such as the environment of the place where the course takes place (country, province, island, county, etc.), as well as its gastronomy, culture and traditions.
In Sa Cudia Cremada we consider that it is a MUST to make sure students receive a proper training as well as a deep understanding of the Archaeology they are discovering at the site and in Menorca. It is not just about digging in a certain spot; it is about understanding why you are digging in that spot, how to do it properly and learning many aspects of fieldwork, from digging to drawing, mounting the theodolite, taking samples, filling out recording sheets, etc.
And this is basically the same for lab work, lectures and excursions: finding the best way to convey the information and deciding which information is the most relevant…and who is the most appropriate person to give that information. That is why our team has several specialists, who apart from studying specific groups of materials such as faunal remains, marine remains, lithics, etc., give lectures to our students on those specific topics.
At Sa Cudia Cremada we think that in order to deliver great archaeological training, groups of students cannot be too big…that is why we have a maximum number of 12 people per session (not 20, 30 or +!).
And, finally, Sa Cudia Cremada is enganged with its students. How? Since apart from making sure we deliver high-quality training in Archaeology, we want to encourage our students to be involved with this project. Once they sign up for any of our sessions, our students (both former and new) start to form part of a big “family” or group of people who love Archaeology (and are interested in related topics, such as excavation, Mediterranean Archaeology, Late Prehistory, cultural contacts, etc.).
This is why we encourage students to study some aspects of the excavation in particular, write reviews or even articles. If they really want to do something else after finishing their course with us, they are welcome to ask the team to do some research, either for personal reasons or as part of something else (posts for a website, articles for journals, or even a thesis topic for school). If our students are really interested in the Archaeology of Sa Cudia Cremada, we encourage them to be involved with it! And of course, we’ll guide them/ help them with both in Menorca and via the Internet!
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