Ten students from Iran and two students from Italy and United States participated in the third season of summer school at Estark-Joshaqan from August 25th to September 15th. The theoretical course work was divided into three sections. During the first week students attended lectures on human osteology and basic bioarcheological methods, conducted by Joanna Szymczak (University of Warsaw). Arkadiusz Sołtysiak (University of Warsaw) led the second week workshop on practical applications of isotopic analyses and dental microwear study based on actual research projects. In the last week students attended classes on the use of ancient DNA in archaeological studies with Matthew Williams (University of Adelaide).
In addition to the theoretical course-work, students took part in archaeological field work. This included excavating and documenting human remains, which were later on cleaned and analyzed during the afternoon workshops. During leisure time participants enjoyed visiting attractions in Kashan, such as Fin Garde, as well as other beautiful historical cities of Iran, like Abyane, Isfahan and Tehran.
Ten MA and BA students from all over the Iran participated in our first summer school at Estark-Joshaqan. The summer school ran from September 25th to October 20th and students had the opportunity to participated in different lectures and field work.
The main lectures were on the basic human osteology and archaeobotany and in addition there were also courses on Egyptology and archeogenetics. The lectures were led mostly by Agata Bebel. During the fieldwork, students first learned how a geophysical survey is conducted on an archaeological site. Then they learned the process of opening, excavating and documenting a trench in a site. After this step they had the chance to excavate and document the graves and human remains.
Meanwhile they also worked on a pot burial from Parthian period that was stored in the Fin Garden. Every afternoon during the workshops students worked with bones. They learned how to clean, register and describe human remains and in some cases how to recognize some pathologies. In addition to this work, students had the chance to visit some natural and cultural places including Maranjab Desert and Caravanserai, Abyane Historical Villages and other cultural historical places in Kashan like Fin Garden.
The excavations in Estark-Joshaqan begun in 2016. During the first season a well preserved oval grave was found that contained both inhumations and cremains. Iranian students had the opportunity to learn about different ritual practices in the past and to study how to explore and document different kinds of burials. They could also assist in the osteological analysis. In addition, more than 7 thousands pot sherds were found in the oval structure, and about 40 complete or almost complete vessels have been restored.