Project Description

In light of a changing COVID-19 landscape, including the rapid spread of more contagious Delta and Omicron variants, and in accordance with the recommendation of national medical experts, IFR policy requires that prior to traveling, all field school students must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 AND receive a booster shot, if eligible. If you intend to participate in an IFR program this summer, we strongly encourage you to schedule your vaccination appointment as soon as possible.

All IFR field school applicants should familiarize themselves with IFR COVID-19 Practices before beginning the enrollment process. Program logistics are subject to change as health and risk management experts provide new recommendations and best practices. Each field school syllabus includes specific information about COVID-19 as related to travel regulations and recommendations, accommodations, local protocols, face mask policy and managing COVID-19 cases or outbreaks.

You may want to refer to the following websites to stay informed of COVID-19 case numbers and regulations/policies for the Netherlands:


Public participation in archaeological projects is becoming ever more essential and experimental archaeology is an excellent way of reaching out: doing things together and exploring the various technological choices of the past creates a scientific community in which both scientists and the general public can benefit. This approach has been fundamental to the reconstruction of a house plan from the Neolithic Vlaardingen culture in the Vlaardingen-Broekpolder. This reconstruction forms part of the open-air educational center of Masamuda ( The Vlaardingen culture refers to Neolithic sites which are for the most part located in the Rhine/Meuse delta. The sites are characterized by a diversity in location, subsistence base and material culture.

Having constructed the Vlaardingencultuurhuis, how should we subsequently “bring this house to life”? What did people actually do in and around these houses, which crafts did they carry out, how did they obtain and process their food and which toolkits were involved in these daily activities? How did they move around the landscape to collect resources?

Although we know much about the plants used and the animals consumed during the Vlaardingen period, we know surprisingly little about the role of material culture and the activities tools and objects involved. In this project, we will use a combination of experimental archaeology and detailed material studies like use-wear analysis to enrich our knowledge about daily life in the Vlaardingen period. Detecting use-wear traces from different activities enables us to also obtain some insights into “hidden” crafts that rarely leave archaeological traces such as basketry, hide working or other crafts involving organic, perishable materials. In the field lab, students will also be studying archaeological materials from the Vlaardingen culture, comparing them with the experimental tools they use.

The focus of the project, and thus, of the field school is exactly such crafts involving organic materials. We will carry out a series of experiments, under the guidance of experienced craftspeople, to explore the affordances of different materials, as well as the tools and techniques that were likely used. These experiments are conducted together with the local volunteers of Masamuda and will take place at the center. Students will share their experiments and the research questions of the project with the general public who regularly visit the Vlaardingencultuurhuis. Dialogue with the public is considered an essential research tool in the project and for this reason, EXARC ( is a partner of the project, managing our social media outreach. EXARC distributes blogs, visualizations and videos of our project to their many followers via their own social media.  Students will be contributing to this by writing blogs and making short videos.

Download Syllabus

Course Details

  • Course Dates: July 9 – 27, 2022

  • Enrollment Status: Closed

  • Total Cost: $3,620

  • Course Type: Experimental archaeology, community/public archaeology

  • Instructors: Dr. Annelou van Gijn

  • Payment Deadline: April 15, 2022

  • Orientation:  TBA
  • Academic Credit Units: 4 Semester Credit Units (Equivalent to 6 Quarter Units)


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.

Dr. Annelou van Gijn
Dr. Annelou van Gijn
Prof. van Gijn is a professor of archaeological material culture studies, Faculty of Archaeology, Leiden University, Netherlands.


This is a new IFR field school. No student testimonials are available at this time.

Tuition Includes:

  • Costs of Instruction
  • Room & Board
  • All Local Transportation
  • Cost of Academic Credit Units
  • Health & Evacuation Insurance

Student Fees

This program requires an online application — there is a $25 fee to submit an application. Once admitted, a payment of the nonrefundable deposit fee is required to secure a place in the program(s). The Tuition balance (total program cost minus the deposit fee) must be paid prior to the Tuition deadline as listed above under “Course Details.” A $100 late fee will be added to all accounts not paid in full by the Tuition deadline.

Deposit: A nonrefundable $500 deposit fee is required to secure a seat in the program. This deposit is part of the total Tuition and NOT in addition to it.

Withdrawal & Cancellation Policy: If you paid the deposit fee but did not cancel your participation by the Tuition payment deadline, you are legally responsible for the full Tuition regardless of attendance at any IFR program. Please carefully read our Withdrawal & Cancellation Policy for further information. In the event that IFR must cancel a field school, all accepted students will be notified as soon as possible and will receive a refund of all tuition paid including the deposit fee. IFR offers students the opportunity to transfer to another field school, permitting that there are spots available and the program director approves the student to participate in their field school. Upon approval of the program director, IFR staff will make the arrangements to transfer the student’s application and payments.

Credit Card Processing Fee: A 3.5% processing fee is automatically incurred for all credit/debit card/online payments.

Academic Credit Opt Out: Students who wish to participate in an IFR field school without earning academic credit units may do so and receive the following discounts: $300 off a full program (4 or more weeks in length) or $200 off a short program (2-3 weeks in length).

Trip Cancellation Insurance: Please consider purchasing a travel interruption insurance policy that will cover your travel cost and the cost of the IFR program once you make a commitment to attend a field school.

The added risk of COVID-19  should be a “covered event” in your policy.
Please note that the cost of coverage varies, based on your age, the program duration and geographical location.
You may get help and advice from your insurance broker and we offer the links below to help you educate yourself on these insurance products.
Travel Insured International offers coverage Trip Cancellation or Interruption for Any Reason (review coverage based on your state).
– Compare quotes from different companies offering Trip Cancelation insurance plans.


Students will be housed in the newly built center of the local scouting organization, on the edge of an urban environment, but basically in rural setting and situated along a river. There is plenty of space to relax both outside and inside. The accommodation has all facilities needed for group accommodation, such as sufficient lavatories, showers and kitchen facilities. The lavatories and showers are separate for male and female, but we can make arrangements for other gender identities, if needed.

No individual rooms will be available. We will have one large room for men, and one for women. However, we will set up screens to accommodate people of other gender identities and create some privacy for everyone. You will have to bring your own sleeping bag and pillowcases as well as towels.

Cleaning the accommodation, including the joined spaces like lavatories, will be done by the students daily, according to a pre-made schedule, ensuring every student takes his or her share of the cleaning tasks. Lavatories, showers and kitchen facilities will be cleaned thoroughly every day. Regular hand washing is required of all participants. Laundry facilities will be available and can be used upon request. Everyone is responsible to clean around his or her personal space, especially because the sleeping arrangements are shared.

All participants in a field school, students and staff, will wear masks while indoors (i.e., during lectures, during labs, in shared residential spaces, etc.). Regular hand washing will be a part of the project’s daily schedule.

All students will help with the meals and a schedule will be made for breakfast and dinner.  Breakfast will be eaten at the accommodation and will consist of a simple continental breakfast. Cleaning up will be done by the students. Lunch will be as much as possible outside, preferably at the Vlaardingen house. This will be a simple cold lunch of sandwiches and fruit, following Dutch customs. Each student will prepare their own lunch during breakfast and will keep it in a lunchbox (it is required to bring a lunchbox to the field school).

All meals will primarily cater towards vegetarians, with meat provided separately for those who request it. Vegan diets cannot generally be accommodated, but students following such a diet are encouraged to participate in the cooking to make sure their needs are taken into account as much as possible. The same pertains to specific dietary needs like lactose intolerance, and religion-based diets which will be accommodated as much as possible within the vegetarian meals that are going to be cooked. Cooking different parts of the meal separately usually can allow for such specific needs.

Travel Info

Due to ongoing uncertainties regarding the travel regulations related to COVID-19, IFR will assess the local conditions closer to the travel date (5–6 weeks prior to the program beginning) and will make Go/No Go decisions then. We urge you to participate in the mandatory orientation meeting when we will discuss the latest travel information and regulations. We also suggest you consider postponing the purchase of your airline ticket until after the program orientation.

We recommend frequently consulting the following website for up-to-date COVID-19 travel regulations and restrictions in the Netherlands:

Other resources for up-to-date travel regulations are:

The following is a summary of current (February 2022) regulations/restrictions for travelers entering the Netherlands from the US. Restrictions and regulations depend on the risk level of the country from which you are traveling. The US is currently considered a VERY high-risk country.

  • There is an EU entry ban in effect for people traveling from non-EU/Schengen countries with a high COVID-19 risk unless the purpose of their trip falls under an approved exemption category.
  • There is an exemption if you have proof of vaccination showing that you have been fully vaccinated with a vaccine approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) or the World Health Organization (WHO). You will need to show the following documents to the Dutch border authorities:
  • In addition, you must show a negative COVID-19 test result before boarding an aircraft traveling to the Netherlands. You will need to show:
    • a negative test result from NAAT (PCR) test taken no more than 24 hours before departure, or
    • a negative test result from a NAAT (PCR) test taken no more than 48 hours before departure and a negative result from an antigen test taken no more than 24 hours before departure.
  • From February 25, 2022, people traveling from very high-risk areas are no longer required by law to self-quarantine on arrival.
  • You may need to complete a quarantine declaration form
  • If you are traveling by air, complete a health declaration form.

In case of being stopped at the airport, please contact the program director immediately. IFR nor the Vlaardingen field school are responsible for the costs a student incurs if held at the airport and/or required to quarantine.

The nearest airport is Rotterdam/The Hague airport but this is not serviced by most international airlines. Amsterdam Schiphol airport is, however, only a 45-minute train ride from the train station of Schiedam Centrum where students will be picked up. Staff will pick you up at Schiedam Central station on Saturday afternoon July 9th, 2022 at 5PM local time. If you arrive after 5PM please contact the field director prior to your departure to make arrangements. If you missed your connection or your flight is delayed, please call, text or email the field school director immediately. A local emergency mobile phone number will be provided to all enrolled students.

Accommodation of the students is located around 300 meters from the Masamuda center where much of the field school is taking place at the reconstructed Neolithic house. The field laboratory is housed in the same building as the accommodation. There is therefore no need for local transport apart from that needed for the program excursions. Students can rent bikes at their own expense. Information will be provided upon request, but students are warned that cycling in the Netherlands can be dangerous; if they choose to do so, this will be at their own risk. Foreign students are advised to take public transport instead.


No visa is required for passport holders of Schengen countries. Citizens of the US and Canada do not require visas for entering the Netherlands, but your passport has to be valid for at least 90 days after arrival. Citizens of other countries are asked to check the embassy website page at their home country for specific visa requirements and allow ample time to organize this. Please note that universities in several countries are requiring security checks and assessments of the local health situation before giving permission for students to leave. Students must arrange this far in advance.

Student Safety

The IFR primary concern is with education. Traveling and conducting field research involve risk. Students interested in participating in IFR programs must weigh whether the potential risk is worth the value of education provided. While risk is inherent in everything we do, we do not take risk lightly. The IFR engages in intensive review of each field school location prior to approval. Once a program is accepted, the IFR reviews each program annually to make sure it complies with all our standards and policies, including student safety.

Students attending IFR international programs are covered by a comprehensive Health Insurance policy that includes physical illness or injury, mental or chronic conditions. No deductible and 100% of costs are covered up to $250,000. In addition, we provide Political and Natural Disaster Evacuation policy, which allow us to remove students from field school location if local conditions change. Our field school directors are scholars that know field school locations and cultures well and are plugged in into local communities and state institution structures.

Students attending IFR domestic programs (within the US) must have their own health insurance and provide proof upon enrollment. IFR field school directors are familiar with local authorities and if in need of evacuation, local emergency services and/or law enforcement will be notified and activated.

The IFR has strong, explicit and robust policy towards discrimination and harassment in the field. If students feel they cannot discuss personal safety issues with field school staff, the IFR operates an emergency hotline where students may contact IFR personnel directly.

Call us at 877-839-4374 or email us at if you have questions about the safety of any particular program.