course info

The Course: ANT330B


The Rudabanya Field School will introduce students to the theory and methodology of palaeoanthropology by taking them to the contexts of discovery. The techniques of both museum and site field work will be covered so that students understand the full spectrum of evidence that guides interpretations of great ape and human origins.

On arrival at the field station, students will be assigned rooms and work teams.  Students work three days on site and one day at the field station.  Field station work consists of washing and drying of sedments, preparation of fossils (glueing, labelling, molding and casting, photography and preliminary analysis) as well as kitchen duty.  We bring a representative sample of specimens from previous excavations at the site that students will need to study in order to learn to identify fossils by taxon and anatomical region. There is always time during these days for student to check their email at the local library. There are several shops in the village, and students are welcome to make use of these resources. The shops sell alcohol as well as snacks, and students should be aware that we have a strict policy on drinking.  Moderate consumption (a beer or glass of wine in the evening, never before) is allowed, but nothing else.  Students can be expelled from the field school for breaching these rules.  

In the evenings we have a meeting during which we discuss the events of the day.  They usually include mini lectures on topics in paleoanthropology and paleoecology. At the site students will learn the techniques of excavation, specimen recovery and consolidation, documentation, microstratigraphy, and sediment processing. There has never been a season of excavation at Rudabanya without the recovery of new fossil ape specimens, so with continued luck, students should also experience the thrill of discovery. The course dates are tentatively July 2nd to July 26th. Please check back for updates.

Costs and Credit

Hungary is an emerging country in the economy of the new Europe, resulting in prices for goods and services that can be highly unpredictable, especially to newcomers. For this reason, all room and board, local transportation and other costs will be organized by the Rudabanya Field School. Students must arrange their own transportation to and from the Geological Institute in Budapest and must have traveller's health insurance. Students are encouraged to be attentive to planning with care for the trip and mindful of personal safety and appropriate behaviour in Hungary. Upon acceptance to the field school, further information about the exact dates of the field school, equipment lists, and travel advice will be sent to each participant.

The field school charges $2,500 CND in cost recovery fees to cover local expenses. These include transportation to the site from Budapest, transportation for our mid-season excursion, accommodation in Budapest and Rudabanya, meals at Rudabanya, excavation supplies, and licenses and permits required to access the localities and the collections of the Geological Museum. Univeristy of Toronto students must register for the course and pay the academic fee (TBA). You can find out more about the U of T 2016 summer session by clicking here. Non-U of T students can find out how to register for the course by clicking here. Academic fees for the 2017 summer session should be posted on the University web sites shortly. Students are responsible for their own travel to Budapest and must purchase international health insurance. Prices range from about $1100 to $1700 and it is worth checking a number of travel sites. Many students opt to come to Europe early and visit other places. Prices to other European destinations are often lower than a direct flight to Budapest. A full course credit for the Rudabanya Field School is being offered through the University of Toronto summer school and is fully equivalent to all other University of Toronto courses. To apply to the fieldschool, please go to the contact page for further instructions.

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university of toronto, department of anthropology