Project Description

IFR policy requires that prior to traveling, all field school students must have completed a COVID-19 vaccine primary series AND received the most recent booster dose recommended by the CDC, if eligible.

 All IFR field school applicants should familiarize themselves with IFR COVID-19 Practices BEFORE enrolling in a program. These practices are subject to change as health and risk management experts provide new recommendations and best practices.

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


In the Near East, there were many rapid past climatic changes, which brought significant socio-economic and political transformations. Past human societies dealt with these changes while causing anthropogenic changes in the same environment. The research on the Elmalı Plain will focus on reconstructing the past environmental conditions in the region along with possible rapid climate change events. Then, we will explore when and how human groups that inhabited Hacımusalar Mound might have adapted to such changes. Adaptive behaviors may include changes in land use patterns, resource extraction, social organization, and other socio-economic transformations. When these patterns are reconstructed at high spatio-temporal resolution across the Plain, simulating the socio-ecological dynamics will be possible.

Hacımusalar is a multi-period archaeological settlement in the Elmalı Plain of SW Turkey. The region still follows traditional agro-pastoral lifeway yet experiencing all the problems related to rapid climate change and anthropogenic degradation of its environment. Previous excavations at the Mound revealed major architectural remains such as fortification walls, houses and churches. The new phase of field work focuses on the long-term evolution of socio-ecological dynamics on the Plain. Using the long and complex archaeological record obtained from the Mound, researchers will dedicate the next decade to understand the time-transgressive patterns in human-environment interactions.

Field methods (geophysics, geology, paleobotany, remote sensing, etc.) that complement archaeological research make EFSG a unique setting to learn about the past human-environment interactions through active participation while learning about the current climate crisis and how it impacts communities with traditional lifeways.

Download Syllabus

Course Details

  • Course Dates: Session I: June 11- July 11, 2023, Session II: July 12- August 12, 2023

  • Enrollment Status: Closed

  • Total Cost: $4,025

  • Course Type: Paleoenvironmental Studies, Archaeometry, Geoanthropology, Archaeology

  • Tuition Payment Deadline:  Session I: May 1, 2023 & Session II: June 30, 2023

  • Instructors: Dr. Bülent Arıkan

  • Orientation:  TBD


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. Bülent Arıkan
Dr. Bülent Arıkan
Dr. Bülent Arıkan is an Associate Professor of Archaeology at Eurasia Institute of Earth Sciences, Istanbul Technical University


This is a new IFR field school. Check back after the first field school season and see what our students have to say!

Tuition Includes:

  • Costs of instruction
  • Room & board
  • All local transportation

Student Fees

Application Fee: There is a $25 fee to submit an online application.

Deposit Payment:

  • Once you have been accepted to a program, you must place a nonrefundable $500 deposit fee to hold your seat in the program until the tuition payment deadline. The tuition payment deadline can be found in the top right of each field school’s web page under “Course Details”.
  • The $500 deposit fee is included as part of your total tuition fee and NOT in addition to it.

Tuition Fee 

  • The tuition balance is the total program tuition fee minus the $500 deposit fee.
  •  The full tuition fee must be paid by the tuition payment deadline in order to secure your seat in the program.
  • If you do not pay the full tuition fee by the deadline, your place in the program is no longer secure, and if you are unable to participate in the program for any reason, our Late Withdrawal policy below will apply.

Late Fee: A $100 late fee will be added to all accounts not paid in full by the tuition payment deadline.

Withdrawal Policy: If you place a deposit but decide to withdraw, you must notify IFR staff in writing before the tuition payment deadline. In the event of withdrawal, the $500 nonrefundable deposit fee remains nonrefundable and will not be refunded.

Late Withdrawal: 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 fee regardless of attendance at any IFR program. Please carefully read our Withdrawal & Cancellation Policy for further information.

Cancellation Policy: 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.
– Compare quotes from different companies offering Trip Cancelation insurance plans.


The Excavation House is a three-story structure with a large yard in the front. It is situated at the center of Elmalı in a residential neighborhood. The building was originally designed to function as a large townhouse for one family. When it started to function as an excavation house in 2002, an industrial kitchen was added. Three rooms have four bunkbeds each and foam mattresses. Kitchens of the first and the second floors of the excavation house have also been converted to bedrooms, each holding one bunkbed. There is a shower/restroom on each floor. There are also four showers and two restrooms on the ground floor. Two study rooms may accommodate approximately 12 students (leaving one meter of distance between individuals). We also have outdoor study areas.  All rooms have proper ventilation (windows, balconies) and lighting.

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.). We enforce mask wearing when studying in the Excavation House and using the restrooms, and we hire help to clean high traffic areas in the Excavation House daily and to clean bedrooms three times a week. We have on-site washing machine, there is only line-drying.

The cost of all meals is included in the program fee; however, students will be responsible for purchasing their own meals if they choose to travel on Sunday evening and Monday. Food will not be served at the Excavation House on Sunday (dinner) and Monday (breakfast and lunch) as the cook will be taking day off as well. The kitchen and the fridge are open to students during these times. Alternatively, you may visit one of many restaurants at the town. Monday dinner is a communal event and the team is expected to be present at the dinner table. We are providing halal Mediterranean cuisine and we can accommodate vegetarian diet. We cannot accommodate Vegan, Kosher, high protein or other types of diets.

Travel Info

Due to ongoing uncertainties regarding 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. Natural disasters, political changes, weather conditions and various other factors may force the cancelation of a field school. You are required 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.

Most inbound transatlantic flights arrive Istanbul (code: IST) Airport. You will have a connecting flight from Istanbul Airport to Antalya International Airport (code: AYT), which usually takes about one hour. Under normal circumstances you will clear customs at Antalya and leave the Airport from the International Arrivals Gate. The Project Director will meet you outside the Gate. The trip from the Airport to the excavation house at Elmalı takes about 1.5 hrs. There is no quarantine requirement in Turkey for the time being. Turkey does not apply random COVID-19 testing upon arrival. If you develop symptoms during your trip, please notify the Airport personnel, who will forward you to an on-site rapid testing facility. If you test positive, you will be quarantined for 10 days at a nearby hotel. In any case of emergency (health, customs issues, lost luggage, etc.) please contact the Project Director (contact information will be given at the program orientation). The Program has a vehicle to transport students to/from the site. We mandate mask wearing in all closed environments, including transportation even if all windows are open. Most inbound flights from European cities have direct flights to Antalya International Airport. 


US nationals may enter Turkey for touristic purposes by purchasing e-Visa ( However, students enrolling at EFSG will participate in academic and scientific research, which require them to obtain research visas from Turkish embassy or consulates before arriving in Turkey. Please consult the website for detailed information: Paperwork to expedite your visa procedure will be provided by the Director. Citizens of other countries are asked to check the embassy website page at their home country for specific visa requirements.

Due to the legal requirements in Turkey, EFSG has to finalize the list of applicants for each calendar year by December of the preceding year. For example; if you are applying to participate at EFSG in the summer of 2023, your name has to be in the list by December 10, 2022. There are no exceptions to this rule!

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.