Forensic Anthropology/Bioarchaeology Field School
Meet interesting people ... who lived 1,000 years ago.
Field School in Albania and Greece
Learn more about what this exciting program has to offer, and find out how to participate.
Please note: All times are local to their countries. Albanian time is 6 hours ahead of US Eastern Daylight Savings Time. Greek/Romanian time is 7 hours ahead of US Eastern Daylight Savings Time. Itinerary is subject to revision.
EXPEDITION PART I: ALBANIA
Day 1: Wednesday, 5/20
2:30 PM: Expedition members flying in group
meet at Austrian counter in TERMINAL 1
5:35 PM: DEP JFK for Vienna (Austrian #88)
Day 2: Thursday, 5/21
8:20 AM: ARR Vienna (flight time 8¾ hrs.)
Connection time: 4½ hrs.
12:50 PM: DEP Vienna for Tirana (Austrian #847)
2:20 PM: ARR Tirana (flight time 1½ hrs.)
Total air trip duration: 14¾ hrs.
2:30 PM: ALL expedition members meet at Tirana International Airport
3:30 PM: Check-in at Tirana hotel
Tirana tours and events
Day 3: Friday, 5/22
(1½ days total)
Tirana tours and events
Day 4: Saturday, 5/23
8:00 AM: DEP Tirana (by chartered bus)
3:00 PM: ARR Butrint/Check-in at Hotel Livia
Days 5-13: Sunday, 5/24 - Monday, 6/1
(9 days total)
Regional tours and events
EXPEDITION PART II: CORFU AND ATHENS
Day 14: Tuesday, 6/2
8:00 AM: Leave Hotel Livia for Saranda Port
10:00 AM: DEP Saranda for Corfu (by ferry)
12:00 PM: ARR Corfu (note time zone change)
1:00 PM: Check-in at Hotel Konstantinoupolis
Total sea trip duration: 45 mins.
Day 15: Wednesday, 6/3
(1½ days total)
Corfu tours and events
Day 16: Thursday, 6/4
8:00 AM: Leave Hotel Konstantinoupolis for Corfu Airport
11:25 AM: DEP Corfu for Athens (Aegean #283)
12:25 PM: ARR Athens (flight time 1 hr.)
1:30 PM: Check-in at Athens Airport hotel
Athens tour - Parthenon and Acropolis Museum
Total air trip duration: 1 hr.
Days 17: Friday, 6/5
4:00 AM: Expedition members flying in group leave Athens Airport hotel for Athens Airport
6:40 AM: DEP Athens for Vienna (Austrian #804)
7:55 AM: ARR Vienna (flight time 2¼ hrs.)
Connection time: 2½ hrs.
10:40 AM: DEP Vienna for JFK (Austrian #87)
2:15 PM: ARR JFK (flight time 8½ hrs.)
Total air trip duration: 13¼ hrs.
Program and Course Description
This program provides students with practical information about the methods of forensic anthropology, bioarchaeological fieldwork, the appropriate recovery and handling of human remains, and paleopathology. In addition, students will explore regional history and cultural traditions through field trips and museum visits including day-trips to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Gjirokastra, Albania and the Acropolis in Athens.
Students may enroll in the accompanying six-credit course (Archaeological Field School, ANT 347/547) but are not required to do so to participate in the program. Students who enroll for credit will take a laboratory practical before we leave Albania and will submit a research paper on an appropriate topic of their choice in August.
In 2020 the field school will be taught primarily at Butrint National Park in southwestern Albania, together with visits to Tirana, Corfu, and Athens. The primary topical area this year is forensic anthropology and the analysis of human skeletal remains, with corollary discussions on paleopathology, forensic science, mass fatality and disaster planning, heritage tourism, museum exhibits, and Balkan culture.
The fieldwork component of the course will run from May 20 to June 5, 2020, including travel days. Class will meet 8:00 AM-4:30 PM each day, with breaks for lunch. Lectures and discussion typically occur in the morning, with laboratory exercises using actual human remains in the afternoon. Students will spend at least 80 hours in class over the fieldwork component of the course, not including field trips to various archaeological sites and museums.
Participants in this program will learn the methods of forensic anthropology and bioarchaeology through the examination and analysis of human skeletal remains previously excavated at Butrint. We also will examine and document skeletal lesions indicative of disease, trauma, and taphonomy using these remains.
As part of the course, participants will visit and critically evaluate the Albanian National Museum of History; the Albanian Archaeological Museum; and the Butrint Archaeological Museum. We will also visit the nineteenth-century British Cemetery at Corfu and the Parthenon at the Acropolis of Athens.
Outline of Program Topics
Days 2-4 (Tirana and Butrint)
Albanian archaeology and history
Balkan culture and society
Historic preservation and museum exhibits
Illyrian burial traditions
Survey of forensic sciences
Days 5-13 (Butrint)
Chain of possession
Examination and analysis of human remains
Forensic pathology and autopsy
Expert witnesses and courtroom testimony
Mass fatality incidents
Politics of archaeology
Archaeological site conservation
Graduate school preparation and applications
Careers in archaeology and forensic anthropology
Days 14-17 (Corfu and Athens)
Greek archaeology and history
Politics of archaeology
Thomas A. Crist, Ph.D.
Harold T. Clark, Jr. Professor of Anthropology and Anatomy
Previously Director of Archaeological Services at Kise Straw & Kolodner Inc. in Philadelphia and now a consultant to numerous cultural resources management firms, county coroners, and police departments, Dr. Crist began serving as the Forensic Anthropologist for the Philadelphia Medical Examiner’s Office in 1990. He is a member of the U.S. Public Health Service’s Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team (DMORT) and served two deployments assisting in the recovery and identification of victims from the World Trade Center attacks in 2001. In 1992, Dr. Crist was named an Adjunct Professor at the School of Dental Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, where he taught an annual short course in Forensic Dentistry and Anthropology every spring for 20 years. In 1994, Dr. Crist was one of three co-founders of the American Academy of Forensic Science’s Young Forensic Scientists Forum and served as the group’s first secretary. A Fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, he is now the Chair of the Anthropology Section’s J. Lawrence Angel Forensic Anthropology Student Paper Award Committee.
Dr. Crist earned his Doctorate in Biological Anthropology from Temple University in 1998. He also holds a Master of Arts in Anthropology/Public Service Archaeology from the University of South Carolina (1990) and a Bachelor’s degree in Archaeology and Classics from Rutgers College (1987). Dr. Crist has directed over 20 historical cemetery excavations throughout the United States including a number of projects in Philadelphia: the Tenth Street First African Baptist Church Cemetery, Revolutionary War burials at Washington Square, the Second Presbyterian Church Cemetery, and two burial grounds used by the Philadelphia Almshouse and the later Blockley Almshouse. He also directed excavations and has analyzed human remains from Chambers Street in Lower Manhattan, the Spring Street Presbyterian Church Cemetery in Greenwich Village, the Wampanoag Burial Ground at Martha’s Vineyard, Historical Cemeteries 86 and 88 in Johnston, Rhode Island, the Portsmouth African-American Burial Ground in New Hampshire, and the earliest French colonial burial ground discovered to date in the New World at St. Croix Island, Maine. The Discovery Health Channel’s series Skeleton Stories featured two of Dr. Crist’s projects in separate episodes that premiered in the fall of 2006.
In 2001, Dr. Crist joined the faculty at Utica College where he teaches Human Gross Anatomy in the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program and courses in the Sociology/Anthropology Program. He has been accepted as an expert witness and testified in hearings and criminal trials in the Criminal Court and Orphans’ Court of Philadelphia as well the Supreme Judicial and Superior Courts in York County, Maine. He is the author of more than 100 cultural resources reports and professional publications on topics in forensic anthropology, bioarchaeology, paleopathology, the African diaspora, historical urban archaeology, the history of autopsy and medical education, ergonomics, and public outreach efforts among minority descendant communities.
You will need a valid passport to travel abroad. Your passport must be valid until at least January 1, 2021. For information on applying for a new passport or renewing one that has expired, go to the State Department’s Web site:
You will need to apply in person if you are applying for a U.S. passport for the first time; if your currently valid U.S. passport has been lost of stolen; if your expired U.S. passport is not in your possession; if your previous U.S. passport has expired and was issued more than 15 years ago; or if your previous U.S. passport was issued when you were under 16.
If you need to obtain a passport for the first time, you must go in person to one of 6,000 passport acceptance facilities located throughout the United States with:
- two photographs of yourself;
- proof of U.S. citizenship (e.g., an original birth certificate); and
- a valid form of photo identification such as a driver’s license.
Acceptance facilities include many Federal, state, and probate courts; post offices; some public libraries; and a number of county and municipal offices.
The Centers for Disease Control recommend that travelers to Albania and Greece talk with their physicians about receiving the appropriate vaccinations at least 4-6 weeks before the trip to allow time for them to take effect. For all travelers, this includes routine vaccinations (measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, and polio vaccine) and your yearly flu shot. For most travelers, vaccination for hepatitis A is also recommended. For some travelers, vaccinations against hepatitis B, rabies, and yellow fever are also recommended.
Please refer to the Centers for Disease Control's web pages for Albania (https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/albania#vaccines-and-medicines) and Greece (https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/greece?s_cid=ncezid-dgmq-travel-single-001) for additional information.
Travelers’ diarrhea is the most common travel-related ailment. All travelers should bring along an antibiotic and an antidiarrheal drug to be started promptly if significant diarrhea occurs. A quinolone antibiotic is usually prescribed: either ciprofloxacin (Cipro) (PDF) 500 mg twice daily or levofloxacin (Levaquin) (PDF) 500 mg once daily for a total of three days. An antidiarrheal drug such as diphenoxylate (Lomotil) (PDF) or loperamide (Imodium) should be taken as needed.
Important: Utica College will provide you with health insurance coverage while you are participating in our field school program. We will enroll all participants in the insurance program offered by Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI) as part of your program fee. This insurance plan includes emergency repatriation flight coverage. An insurance card and policy information will be provided before departure.
ESSENTIAL PHYSICAL ABILITIES FOR PARTICIPANTS
Participants on this trip need to be in good overall physical health. Unassisted, you must be able to:
- carry your luggage for distances up to several hundred yards/meters;
- walk distances of several hundred yards/meters on flat to moderately steep, uneven surfaces;
- climb stairs, including uneven steps without handrails;
- take the one-hour ferry trip from Saranda to Corfu; and
- travel for up to 10 hours on the trans-Atlantic flights and in the coach (bus) that we charter in Albania.
You will be required to sign a statement acknowledging that you can perform these essential functions when you sign up for the trip.
All participants should be aware that the Americans with Disabilities Act is not applicable outside the United States and that facilities for disabled individuals are very limited in Albania and Greece.
Traveling and living in a group for almost one month without the amenities most Americans take for granted is stressful and occasionally difficult. Participants must be prepared to be flexible, cooperative, and sensitive to the needs and feelings of fellow travelers and the cultural differences in the countries we visit. All members of the group must be able to deal calmly and effectively with stressful situations, maintain their composure at all times, and avoid aggressive behavior.
Any emotional or psychological conditions that may affect a participant’s ability to meet these behavioral expectations must be identified and discussed with the program directors before you sign up for the trip.
Utica College works diligently to ensure the safety, security, and health of all faculty, staff, and students, whether on campus or traveling as part of the college’s international education experiences. Utica College, however, will not be liable for sickness, psychological disorders, or injuries that participants may sustain during the course. If required, the course directors will make every reasonable effort to assist in securing appropriate medical care for all participants but each participant must be responsible for their own health and safety.
Neither Utica College nor the course directors will be liable for items, money, or documents that may be lost by or stolen from participants during the trip.
$2,500, double occupancy, including:
- all lodging with private bathrooms and land/ferry transportation;
- breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day (except the trans-Atlantic travel days);
- all entrance fees to various museums and archaeological sites; and
- all lectures, demonstrations, and laboratory activities.
We will assist you in making your trans-Atlantic flight arrangements if you prefer to travel with our group, or you may choose to reserve your own flights and meet us in Tirana, Albania.
Following the recent bold move of reducing our undergraduate tuition, Utica College has now removed the price barrier that prevented many students from earning academic credit for participating in international study-abroad programs.
For 2020, we are pleased to announce that tuition for the six credit course (ANT 347/547) for all students continues to be $900.00.
Tuition is paid in addition to the program fee that all participants pay. Please note: students are not required to enroll for the six credits to fully participate in our field school program.
This program qualifies for most Utica College financial aid packages. Students from outside Utica College should contact their own school's financial aid office for information on funding their participation. Contact us for more information.
Upon acceptance of their application, all participants must submit a NONREFUNDABLE deposit of $500 to the Center for Student Success at Utica College. The program fee must be paid in full by April 17, 2020. Utica College accepts checks and credit cards.
Utica College reserves the right to cancel this course for any reason, without penalty. If the course is cancelled, Utica College will make a full refund to applicants including the $500 deposit.
Utica College will not be liable for any costs incurred by a participant in preparation for the trip, including nonrefundable or restricted airline tickets connecting to the course’s flights that depart and arrive from JFK Airport in New York City. Utica College also will not be liable for costs associated with any connecting flights that participants may miss after our return to JFK Airport. Participants who miss any flights during the trip are responsible for their own costs to continue in the course or to return home.
Utica College does NOT provide travel insurance and recommends that each individual consider purchasing their own travel insurance policy in the event that the participant cannot attend the course.
Applicants may cancel their reservation in the course up to two weeks prior to departure with a full refund, less the $500 deposit. Cancellations after that date cannot be refunded.
Intro to the Field School
Professor Thomas Crist, Ph.D., program director, offers a brief overview of the Forensic Anthropology Field School.
Butrint Guided Tour
Field School instructor Michael Washburn, M.A., gives a walking tour of Butrint's archaeological sites and explains their historical significance.
Field school participant and student Katelyn Briggs talks about walking in the footsteps of ancient people in Butrint, Albania.
Top of the World
Student Eddie Levine describes the stirring sights and sounds of southern Albania ... as well as his first taste of eel.
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