The field school takes place in the quaint Transylvanian village of Sânpetru, a few km from the city of Brasov, and aims to develop specific aspects of the broader Braşov Bioarchaeology Project (est. 2014), investigating biocultural diversity in medieval Transylvania. Two core objectives are:
- To continue the post-excavation processing of human skeletal remains from the Braşov medieval cemetery (cleaning, organising, bagging);
- To uncover new archaeological evidence through the excavation of areas of the fortified Saxon church in Sânpetru.
The field school offers the unique opportunity to receive training in both bioarchaeological analysis and archaeological fieldwork. Among the assemblages under study, the medieval parish church assemblage, one of the largest thus far excavated in Romania, was recovered between 2013 and 2014 during rescue excavations in the historical centre of Braşov, a space dominated by the Biserica Neagră (the ‘Black Church’), one of the foremost Gothic monuments in Eastern Europe.
The village of Sânpetru, where both archaeological excavation and osteological practice will take place, is known not only for its 13th century fortified church and 14th century painted chapel, but also for the discovery of several fossilized dinosaur bones in its territory.
In Transylvania, a land steeped in history and myth, students will be able to learn more about archaeology whilst travelling across dramatic landscapes and bucolic villages, taste fresh, organic food and discover this region’s fascinating local customs and traditions. The field school locations are also the venue for cultural, musical and artistic events and are a step away from many heritage and environmental landmarks, including the world-renowned UNESCO sites of Sighişoara and the fortified churches of Transylvania.