Those who join us at Torre d'en Galmes will work as field crew alongside professional archaeologists. Students will contribute to the research that aims to piece together the story of the Balearic Islands, from the Iron Age to Medieval times.
At Menorca you will have a complete immersion in the archaeological process. We will tell you
about the different methods in surveying, you will be learning the methods and techniques of an
archaeological excavation, using tools but also working with stratigraphy and writing down
your own excavation diary. Collecting, cleaning and classifying different artifacts will be part of
your daily work as well as drawing structures and archaeological materials.
While we do not require that participants speak Spanish, they will be immersed in the language daily. Thus ArchaeoSpain hopes that you take advantage of this situation to learn some basics or improve your language skills. Just imagine, you could leave Spain knowing how to say “pass that shovel” in Spanish and Catalan!
The work, due to the summer heat and the physical nature of the excavation, will be demanding. Those that wish to join should be in reasonable physical condition and in good health.
ArchaeoSpain will also make time to experience Spain away from the trowels and picks by relaxing on the island’s beautiful beaches, sitting at a café, or touring several nearby sites, museums and historical cities.
SEMINARS AND WORKSHOPS:
• Site tour at Torre d'en Galmés
• Introduction into Archaeology, Stratigraphy, and Artifact Collection
• History of Spain and the Balearic Islands
• History of Torre d'en Galmés Excavation
• Pottery Drawing
Torre d'en Galmés is the biggest Talayotic settlement in Minorca and one of the biggest in the Balearic Islands. Today it is in the nomination to the UNESCO World Heritage list. What is a talayot? Talayots are megalithic structures unique to the islands of Menorca and Mallorca. They date back to the late second millennium and early first millennium BC. Some certainly had a defensive purpose but the use of others is not clearly understood. Some believe them to have served the purpose of lookout or signalling towers, as on Menorca, where they form a network.
Constructed on a hill, dominates most of the South coast of Minorca. It was occupied during the Middle Bronze Age, the Iron Age, the Roman Conquest and the Islamic period. Its location, its extension and its impressive monumental constructions suggest that it could have exercised some supremacy over the other sites on the island. Torre d'en Galmés was occupied until the year 1287, when Jaime I defatted the Muslims and the settlement was abandoned ever since.
The site has a large number of constructions, among them are three talayots, numerous circular talayotic houses, the taula enclosure, a hypostyle hall, a water collection system and up to four hypogeums than would originally have had a funerary function.
The first archaeological excavation at the site was carried out in 1942 by archaeologist J. Flaquer, in the Taula enclosure and the hypostyle hall. During the nineteen seventies and eighties, the Taula enclosure at the site and the water collection system were excavated, and the hypostyle hall was consolidated.
In 1974, G. Rosselló-Brodoy and Ll. Plantalamor excavated in the undisturbed sector under some large blocks of stone. During the dig they recovered one of the most emblematic figures of our prehistory: IMHOTEP, a bronze figure representing the priest-vizier from the third Egyptian dynasty, a reputed architect, doctor and man of science who built the first stepped cone of Ancient Egypt during the time of the Pharaoh Djoser. In the Saite Period he became popular, and was compared to Asclepius, whose worship was relatively normal in the cities of the eastern Mediterranean around the fifth-fourth centuries B.C., causing extensive production and commercialisation of the statue with his effigy.
From 2001 onwards numerous excavations have been carried out of the different Talayot buildings and houses. At the moment, not only the Talayotic period is being investigated at the site. In the Middle Ages, Muslims settled on the island and cultivated the ravines. Torre d'en Galmés was also occupied and the new households were established reusing the old structures. We will help investigate one of these medieval houses suddenly abandoned in 1287. This way, we will have the best of both time periods, the megalithic architecture and all the objects that the Islamic population left behind when they needed to abandon their houses hastily.
In 2019, we will be digging Iron Age structures that were reoccupied during the Middle Ages. Muslims from the Iberian Peninsula lived in the island from the 10th century and throughout 1287. When the island was conquered by the Christians, they left the houses intact, which can be recovered thanks to Archaeology.
PLANTALAMOR, Ll. Algunes formatgeres del talaiòtic final al Museu de Menorca. Mayurqa 30. Universitat de les Illes Balears. 2005.
PONS MACHADO, J.; LARA ASTIZ, C. Torre d’en Galmés (Alaior, Menorca). HIB 16. El Mundo de Baleares. 2006.
RAMIS I RAMIS, J. Antigüedades célticas de la Isla de Menorca desde los tiempos primitivos más remotos hasta el siglo IV de la era Cristiana. Pedro Antonio Serra. 1818.
ROSSELLÓ BORDOY, G. Excavaciones arqueológicas en Torre d’en Gaumés (Alayor, Menorca). El recinto de taula y el sistema de recogida de aguas (campañas 1974, 1975 y 1977). NAH 19. Ministerio de Cultura. 1984.
ROSSELLÓ BORDOY, G. El poblat prehistòric de Torre d’en Gaumés (Alaior, Menorca). MIB 3. Departament de Cultura de la Generalitat de Catalunya. 1986.
The group, including ArchaeoSpain staff, will be staying at a traditional country house in the centre of the Island.
The house is about 15 minutes drive from the excavation, it has free wi fi and students will be sharing double and triple rooms. Meals will be served at the house to better accommodate everyone's dietary needs. An arrangement will be made for a mid-workday snack.
Breakfast in Spain is a light meal and it will be completed with a mid morning snack on the field. Lunch is the main meal; eaten around 2pm. Dinner is at 8:30pm.
Our accommodation has a small swimming pool and it is a short drive from some of the best sandy and rocky beaches..
Please let us know if you are a vegetarian or if you require a special diet so that we may discuss the best way to accommodate your needs.
dates & fees
June 25 – July 13
• Full Room and Board
• Fieldwork training
• Seminars and workshops
• Excursions and other activities
• Medical Insurance
• Transportation to and from airport
• Application fee
• Administrative costs
Fees DO NOT include airfare
To reserve a space, you must pay a $300 application fee. (Included in the price of the program)
The remainder of the program cost will be due by May 15.
Application fees will be refunded if the applicant is not selected.
Rolling application. We accept applications until all spaces are filled.
Cancellation and Refund Policy:
• Before April 1: All payments, except for $50 from the application fee, are refundable.
• Between April 1 and May 15: Application fee non-refundable. The balance is refundable.
• After May 15: All payments are non-refundable unless your application is rejected by the program director.
You should begin making travel plans as soon as your place in the group is reserved, and you should complete them upon being notified of your selection. We strongly recommend that participants purchase travel insurance to cover all needs including medical, accident, baggage loss, delays and personal liability. ArchaeoSpain is not a travel provider nor is a registered travel agent. Your travel arrangements to and from Spain are subject to the terms and conditions of your travel agency. In the rare event that the program is cancelled, ArchaeoSpain will refund program fees, but is not responsible for non-refundable airline or other tickets or payments or any similar penalties that may be incurred. It is your responsibility to protect yourself against airline and travel agency cancellation fees.
All ArchaeoSpain participants at Pollentia are covered with an insurance packet that provides medical and surgical treatment and prescription drugs in case of accident or sudden illness. With your program packet we will send you more details regarding this coverage, but you may contact our staff for more information.
European students should bring an EHIC card with them.
Right of Refusal:
ArchaeoSpain reserves the right to refuse an applicant’s selection. This is a rare occurrence and is most likely due to a person’s inability to meet health requirements or in the interest of group compatibility. Once in the field, the program director and ArchaeoSpain reserve the right to send a student away from the program should that person’s behavior compromise the safety, research objectives and general performance of the group, or violate Spanish laws, regulations or customs.
Menorca is an island full of history and our group will take advantage of all the unique prehistoric and medieval sites of interest.
Menorca is one of the most beautiful islands of the Mediterraneum, and our group will have a chance to enjoy its charming beaches and landscapes.
The following are some of the visits we have planned for our group. All excursions are included in the program fees, but they may change due to the excavation schedule or unforeseen events:
Cala Morell coastal settlement
Located near the development of the same name on the north coast of Ciutadella is one of the most spectacular archaeological sites on the island. It consists of a large necropolis, with seventeen artificial caves, and a coastal settlement inhabited during the Bronze Age (1400-1000 B.C.).
Necropolis and Es Castellet at Calescoves
From prehistory until the Roman Era, Calescoves has aroused the interest of Minorcan settlers.There is a Talayotic era necropolis with over ninety burial caves and hypogeums hewn into the cliffs of the cove, a prehistoric jetty, a coastal establishment enclosed by a prehistoric wall, and a sanctuary dating from the Roman era.
Naveta of Es Tudons
The naveta of Es Tudons is one of the most emblematic talayotic monuments of Minorca due to its excellent state of conservation and because navetas are a type of funerary construction unique to the island.
Group burials took place inside, and during excavations a hundred individuals were located, accompanied by grave ware and small pots where offerings were deposited during funerary rites.
This museum is located in an old Franciscan convent, a Baroque building from the end of the 17th century. Its heritage collection, with items discovered around the island, is a chance to explore the history of Minorca.
We will visit the old capital and largest city in the Island, with its natural port and its narrow streets.
“I learned that archaeological fieldwork is very physical, but if you’re willing to put in the work then it really pays off. There is also no greater feeling then finding a unique artifact that hasn’t been seen in thousands of years. I think the people that would get the most out of this trip are people that love to have fun, don’t mind getting little sleep sometimes, enjoy meeting new people, have a sense of humor, and enjoy learning about new cultures.”
—Mike von Tsurikov, Cooperstown High School (New York)
“During the program I learned how to use tools in different situations, about how the various layers help me understand how the dating process works, and how to differentiate between time periods. And one of my favorite parts were the weekend trips, traveling around the island and seeing the different influences the people and their ancestors have experienced.”
—Irena Eisenhauer, American Embassy School (New Delhi)
“This program opened my eyes to the complexity of archaeology and its rewards. I really gained a better understanding of how the excavation process works and how each layer reveals more about the site… My favorite experiences were the times learning about the different types of pottery or the site’s history and stratigraphy. I consider the chaperones and site directors to be mentors and family.”
—Charlotte Sullivan, National Cathedral School (Maryland)