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Jucu Necropolis Project:
Excavation & Bioarchaeology Field School


The Jucu Necropolis Project began in 2013 as a collaboration between Transylvania Bioarchaeology and the Romanian Institute for Archaeology and Art History in Transylvania. The project is based out of Cluj-Napoca, the heart of Transylvania. The vibrant, culture-rich city plays host to the lab-based portion of the project and hotel accommodation. The excavation is situated just outside of the city in the beautiful, ancient Transylvanian landscape.


The site is located between three archaeological settlements associated with different time periods, beginning in the Late Roman period through to the Barbarian invasions and the early Medieval period. Sample test excavations revealed nearly 100 individuals, with an estimated 1000 burials yet to be revealed. In addition to the skeletal remains, cremation burials from the 8th – 9th centuries AD have also been recovered. 


The aims of our field seasons are twofold: 1. To continue to excavate the skeletal remains and associated material culture from the necropolis; and 2. To continue the post-excavation processing and analysis of the human remains previously recovered. The long-term objective of the project is to further define the relationship between the necropolis and the surrounding settlements, as well as to attempt to understand the social customs, palaeodemography, origins, and health status of the differing populations


Our field school is extremely unique in that it offers all students and volunteers both the opportunity to take part in archaeological excavations of human remains as well as subsequent training in the bioarchaeological analysis of the skeletons they excavate themselves.


All participants will be personally trained in the following:



















A key element to the field school is our long-running, once in a lifetime custom field trip throughout Transylvania exploring the beautiful Transylvanian countryside, archaeological sites, cities, and glacial lakes in the Carpathian Mountains. Of course trips to Dracula’s real castle and birthplace are in the itinerary too!


The field season takes place over one five week session, usually between June and August, and the cost of both the excavation and laboratory field-school will include lectures delivered by research staff on osteological and archaeological method and theory; five weeks accommodation in a 3* hotel; transportation to and from the site; equipment and materials; and the Transylvania field trip.


  • Basics of Field Archaeology

  • Bioarchaeological Ethics

  • Skeletal ID & Excavation

  • Site Drawing

  • Environmental Sampling

  • Photography

  • Site and Finds Recording

  • Stratigraphic Profiling

  • Site Surveying



  • ID and Analysis of the Human Skeleton

  • Skeletal Recording

  • Ageing & Sexing Human Skeletal Remains

  • Metric and Non-Metric Traits

  • Palaeopathology and Trauma

  • Advanced Biomolecular Methods

  • Bioarchaeological Theory & Research Skills


Special Lecturers!


Transylvania Bioarchaeology brings students side-by-side with notable researchers in the field of bioarchaeology, biomolecular archaeology, and forensic anthropology. We strive to deliver high-quality training and lectures from staff and leading academics in the field.

Our past and present lecturers have included:

Professor Charlotte Roberts

Durham University

Dr. Dave Errickson

Cranfield University

Dr. Rebecca Gowland

Durham University

Dr. Claire Hodson

Durham University

Professor Tim Thompson

Teesside University

Dr. Sian Halcrow

Otago University

Professor Jane Evans

British Geological Survey

Dr. Julia Beaumont

Bradford University

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