Turkey - Boncuklu


Turkey has evidence of one of the earliest transitions from hunting and gathering to village farming in the world, but the early Neolithic of central Turkey is poorly understood. The Boncuklu project is investigating the appearance of the first villages and farmers in central Turkey. At Boncuklu we are also exploring the origins of the remarkable symbolism seen in paintings and reliefs at the nearby famous Neolithic town of Çatalhöyük. Well preserved decorated Neolithic houses and artifacts are notable features of Boncuklu, apparently representing ritual practices that are direct predecessors to those seen at Çatalhöyük. Working alongside experts in the analysis of evidence from early farming communities and professional excavators, students will learn a range of archaeological research techniques and methods and about the wider context of Anatolian archaeology. Visit the Boncuklu Project website.

Turkey Archaeology Field School - Institute for Field Research Field Schools Turkey - Boncuklu18-352014-06-20
Course Dates: Jul 6 - Aug 9 2014
Enrollment Status: CLOSED 
Total Cost: $ 4,850 
Course Type: Field Archaeology
Instructor: Prof. Douglas Baird, Prof. Ofer Bar-Yosef, Dr. Andrew Fairbairn



Douglas Baird

Prof. Douglas Baird

Prof. Baird (dbaird@liverpool.ac.uk) is the Chair of the Department of Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology at the University of Liverpool.  For more information, click here
Ofer Bar-Yosef

Prof. Ofer Bar-Yosef

Prof. Bar-Yosef is a Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at Harvard University and the first winner of the Cotsen Prize for Life-Time Achievement in World Archaeology. For more information, click here.
Andrew Fairbairn

Dr. Andrew Fairbairn

Dr. Fairbairn (a.fairbairn@uq.edu.au) is a Senior Lecturer of Archaeology at the University of Queensland (Australia). For more information, click here


"I undertook The Boncuklu Field Work opportunity as an undergraduate student. In my opinion it is a must for any student wanting to become the best Archaeologist they can be. I experienced a different culture, met aspiring and established archaeologists and I was given the chance to work on a site of great archaeological value. The opportunity to go on intensive field work is very limited for undergraduates so this opportunity should not be passed up. Even if this is not your chosen area of study, it is important to get an understanding of the different types of sites you may encounter in your future undertakings. All in all, the experience was amazing, unforgettable and unique. It reaffirmed my belief that Archaeology is not really a job, but a lifestyle."
-Brendan Richardson, University of Queensland (2011)

"The fieldwork season at Boncuklu provided me with a great "hands-on" learning experience at an exciting site key to the transition from mobile societies to sedentary ones. Listening to specialist experts discuss the archaeology at the site and being part of such a multi-disciplinary team was something I especially enjoyed. The opportunity to be involved with all aspects of work at the site including excavation (under the supervision of wonderfully patient trench supervisors), planning, and processing of finds meant that it was a great learning environment."

-Anne Dighton, University of Queensland (2011)

“The Boncuklu experience was a fantastic opportunity to further my archaeological experience, as well as to fully immerse myself in a culture quite apart from what one is used to in Britain. Prior to the excavation I took the opportunity to explore Turkey, travelling as far as Lake Van in Eastern Turkey, and visiting sites we had been introduced to in lectures, notably Göbekli Tepe. The dig itself provided a fantastic opportunity to work, with an awesome team of students and top academics, for up to two months. I could truly immerse myself in the work I was undertaking, and try my hand at all aspects of the work (excavation, find processing, flotation, and survey), while exploring areas of the country such as Cappadocia, Antalya, and Eğridir in my time off. The opportunity also gave me a further experience in finds processing from a more specialised view point with personal instruction at a one to one level from Dr. Douglas Baird. This was a truly memorable experience, one I hope to repeat in the future, which I shall treasure forever, having met amazing people from across the world and explored a beautiful and welcoming country. Thanks! “

-Seth Price, University of Liverpool (2011) 




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: 4,350 USD Tuition: 4,440 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: 4,450 USD Tuition: 4,540 USD 


Students will spend 5 weeks at the Boncuklu Project excavation centre.  The first week there will involve five days of lectures, and laboratory training.  The last four weeks will be spent in the field in survey and excavation at Boncuklu.  The dig house has good communal facilities with a kitchen, several showers and toilets, a washing machine, and laboratories. There is an outdoor covered dining and social space. Field school students will be housed in shared dorm rooms on bunk beds. There is also the option of staying in large well insulated project tents that offer more space.

All meals will be communal events and will provide plenty of nutritious but basic food in the tradition of local cuisine. The daily diet in Turkey is heavily based on pasta, rice, legumes bread other vegetables, with some meat.  Vegetarian are catered for. Specialized diets (vegan, kosher, etc.) are difficult to maintain in this location.

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. 

Note: our website www.boncuklu.org gives a flavor of life for the team at the site and students are strongly encouraged to visit and read about the past, life and work at Boncuklu.