Summer Archeology - Summer 2016
Location: Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium


Department: History

Leaders: Dr. Bailey Young

: History, Earth Science

  Terms/Timeframe: TBD

Language: English

  Credits: 4

Budget: TBD


Good Academic Standing
Good Judicial Standing

  Application Deadlines:
January 29, 2016
  Application Materials:

EIU Program Application (Faculty-led Programs)

Course Selection Form


Academic Program

Eastern Illinois University, in partnership with the University of Louvain-la-Neuve in Belgium, invites applications for the Summer Archaeology program. The Summer Archaeology Program in Belgium offers a unique opportunity, unduplicated by any other program anywhere, for EIU students (including guest students specially enrolled from other institutions) to learn about the principles and practice of archaeology as a “crossroads discipline,” bringing together the perspectives offered by the Humanities with the methods of the Sciences, by working alongside other American and European students on the excavation of a medieval castle in Belgium. Students will learn the basic methods, procedures and skills of medieval field archaeology in the course of a four-week campaign at Walhain Castle, near Louvain-la-Neuve. These involve stratigraphic excavation, field drawing (mapping and section drawing), preparation for on-site photography, artefact recording and treatment, field cataloguing and initial finds processing. Students will learn the contextual parameters of the Walhain project by situating the castle historically in the evolution of the Walloon region of Belgium from Roman through Early Modern times, and situating the research project scientifically in the developing field of medieval archaeology.

Read this article about Molly Button, a Summer 2012 participant from EIU.

There are no prerequisites, and no previous background in archaeology is required.

"The Summer Archeology Program has excellent subject matter and field opportunities, great faculty and staff, and is competitively priced."  -- Robert Harder, past participant.

Learned much and had a great experience. Academically, acquired much knowledge on archaeological methodology and received an outstanding introduction to the concepts of archaeology. --Alex Peterson, Summer 2011 particpant

Watch a video about the program!

Activities / Itinerary

Students are engaged all day, Monday-Friday, either in fieldwork on the excavation site, or in classroom lectures and laboratory visits. Work is directly supervised by Dr. Young and Dr. Verslype, with the assistance of American or Belgian graduate students in archaeology. All students keep a program journal, which records their fieldwork and required lectures and visits and submit it for evaluation at the end of the month.  In addition, they write a final essay.  Honors students prepare and present a research report. Graduate students research and submit a 15-25 page paper on an approved topic, using resources in a foreign language if possible. There is one all-day Saturday field trip to the medieval city of  Tournai, and other archaeological sites in the countryside.

Sample Itinerary

Before June 28: Site opened by Dr. Verslype and Belgian staff; tools prepared.

June 28: Arrival in Brussels; students transported by van to Louvain-la-Neuve (LLN). First orientation in residence. July 1 (Sunday) Rest. Get settled.

June 30: Orientation in LLN (AM) and at Walhain site (PM). Opening reception at CRAN.

July 1-3: All day on site. Training in excavation methodology (by sub-groups).

July 4: Morning on site. Lecture: Introduction to Archaeology at UCL (afternoon).

July 5-6: Saturday Field Trip; Sunday free

July 7-10: Excavation all day on site

July 11: Morning on site. Lecture: Archaeology of Tournai at UCL (afternoon).

July 12: All day field-trip to Tournai and nearby sites.

July 13: Free. Optional excursion to Namur.

July 14-17: Excavation all day on site.

July 18: Morning on site. Lecture and/or laboratory or field trip in afternoon.

July 19-20: Weekend free. Students may choose to travel.

July 21-23: Excavation all day on site.

July 24: Last day on site.

July 25: Last day. Final essay and turn in notebooks. Pack.

July 26: Departure. Students transported to Brussels Airport

*Any changes will be announced on Walhain-St.-Paul Facebook site.

St. Brice, Tournai


Undergraduate option:
HIS 3970 (4cr)

Graduate option:
HIS 59971 (4 cr)

Honors options:
STA 3990 - may be substituted for HIS 3990 (4 cr) or ESC 3990 (4 cr)

After Your Trip:
Take STA4000G at EIU to fulfill your senior-seminar requirement!


Students stay in the student housing of Louvain-la-Neuve.  The cost of all meals in Louvain-la-Neuve, on site and on field trips is included in the program fee.  Breakfast is taken in the suite kitchen; there is a picnic lunch on site; students dine in restaurants in Louvain-la-Neuve offering a choice of dishes.  Menus are available on request.


At least two pre-departure orientations will be provided and are required for all participants.

Your faculty leader will hold one of these orientations, where he/she will cover information on safety, health, legal, environmental, political, cultural, and religious conditions in the host country(ies), as well as planning logistics.

The Office of Study Abroad (OSA) will hold the other orientation. They will cover general information about traveling abroad to different areas of the world and facilitate a panel discussion composed of students who have already participated in faculty-led study abroad programs.

*Guest students will not be required to come to Charleston for the Study Abroad on-campus orientation.

Necessary Documents

To enter a foreign country, you must have a valid passport. If you are a U.S. citizen and do not currently have a valid passport, or if your passport will expire during the time you will be overseas, please go to the U.S. State Department web site for information on how to apply for/renew your passport.

You are strongly encouraged to read the U.S. State Department's Consular Information Sheet on your host countries. It will provide you with a great deal of information to help you prepare for your trip.

**Please be aware that you are responsible for obtaining the most up-to-date information on entry requirements. The Office of Study Abroad only provides general information, as visa regulations and procedures are constantly changing. Please consult the Consulate for more information. **