Project Description


Turkey has evidence of one of the earliest transitions from hunting and gathering to sedentism in the world. Understanding the period in time immediately preceding and encompassing the first steps in this transition, the Epipalaeolithic period, is crucial; however, the Epipalaeolithic period in central Turkey is poorly understood. The Pınarbașı project investigates the only known Epipalaeolithic site in Anatolia. During previous excavations, our team uncovered exciting burials with elaborate grave goods, indicating a commitment to place that may represent a transition to more sedentary behaviours. Working alongside professional excavators and experts in Epipalaeolithic communities, students will learn a range of archaeological research techniques and methods and about the wider context of Anatolian archaeology.

The course will take place at the Epipalaeolithic site of Pınarbașı (c. 14000-11000 BCE), the only Epipalaeolithic site on the central Anatolian plateau and the predecessor of the famous Neolithic sites of Boncuklu and Çatalhöyük. The site is located on the edge of the Konya Plain in central Turkey, 65 km east of the major city of Konya, a famous Medieval centre where the ‘whirling dervish’ sect was founded by the Medieval philosopher Celaleddin Rumi. We will stay in Karaman, an important Medieval city located 50 km to the south of Pınarbașı. There are many medieval buildings of the Seljuk period to visit in Konya and Karaman, both booming cities. The field school also includes visits to other sites and museums in central Turkey including Çatalhöyük and the dramatic Neolithic site of Aşıklı, where there is 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. We will also visit a number of remote Byzantine and Hittite sites around the Konya plain.

Download 2024 Syllabus
Course Details
Course Dates June 17-July 14, 2024
Course Type Field Archaeology
Instructors Prof. Douglas Baird
Credits* 8 semester (12 quarter)
Apply By April 1
Fees Due By Summer 1 (May 1)
Program Fees  
Tuition $3,725
Transcript Fee* $300
Health & Evacuation Insurance $125
Room & Board $840
TOTAL: $4,990
Application Closed

Applications accepted on a rolling basis until program fills or final deadline above. 


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. Douglas Baird
Prof. Baird is a Professor at the School of Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology at the University of Liverpool (UK).


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

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.


Our accommodation will be in a new dig house near the site. Students will share bedrooms. Laundry facilities are available.

All meals will be communal events and will provide plenty of nutritious but basic food in the tradition of local cuisine cooked by local people. The daily diet in Turkey is heavily based on pasta, rice, legumes bread other vegetables, with some meat.  Vegetarians/Vegans are catered for and gluten-free diets are catered for. The food is varied and nutritious but it will be thoroughly Turkish, which might not appeal to all students. It is, of course, halal.

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.

The closest city to the site with an airport is Konya. There is an international airport at Konya although most flights route through Istanbul. Flying to Konya is easiest and Professor Baird will meet IFR students at that airport. Alternatively, one can fly to Istanbul and travel by high-speed train (4.5 hours) from Istanbul to Karaman, although these trains book up quickly. Professor Baird will also meet people at the train station in Karaman, if required. You will be driven from collection point to the accommodation in the dig vehicle.

Please frequently consult the US Embassy in Turkey website for the most up-to-date travel restrictions/protocols.

All personnel engaged in archaeological research in Turkey must be cleared by the authorities.  Enrolled students will receive a special visa to attend the field school.  All accepted students will be asked to complete official forms – those will be sent to students by Project Director – and all documents will be submitted as a group for approval to relevant Turkish authorities. Just before the program students will collect research visas from relevant local consulates, this will involve making suitable arrangements with those consulates for visa collection under guidance from Prof. Baird.

Citizens not from the US are asked to check the embassy website page at their home country for specific visa requirements.

The Turkish government require that your passport should be valid for at least 6 months from the date you enter Turkey and that there is a full blank page for the entry and exit stamps.

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.