Those who join the crew at the Iron Age necropolis Son Real will take part in the ongoing archaeological excavation and restoration of a unique burial site located only a few meters from the Mediterranean Sea on the northern edge of Mallorca, the largest Balearic Island.

Participants will be restoring the circular, stone tombs and excavating their interiors, so chances are good that we'll be practicing our skeleton-excavation skills.

Son Real is a wonderful example of the island's pre-history and it is the most well-known necropolis from the Talaiotic culture, the indigenous, pre-Roman Balearic people who lived around 850-500 BC. Archaeologists have already uncovered a large area of small, circular structures containing graves of what scholars consider the local aristocracy due to the presence of metallic weapons.

They also discovered a secondary phase of smaller graves and a site around 200 meters away that was used as a sanctuary. Archaeologists have also uncovered Greek and Carthaginian pottery, allowing scholars to study the presence of these naval traders on the island.

The current project, funded by the Santa Margalida town hall and led by one of the world's leading experts in Talaiotic cemeteries, began in 2007. So far the graves uncovered have provided some of the best evidence for studying the Talaiotic society.

This summer we will focus on the excavation and restoration of the western area of the necropolis, currently at risk due to its proximity to the sea. In the afternoons, we will work at the Son Real Museum, washing and cataloguing artifacts.

There will also be seminars on the history of Spain and the Balearic Islands, pottery drawing, and Greek commerce in Mallorca.

ArchaeoSpain at Son Real involves restoration, excavation, mapping, and artifact conservation. We are looking for four adventurous people to join a crew working alongside professional archaeologists, restoration experts, anthropologists, and Spanish university students. The ArchaeoSpain team will be guided by a local archaeologist who speaks English, Spanish, and the local Catalan.

Also, the group will experience the island away from the skeletons and shovels either by relaxing at a café bar or by visiting several nearby Talaiotic, Roman, Byzantine, Moorish, and Medieval sites of interest. And of course we will frequent the island's excellent beaches. Our boat trip to the island of Cabrera, a national park and one of the most beautiful spots in the Mediterranean, is just one of the highlights.

Everyone is expected to take part in all archaeological activities during the program. While speaking Spanish is not a prerequisite, we will be immersed in both Spanish and Catalan languages daily. Work will be demanding due to the summer heat/humidity and the physical nature of the excavation (picks, shovels, trowels, and wheelbarrows) so participants should be in good physical condition and health.

In cooperation with students' universities, academic credit can be obtained.
Click here to learn more about receiving credit.