Egypt - Fayum


The Fayum field school takes place at the Greco-Roman town of Karanis, a large mud brick settlement founded in the third century BCE as part of the Ptolemaic expanse of agriculture in the Fayum region of Egypt.  Karanis was abandoned during the early seventh century CE and the preservation of the ancient remains is excellent and a wide range of archaeological materials, including botanical macro-remains, textiles, wood and metal, are studied by a large group of archaeological specialists. This project focuses on both domestic and industrial areas of the site to better understand the importance of agriculture in relation to other economic activities. The 2014 field school will excavate at domestic contexts in order to augment our knowledge of the archaeobotanical and zooarchaeological record at the household level. The Fayum Field School combines teaching American students with training Egyptian archaeologists employed by the Ministry of State of Antiquities, which makes cultural exchange an integral part of the program. During the five weeks of the field school students get an intensive on-the-job training in archaeological research methods, excavation techniques, survey and finds processing. Students will have the opportunity to work closely with archaeological specialists and are encouraged to develop independent research projects.  Excursions to important sites in the vicinity and ethnoarchaeological assignments are also part of this program.  

Egypt Fayum Archaeology Field School - Institute for Field Research Field Schools Egypt - Fayum18-352014-06-20
Course Dates: Oct 17 - Nov 22 2014
Enrollment Status: CLOSED
Total Cost: $ 4,950 
Course Type: Field Archaeology
Instructor: Prof. Willeke Wendrich

Course Syllabus 


Willeke Wendrich

Prof. Willeke Wendrich

Prof. Wendrich ( is a Professor of Egyptian Archaeology at the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures and Director of Digital Humanities at UCLA.  For more information, click here.


The UCLA Fayum Field School was an incredible opportunity to learn the fundamentals of archaeology while being immersed in the rich culture of Egypt. The practical training I received in artifact analysis, excavation technique, and hands-on experience in total station recording has proven invaluable in all archaeological work I've done since and given me a strong fundamental base from which to build my career. Practicality aside, the field school presents the opportunity to experience Egypt in an incredibly unique way. Students are immersed in Egyptian culture; each American student is paired with an Egyptian student, we live in a rural Egyptian village away from the tourist-heavy locales, and elementary Arabic lessons are offered during the first weeks of the season. Atop this, students are encouraged to travel, and I was able to visit Cairo, Dahab, Alexandria, and Luxor during my stay. I quickly fell in love, not only with Egypt's rich past, but also with the nation's vibrant and fun-loving present culture. I highly recommend the Fayum Field School!

-AJ White, UCLA (2009)

Having dreamt of being an archaeologist in Egypt since I was in elementary school, the Fayum Field School offered me a unique opportunity to experience this prospective career first hand.  Working in the trenches and adjacent cemetery were the most fulfilling experiences of my undergraduate career, and those long days only reconfirmed my desire to pursue archaeology as a graduate student and as a future career.

-Laura Banashek, UCLA (2009)




Student Fees

Early Enrollment Begins November 15 - Full payment must be received by April 1  
(Full Payment = Deposit + Tuition)
 Payment by Cashier or Personal Check Payment by Credit Card/Debit Card
Deposit:500 USD Deposit: 510 USD 
Tuition: 4,450 USD Tuition: 4,540 USD 

Late Enrollment Begins April 2 - Full payment must be received 10 days prior to course start date
(Full Payment = Deposit + Tuition)
 Payment by Cashier or Personal Check Payment by Credit Card/Debit Card
Deposit:500 USD Deposit: 510 USD 
Tuition: 4,550 USD Tuition: 4,640 USD 


While in camp, students will stay in a room with three to four people. For every team member there is a bed, a mattress, two blankets, sheets, and a pillow. It is not necessary to bring a sleeping bag, although some participants bring one, especially if they are sensitive to the cold. Participants are expected to bring their own towels. A mosquito net is also highly recommended and can easily be hung up in the room. 

MEALS:  All meals will be communal events at the project dining area.  Students are responsible for their own weekend meals.  Once we start fieldwork, the day is fairly intense. A light breakfast (tea and biscuits) is served at 5:00am and we leave the dig house at 5:30am.  A more substantial ‘second’ breakfast is served in the field at 10:00am. Work in the field stops at 2:00pm and a warm lunch (the main meal of the day) is served at 2:30pm. Dinner is served in the evening.  Vegetarians may attend this program but will find selection highly limited.  Vegan and kosher restrictions are impossible to accommodate in this location.