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  • Locations: Fabas, France
  • Program Terms: Summer
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Fact Sheet:
Minimum GPA: 2.8 Class Level: Graduate Students, Undergraduates: Sophomores, Juniors, Seniors
Program Type: Study Abroad Student Type: Binghamton and SUNY Students Only
Flight Arrangements: Self-Arranged Flight
Program Description:

Prehistoric Art and Archaeology in Europe

France PB_Group Shot       France PB_Mountains

This program will not be running for Summer 2018, we plan to offer the program again in Summer 2019

Academic Features
Student Life
Estimate of Costs
Application Process
More Information

Despite more than one hundred years of research on Ice Age sites, we still have much to learn regarding the lives of Pleistocene hunter-gatherers, especially Upper Paleolithic modern humans, popularly known as “cavemen.” Landscape archaeology of the Paleolithic is increasingly possible, building on and expanding the history of Paleolithic research in southwestern Europe that has long privileged the detailed studies of individual sites, especially caves and rock shelters.
The site of Peyre Blanque was discovered in the context of a broader landscape project dedicated to investigating the nature and importance of open-air settlements in a region (Midi-Pyrénées) where prehistoric research has almost exclusively concerned rock shelters and cave sites, despite numerous evidence of outside occupations. This project focuses on the early Middle Magdalenian, a point in prehistory associated with an explosion of creative imagery, including painted caves, sculpture, and personal decoration.  We are filling in the “blanks” about life in Ice Age Europe, life “between the caves.”

The program dates for the Field School for 2019 will be updated in early 2019.

Academic Features

Students will learn prehistoric excavation techniques, from careful exposition of artifacts to systematic detailed drawings (individual excavation units and stratigraphic profiles), and three-dimensional coordinate recording with a total station.  Students will also be trained in laboratory processing of artifacts (including wet-sieving techniques and flotation), recording (including artifact drawings and site features), and some analytic techniques (such as technological and typological analysis, refitting and petrographic and geochemical sourcing analysis).  Students will be given a chance to further participate in the study of the site by collaborating on the analysis of the artifact collections (lithic and bone artifacts, pigments, spatial analysis), or its geological and environmental aspects (charcoal, geology, geomorphology, micromorphology, etc).
Additionally, students will be immersed in the current debates and research trends regarding the Late Pleistocene both in the regional framework and in southwestern Europe.  There will be field trips to local raw material sources (in connection with Peyre Blanque), as well as museums and archaeological sites throughout the region, including some of the most impressive decorated caves such as Niaux and Bédeilhac. Students will not only learn how to identify prehistoric technologies, but they will have a chance to try to replicate and use these technologies.
Students will earn 6 credits on this program.  Anthropology majors receive credit toward major and minor requirements; in other departments credit towards the requirements of a major or a minor is evaluated by the relevant department. Students should discuss their intention to participate on the program with all appropriate academic advisors and obtain pre-approvals for courses.  Students are encouraged to leave a copy of the pre-approval form on file with the Office of International Education and Global Initiatives to facilitate receiving credit quickly upon their return.

Student Life

Students may make their own travel arrangements. If students wish to travel in Europe before or after the field school, they should consult with faculty about the timing of their arrival either at the airport in Toulouse or the train station. 
Students will be living and learning in the heart of the Midi-Pyrénées, located in southern France. Students will be housed at the summer rentals of Alcamporal, just outside the town of Sainte-Croix-Volvestre. Students will share bedrooms and bathrooms with 1-3 other project members, and there is a pool on site to escape the summer heat. There will also be planned dinners for the whole group, and excursions to various sites of interest in the area 

France PB_Prof Lacome       Caves

Estimate of Costs

The Estimate of Costs for 2019 will be available by February 2019. These estimates are subject to change.

Students must take the program cost sheet to the Financial Aid office on campus to speak with a financial aid counselor about financing this study abroad program. Federal and New York State financial aid is generally applicable to study abroad programs. The Binghamton Financial Aid Services Office is able to consider only the application of students matriculated at Binghamton for degree study.

Application process

Students must have taken at least one relevant introductory course in anthropology, archaeology, geology, geography, or art history.  An over-all grade point average of 2.75 is normally required, along with a strong recommendation and a thoughtful study statement about your reasons and preparation for participating. Students from other SUNY campuses and other universities are strongly encouraged to apply. The deadline for the application is March 31st, though applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. 

More Information

The Faculty Leaders for this program are Prof. Kathleen Sterling & Prof. Sebastien Lacombe. For more information about the academic features of this program, please contact Prof. Sterling (
For questions about the application, please contact the Office of International Education and Global Initiatives at


Peyre Blanque Field Site Website
Peyre Blanque Blog
Peyre Blanque Youtube Channel
Tourist Information for the Ariege Commune (the region students will be in)



Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.

This program is currently not accepting applications.