The Fayum field school takes place at the Greco-Roman town of Karanis, a large mudbrick settlement founded in the third century BCE as part of the Ptolemaic expanse of agriculture in the Fayum region of Egypt. The project focuses on both domestic and industrial areas to understand the importance of agriculture in relation to other economic activities. During the field training, students will work closely together with Egyptian graduates as part of a broader research project which enables students to experience different types of archaeological work and their contributions to a primary research question.
Prof. Willeke Wendrich (firstname.lastname@example.org) teaches Egyptian Archaeology and Digital Humanities at the University of California, Los Angeles. She has worked in Egypt since 1987, directing several archaeological projects there, and in addition has worked in Yemen, Turkey and Peru.
Tuition & Program Fee:
$4,300 Total Field school Costs: $4,800
All fees are payable to the Institute for Field Research. Eight semester credit units are provided through Connecticut College. Program fee includes registration, accommodations, program activities, meals on workdays, and health insurance.
Airfare, weekend meals, and optional excursions are additional.
Please inquire about Financial Aid at your home institution. For details about the financial aid application process, please visit the Financial Aid section of this web site.
How much to budget depends on your travel, entertainment and souvenir choices. It is always best to overestimate your spending. We recommend that you budget accordingly to cover optional sightseeing, laundry, internet cafes, emergencies, etc.
Expenses NOT Covered:
-Airfare to/from the pre-designated meeting place for the field school.
-Food on weekends when away from the site.
-Sightseeing outside formal field school excursions as outlined on the syllabus.
In camp you will be staying in tents with two people. The tents are reasonably spacious, large enough to stand in, and contain two beds each. For every team member there is a bed, a mattress, two blankets, sheets, and a pillow. It is not necessary to bring a sleep sack or a sleeping bag, although it can get cold at night and several participants bring their own sleeping bag, 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 tent.
Unmarried males and females should not – as a rule – socialize apart from the larger context of the group and should never go off alone into a tent with each other (gossip tends to spread like wildfire, and potentially damages the position of the project in the village); therefore only married couples may share a tent.
A light breakfast (tea and biscuits) is served at 5:00, we leave the dig house at 5.30 and we are in the field by 6:00 am. At 10:00 there is a more substantial ‘second’ breakfast. Work in the field stops at 2:00 and a warm lunch (the main meal of the day) is served at 2:30. The afternoons are reserved for report work and daily lectures. At 6:00 pm we get together in the dining area to discuss the day’s work. Every work group gives a brief report on the results, problems and successes of that day. During these meetings we will discuss results and interpretations. You are urged to contribute information and suggestions. At 7.00 pm a light dinner is served, often soup or noodles.
Please let us know when you apply for this program if you have special dietary needs, as well as any medical or physical conditions. We will advise you accordingly. The project is used to catering for vegetarians, those with gluten intolerance etc.
You are responsible for making your own travel arrangements. Book a flight to Cairo Airport. Please plan to arrive at the Mayfair Hotel on October 17. You can ask the hotel to collect you from the airport (details available on their website). If you prefer to stay in a different hotel, that is your choice, but make sure you are in the Mayfair on October 15 at 10.00 am. The week of your arrival coincides with the Eid el-Adha (the offer feast), which is an important holiday in Egypt, comparable to our Christmas/New Year break. The Eid runs from October 13-17, but since the feast is flanked by two weekends, all banks, schools and offices will probably be closed from October 11-19, with life returning to normal on October 20. Many Egyptians are traveling to visit family and friends, or go on vacation. It is good to be aware, but it should not delay your arrival or trip from the Airport to the Hotel.
A passport with at least six months of validity remaining after the date of return is required. US, Canada, Australia and European citizens can purchase a tourist visa upon arrival at Cairo Airport for $ 15. This visa is valid for a month and has a two week grace period. If you are planning to stay longer than 6 weeks the project will arrange for a visa extension. For more information click here.
For specific information regarding travel health issues pertinent to Egypt, please read the Centers for Disease Control Website. Click here to be directed to the CDC website.
"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)