Located in the Shire region of Northern Ethiopia, this field school will allow students the opportunity to excavate a site which is virtually unexplored. This site is located near the ancient capital of the Aksumite Kingdom (first to sixth century CE) Mai Adrasha, located 50 KM west of Axum. The site, the region, and its complex cultural heritage, provide important information on the sub-Saharan counterpart of the Greco-Roman world. These societies economic base of agriculture and trade resulted in close contact with the North, and an adoption of early Christianity. The research area consists of almost 100 km² and is located east of the modern city of Inda Selassie. The Shire Archeological Project concession comprises of extensive ancient remains dating from the prehistoric to the medieval period. It includes two large sites, Mai Adrasha and Mezaber Adi Menaber. During the 2017 season, students will work in Mai Adrasha, a site under threat of destruction due to continuing panning of natural gold by the local population. In addition to survey and intensive excavations, students will also have the opportunity to participate in community outreach and assist with crucial site management.
The directors welcome emails and inquiries about the research elements of this project. More general information (tuition, health insurance, and payment schedule) can be found under the ‘Students’ tab above. Any further questions may be addressed to IFR staff. Additional details about research, course schedule, travel, accommodation, and safety can be found on the syllabus. Contacting the directors or the IFR office is encouraged and appreciated. It may help you determine if this field school is a good fit for you.
Prof. Willeke Wendrich
Prof. Willeke Wedrich is the Joan Silsbee Chair of African Cultural Archaeology, a Professor of Egyptian Archaeology at the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures and the Director of the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology at UCLA.
Rachel Moy is a Ph.D. candidate in the Archaeology Interdepartmental Program at the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology at UCLA.
This is a new IFR field school. No student testimonials are available.
Costs of instruction
Room & board
All local transportation
A deposit of $500 is required. Once your application is accepted, the deposit fee secures your seat in this project. This program requires an application. There is no application fee. Only accepted students are provided with the link to pay the deposit fee.
A 2.5% Processing Fee is automatically assessed for all credit/debit card payments
A $100 Late Fee will be assessed if full tuition payment is not completed by the deadline.
Look at the field school syllabus above for room & board details.
Students and staff will be staying in a dedicated excavation house in a quiet neighborhood in Shire/Indaselassie. The accommodations are shared bedrooms, with two or three persons per room and a basic shower and squat toilet in each room. Sheets and pillows will be provided, but participants should bring towels.
Once we start fieldwork, the day is fairly full. We will have breakfast in the dig house at 6:30 am and we leave for the field at 7:15am – arriving there by 7:30 am. A light lunch will be served at 12:00 am. Work in the field concludes each day at 3:30pm. The late afternoons are reserved for lab work and daily lectures. At 6:00 pm we get together in the labs to discuss the day’s work. Every work group gives a brief report on the results, problems and successes. During these meetings we will discuss results and interpretations. You are urged to contribute information and suggestions. At 7:00 pm we will eat dinner as a group at a local restaurant.
Students should arrive to the Axum airport (AXU) on November 12 and will be met their by project staff members. Multiple shuttles will be available based on students’ arrival times. Please make sure to arrive in Addis Ababa on the morning of the 12th or the day before to catch a connecting flight to Axum. The domestic airport in Addis Ababa is adjacent to the international airport. When you leave the international arrivals hall turn left and follow the signs for a distance of approximately 600 meters.
If you missed your connection or your flight is delayed, please call, text or email to the project director. Local cell phone numbers and other emergency contact information will be provided to all enrolled students.
Student safety is paramount for the IFR. Unlike many universities who are self-insured, the IFR purchases a range of high end insurance policies from some of the largest insurers in the world. Students in all our international programs have a comprehensive health insurance policy. It covers sickness, and chronic and mental health conditions at 100% of the cost. We have a strong evacuation and extraction policy. We can remove students from any location anywhere in the world with one phone call – whether medical evacuation, political or natural disaster extraction and anything in between. We purchase intelligence services from a global private provider and monitor the world 24/7. We automatically enroll our students to the US State Department STEP program. All of our students receive safety orientations both before and on the first day of each program. Our faculty have all been working in the areas where we operate field schools for years. They are intimately familiar with local customs and traditions, know the landscape well and have deep relationships with local communities.
All our domestic programs are coordinated with local authorities which are informed of our operations. Students in domestic programs are covered by their own health insurance and evacuations are managed by local emergency services, as appropriate.
The IFR has strong, explicit and robust policy towards discrimination and harassment in the field (click here for a shortcut). If students feel they cannot discuss personal safety issues with the field school staff, the IFR operates an emergency hotline where students can contact IFR personnel directly.
Travel does involve risk, but we try to minimize this risk as much as possible. Call us at 877-839-4374 or email us at email@example.com if you have questions about the safety of particular programs.