The Boncuklu project is investigating the appearance of the first villages and farmers in central Turkey. At Boncuklu we are also exploring the origins of the remarkable symbolism seen in paintings and reliefs at the nearby famous Neolithic town of Çatalhöyük. The course will take place at the Neolithic site of Boncuklu, dating to c. 8500 BCE, the earliest village in central Anatolia and the predecessor of the famous Neolithic site of Çatalhöyük. The site is located in the Konya Plain in central Turkey, 40 kms east of the major city of Konya, a famous Medieval centre where the ‘whirling dervish’ sect was founded by the Medieval philosopher Celaleddin Rumi. There are many medieval buildings of the Seljuk period to visit in Konya, a booming city. The field school also includes visits to other sites and museums in central Turkey including Çatalhöyük, the Hittite capital Hatussas, the Anatolian Civilizations Museum in Ankara and the dramatic Neolithic site of Aşıklı, with evidence of repeated rebuilding of houses and an experimental village. Aşıklı is located about 3 hours east of Konya in Cappadocia, also famous for its underground cities and painted medieval churches which there will thus be an opportunity to visit. For the project website, go here.
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. Douglas Baird
Prof. Baird is the Chair of the Department of Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology at the University of Liverpool.
Dr. Andrew Fairbairn
Dr. Fairbairn is a Senior Lecturer of Archaeology at the University of Queensland (Australia).
I undertook The Boncuklu Field Work opportunity as an undergraduate student. In my opinion it is a must for any student wanting to become the best Archaeologist they can be. I experienced a different culture, met aspiring and established archaeologists and I was given the chance to work on a site of great archaeological value. The opportunity to go on intensive field work is very limited for undergraduates so this opportunity should not be passed up. Even if this is not your chosen area of study, it is important to get an understanding of the different types of sites you may encounter in your future undertakings. All in all, the experience was amazing, unforgettable and unique. It reaffirmed my belief that Archaeology is not really a job, but a lifestyle.
Brendan Richardson, University of Queensland (2011)
The Boncuklu experience was a fantastic opportunity to further my archaeological experience, as well as to fully immerse myself in a culture quite apart from what one is used to in Britain. Prior to the excavation I took the opportunity to explore Turkey, travelling as far as Lake Van in Eastern Turkey, and visiting sites we had been introduced to in lectures, notably Göbekli Tepe. The dig itself provided a fantastic opportunity to work, with an awesome team of students and top academics, for up to two months. I could truly immerse myself in the work I was undertaking, and try my hand at all aspects of the work (excavation, find processing, flotation, and survey), while exploring areas of the country such as Cappadocia, Antalya, and Eğridir in my time off. The opportunity also gave me a further experience in finds processing from a more specialised view point with personal instruction at a one to one level from Dr. Douglas Baird. This was a truly memorable experience, one I hope to repeat in the future, which I shall treasure forever, having met amazing people from across the world and explored a beautiful and welcoming country. Thanks!
Seth Price, University of Liverpool (2011)
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 will spend 5 weeks at the Boncuklu Project excavation center. The first week there will involve five days of lectures and site visits around central Turkey including Hattusas. The last four weeks will be spent in the field in survey and excavation at Boncuklu with laboratory training as well. The dig house has good communal facilities with kitchen, several showers and toilets, washing machine, and laboratories. There is outdoor covered dining and social space. Field school students will be housed in shared dorm rooms on bunk beds. There is also the option of large well-insulated project tents that offer more space.
All meals will be communal events and will provide plenty of nutritious but basic food in the tradition of local cuisine. The daily diet in Turkey is heavily based on pasta, rice, legumes bread other vegetables, with some meat. Vegetarians are catered for. Specialized diets (vegan, kosher, etc.) are difficult to maintain in this location.
Note: our website boncuklu.org gives a flavor of life for the team at the site, you are encouraged to visit the site.
Students are responsible for making your own travel arrangements, once the timing of permit issue by the Turkish authorities is confirmed. Students will fly in and out of Konya (KYA) and will be met at Konya airport on arrival. If you flight is delayed or you missed your connection, please call, text or email the project director immediately. A local cell phone number will be provided to enrolled students.
Students will arrive on Sunday, July 16. This field school ends on the afternoon of Friday, August 18. Students should prepare for onward travel or return home on Saturday, August 19.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions about the safety of particular programs.