Archaeological and Bioarchaeological Field School

Archaeological and Bioarchaeological Field School

rchaeological and Bioarchaeological Field School 

POHANSKO — A Great Moravian Enclosure and Elite Settlement


Hosted by College of DuPage in conjunction with Masaryk University-Brno

Application Packet

Apply NOW — The Field School is on for 2015!

2015 Dates: June 21 through July 24, approximately five weeks in Europe

2015 Cost: $2,699 plus six semester credits (with an option for nine). Tuition is the same whether in or out of state: approximately $140 per semester hour. College of DuPage is fully accredited and we have transferred these courses to numerous state and private institutions. Up to nine credit hours of study will be available, pending final approval of the field logistics and permits. These will be a required course in field archaeology and a laboratory in field archaeology. Students must enroll in the field and lab archaeology components. Interested students can also take a course in bioarchaeology.

*** Bioarchaeology We have access to numerous archaeologically excavated sets of human remains from the site. Dr. Michael Dietz will conduct a course in the fundamentals of bioarchaeology, based on the analysis of human skeletal remains.

Cost Includes....

Approximately five weeks in Europe, room, board (Three meals per day, five days a week, weekends on your own), transportation with the field school in the Czech Republic, admissions to museums and exhibitions with the field school, access to required equipment, and miscellaneous access fees to power grids and the like. Because of the economic situation in Europe and student feedback, more free time will be provided in place of field trips, although some trips will still take place. Field trips typically include Asparn (Austria), Dolni Vestonice, Mikulcice, Modra and Sedlec (Czech Republic), Trenčín and/or Nitra and Cachtice, (Slovak Republic),* although students are also free to travel on their own or in small groups on the weekends.

Airfare or other means of transport to and from the site is not included in the cost. Students will meet at our excavation location near Breclav, Czech Republic (easily accessible by rail) by the start date and will complete their trip there at the end of the program.  Students will likely find it much more affordable to travel on their own using student discount rates or other personal discounts. However, once the project director has established his airfare, this will be made public and students are welcome to book travel on the same routes and carriers as the project staff. Please contact Dr. Dietz for the specific details.

All instruction is carried out in English by experienced archaeologists led by Dr. John Staeck, a veteran of more than 25 field seasons, and Dr. Michael Dietz, an experienced bioarchaeologist with field work both in the Czech Republic and Peru. There is a maximum of a 8:1 student to doctoral level faculty and we strive to maintain an overall ratio of no more than 6:1 student to faculty. We work side-by-side with our students and emphasize excavations as learning experiences rather than as a means to conduct research cheaply. Our goals center on training students in the fundamentals of archaeological excavation and field laboratory procedures as well as on learning about the past (and present) in general.

* These are day trips. Transportation and admissions to destinations are included, although students are responsible for their own food and any additional fees associated with individual side trips or activities.


 [Aerial view of Pohansko, arrows showing points of previous and current excavation.]

The archaeology faculty and staff of College of DuPage and Masaryk University (Brno) invite you to join our joint excavations at this exceptional site in the southeastern corner of the Czech Republic. Located near Breclav, just one km north of the Austrian border, 65 km southeast of Brno, and approximately 80 km northeast of Vienna, Austria, Pohansko straddles major communication and transportation routes into Moravia and hence access through central Europe and into the Baltic. This route, known in earlier times as the Amber Road, served as a main avenue of communication and trade from the classical world to Germanic and Slavic peoples of the north.

Pohansko itself is a two-kilometer earthen enclosure once faced with stone (exterior) and wooden ramparts (interior). Dating to the 9th century AD, this site was a major center of Great Moravia and appears in Carolingian, Byzantine, and Germanic references. Saints Cyril (aka Constantine the Scholar) and Methodius are both known to have visited the site and historical records document at least five major military campaigns launched by the Germanic kingdoms against their Great Moravian rivals at Pohansko.


Excavations have thus far focused on the structure of the wall and the "acropolis" where the royal or leading lineage lived alongside its stone church. Two pagan shrines have also been identified in the enclosure dating to just after the fall of Pohansko at the end of the 9th century. Current research focuses on a series of undisturbed, planned and regular plots just outside the main enclosure that may have belonged to the warrior and crafting elite of the site. In addition to these elements a distinct craft district and approximately 400 burials have been identified within the enclosure. Significantly, most of this site remains unexcavated and at the heart of a major research program directed by our host, Dr. Jiří Machacek of Masaryk University (Brno).


This year teams of Czech and American students will continue a combined sequence of excavations adjacent to the main portion of the site in order to further assess the range of activities and social statuses present in this important center. A variety of methods will be taught, including excavation procedures, mapping using laser levels and total stations (laser theodolites supported by onboard computers), feature excavation, field photography, and materials recording. A possibility exists that a series of well-preserved, extended burials may also be encountered associated with domestic structures. These will be excavated and subjected to preliminary forensic analysis at the research station pending remaining excavation time and the condition of the remains. It is important to note, though, that no one can predict exactly what will be encountered so some variation in precisely what occurs is likely.

rchaeological and Bioarchaeological Field School


Lead Faculty and Researchers:

Dr. John Staeck, Director and Principal Faculty Member, College of DuPage, Czech American Archaeological Field School

Dr. Michael Dietz, Assistant Director, College of DuPage, Czech American Archaeological Field School

Mr. Matthew Shaw, Field Supervisor, University of Missouri, Czech
American Archaeological Field School

Dr. Jiří Machacek, Institute of Archaeology and Museology, Masaryk University of Brno, Pohansko Site Director and Principal Investigator

For more information and enrollment material contact:

Dr. Michael Dietz
Assistant Director, Czech American Archaeological Field School
College of DuPage
425 Fawell Blvd.
Glen Ellyn, IL 60137-6599
(630) 942-2553

Application Packet

College of DuPage

425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn IL, 60137

(630) 942-2800 (Main)

(630) 942-3000 (Student Services)

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