Project Description


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 2024 Syllabus
Course Details
Course Dates 2 sessions in 2024
S1: June 9-July 9
S2: July 14-August 11
Course Type Paleoenvironmental Studies, Archaeometry, Geoanthropology, Archaeology
Instructors Dr. Bülent Arıkan
Credits* 8 semester (12 quarter)
Priority Deadline March 1 
Fees Due By S1: Summer 1 (May 1)
S2: Summer 2 (May 15)
Program Fees
Tuition $4,450
Transcript Fee* $300
Health & Evacuation Insurance $150
Room & Board $1,320
TOTAL: $6,220
Application Closed*

*The deadline for this program has passed.


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!

Payment & Student Fees

Application Fee: There is a $45 fee to submit an online application.

Deposit Payment: A nonrefundable $500 deposit is due within 3 weeks of program acceptance in order to secure your place. The remainder of your program fees are due by the deadline indicated under “Course Details”.

*Transcript Fee & Academic Credit Opt Out: If you wish to participate in an IFR field school without earning academic credits, you will not be charged a transcript fee.

For more information about payment, fees, and policies, please see details under our Payment & Finances and Withdrawal and Cancellation Policy pages.


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. Students will sleep on bunkbeds in shared rooms that may have up to 4 bunkbeds. There is a shower/restroom on each floor, and additional showers and and restrooms on the ground floor. The house also contains study areas both inside and outside. We also have outdoor study areas. All rooms have proper ventilation (windows, balconies) and lighting.

All participants in the field school 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 per week. We have on-site washing machines and line-drying for laundry.

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

Natural disasters, political changes, weather conditions and various other factors may force the cancellation or alteration of a field school. IFR recommends students only purchase airline tickets that are fully refundable and consider travel insurance in case a program or travel plans must change for any reason.

General information for this program is below, but keep in mind we will discuss any updated travel information and regulations during the required program orientation, which could affect travel plans.

Most inbound transatlantic flights arrive at Istanbul Airport (code: IST). 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. Most inbound flights from European cities have direct flights to Antalya International Airport.

As students will be participating in academic and scientific research, they must 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 by March 1 Please note the earlier deadline. 

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.