Spain - Cova Gran


The ability to quickly and efficiently adapt to diverse landscapes allowed humans to spread throughout the world during the Paleolithic period.  In the Old World, such ability enabled early humans to replace Neanderthals (and likely H. denisovans) in diverse environment, including the Southern Pyrenees.  How such replacement took place and what where the technological and social advantaged early human brought to the region is still poorly understood.  Through excavations at Cova Gran de Santa Linya a large rock shelter located at the seam between the first range of the southern Pyrenees and the Ebro Basin – students will explore these very questions.  The cave is rich with evidence of human occupation dating to at least as early as 50,000 years ago and continuing through the Neolithic and Bronze Ages.  In 2014, students will continue excavations at the site and will primarily focus on the north-west area of this shelter, where deep stratigraphy with excellent preservation of archaeological materials is present.  

Spain Cova Gran Archaeology Field School - Institute for Field Research Field Schools Spain - Cova Gran18-352014-06-20
Course Dates: Jun 29 - Aug 2 2014
Enrollment Status: CLOSED 
Total Cost: $ 5,050
Course Type: Field Archaeology
Instructors: Dr. Jorge Martinez-Moreno, Prof. Rafael Mora, Dr. Alfonso Benito-Calvo



Jorge Martinez-Moreno

Dr. Jorge Martinez-Moreno

Dr. Martínez-Moreno ( is a Research Associate at the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (Spain).  For more information, click here.
Rafael Mora

Prof. Rafael Mora

Prof. Mora ( is a Professor of Archaeology at the Department of Prehistory, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (Spain).  For more information, click here.
Alfonso Benito-Calvo

Dr. Alfonso Benito-Calvo

Dr. Benito-Clavo is a Research Group Leader (Geomorphology and Palaeography Reconstructions) at the Spanish National Research Centr for Human Evolution (CENIEH).  For more information, click here.


"The [Cova Gran field school] experience was incredible for me. I learned countless things, regarding archaeology, culture, history, and even a little Spanish. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to go and work here, and I will treasure the memory of my experience working in Cova Gran with all of the wonderful people who helped to teach me.”

-Zoe Warganz, USC (2012)

“I found the entire field school well run. I learned a lot about excavating in general and enjoyed working in such an area with such a diverse time period. The team was wonderful, patient and always ready to answer questions. Initially I found working very intimidating, but the casual atmosphere and approachable people made this experience very rewarding and something I would love to repeat again in the future.”

-Yolanda Chen, UCLA (2012) 

“I believe that one of the most important aspects of archaeology that I learnt in these past weeks- which I could have never learnt in a classroom- is how much of a team effort the discipline is. This field school facilitated the learning experience and made it incredibly enjoyable.”

-Rebecca Haboucha, University of Montreal (2012)

"The Cova Gran field school program was very intellectually stimulating. The students were constantly kept up to date with what was happening in the bigger picture of the site, and we were even asked for our input for certain decisions and theories."

-Craig McNeill, University of Waterloo (2012)




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: 4,550 USD Tuition: 4,640 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: 4,650 USD Tuition: 4,740 USD 


Students will stay at the Alberg la Cova hostel at Sant Llorenc de Montgai.  This village is approximately 30 km north of Lleida (Catalunya, Spain). The building has excellent facilities with communal space, kitchen, shower, laundry and free internet access.  Sleeping bags are not necessary but students are welcome to bring them. Students will share communal bedrooms (6-8 people in each room).  All team members must participate in setting tables for meals and do the washing up and clean common shared spaces after lunch and dinner (living room, bedroom and the yard).

MEALS:  All meals will be communal events and will provide plenty of nutritious but basic food in the tradition of local cousin.  Breakfast, lunch and dinner are provided by the program Mon-Sat.  On Sundays, students may choose to take their meals at the different local restaurants in the area.  While the project may accommodate some dietary needs, you must communicate directly with project directors to ensure your needs may be met in the field.  In general, vegetarian diets may be accommodated but other diets may be challenging and impossible to accommodate.