The Portus multi-disciplinary field school provides a novel educational experience by offering hands-on, team-focused training in a variety of techniques used in modern archaeological fieldwork. Students are exposed to techniques belonging to different scientific disciplines (including computing, geology, geophysics, biology), and research methods of social and human sciences (including history, classics, history of art), and are encouraged to grow as interdisciplinary scholars and mediators – crucial skills in the modern world. The training is problem-based, using multidisciplinary approaches in contemporary archaeological research. By providing a framework within which students can relate their core disciplines to archaeological field practice, as well as the experience of working side-by-side with students with different expertise, the field school enables all those involved to gain a deeper insight into their own and related disciplines, and experience a practical fieldwork environment.
Students are given field tuition as they are rotated through different tasks. Field school staff and visitors provide lectures throughout the field school. These provide participants of all levels with an understanding of the wider context in which the work at the site is situated. These lectures are supplemented by optional study visits to sites and museums in the wider area, including Rome and Ostia. Before and after the field season students are given the opportunity to collaborate and learn about Portus and archaeology in general via a set of online resources and a forum.
A video made by students who participated in the Portus Field School in 2013, featuring a Southampton archaeology undergraduate interviewing a Stanford classics undergraduate about a latrine, of all things.
Specific learning on the Portus multidisciplinary field school is determined by the background of the participant and the mechanism supporting their attendance. Currently University of Southampton students can participate via the Curriculum Innovation Programme Portus module open to students of all faculties, or undergraduate archaeology fieldwork training open to 1st year students of Archaeology. We also welcome applications from overseas and UK institutions and unaffiliated individuals with an interest in our work.
Contact person: Dr Dragana Mladenovic (D.Mladenovic@soton.ac.uk), the Field School Director.
The 2014 season ran from 22nd June to 13th July. Details of 2015 seasons will be published in December 2014 when application will re-open. Those wishing to register an early interest should email the Field School Director.