UCLA Travel Study

Ancient Technology, Materials, and Forensics

  • Dates

    Not offered

  • Location

    Limassol, Cyprus

  • Eligibility Requirement

    COVID-19 vaccine required to avoid onsite quarantine

  • Program Fee

    UC Undergrads: TBA

    UC Grad Students: TBA

    Visiting Students: TBA

    Fees are subject to change by action of the UC Regents: View full fee disclaimer

*Program not currently offered*

Explore and be inspired by ancient materials and their durability and sustainability as time-proven examples of technology innovation and/or invention. Become a ‘detective’ through hands-on investigations to identify diagnostic fingerprint markers for authentication and provenance of stolen and looted antiquities.

This Ancient Technology, Materials and Forensics program, based on the island of Cyprus, with one of the oldest recorded histories in the world and the birthplace of the goddess Aphrodite whom tradition credits with having emerged from its shoreline, will immerse students into a fundamental understanding on how people select, evaluate, and use materials from the environment that they transform into cultural objects.

The geographic location of Cyprus at the meeting point of great civilizations in the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and Africa and its geomorphology and richness in minerals and timber have been important economic resources from antiquity to modern times and played an important role in shaping the island’s culture and identity, as well as a long-standing target for looting and illicit trafficking of valuable cultural heritage. Through the application of reverse engineering and forensic principles for the study of material culture, students will innovate and utilize technologies, as well as apply social science and humanities method and theory to improve our understanding of material culture, while developing science and engineering competencies. The five-week course meets at the Cyprus University of Technology in the city of Limassol, where students will reside in student residence halls. Limassol, is a cosmopolitan and vibrant city as well as a major sea port on the southern coast of Cyprus, offering different options to access and embrace the island’s culture, history and natural resources through immersion with its UNESCO World Heritage archaeological sites, Byzantine churches, museums, galleries, pictorial villages and natural landscape.


Required Program Courses

All students will enroll in two required courses while attending the program:

  • MAT SCI 33W* (5 units)**: Materials Structure and Technology in Archaeology and Architecture
  • MAT SCI 13L* (5 units): Cultural [Materials] Science Investigations in Art & Archaeology

*Materials Science Majors may use courses toward elective and lab credit within the major. Other engineering majors should confirm how courses will factor into degree with their Engineering advisor– technical breadth may be possible by petition to HSSEAS OASA.  

**MAT SCI 33W may fulfill “Foundations of Scientific Inquiry: Physical Science with Lab” GE requirement AND may also fulfill the Writing II GE requirement. Since Engineering students do not have a physical science GE requirement, please see above if Writing II is not needed.  

These courses are offered through the Department of Materials Science and Engineering will partner with The Engineering Division of the Cyprus University of Technology (CUT), the Archaeological Research Unit (ARU) of the University of Cyprus, and the Department of Antiquities of Cyprus (including archaeological museums in various cities). These partner institutions will provide students to special access to restricted laboratories and areas of ancient sites and museums that are not open to the public as well as permission to use authentic archaeological materials for hands-on experience-based learning.


Grades will be based on attendance, class participation (including lab work and site visits), group presentations, as well as a research paper. Instructors reserve the right to vary this format.


All schedules, itineraries, and group activities are subject to change at the discretion of the instructor.

Classes will meet Mondays through Thursday with mandatory site visits on Fridays. Some class days will consist of independent research while others will include both lecture and lab. Students will have weekends free, with the exception of the final Saturday of the program (final presentations and a farewell dinner).


There is no textbook to be purchased for this program.  Supplemental readings from technical journals will be provided, as well as lecture notes.

Budget and Financial Aid

Budget Estimate UC Undergrads UC Grad Students Visiting Student
Program Fee $5800 $6400 $6400
Textbooks (estimate)  $50  $50  $50
Airfare (estimate)  $1700  $1700  $1700
Meals (estimate)  $1500  $1500  $1500
Spending Money (estimate)  $800  $800  $800

Program fee includes registration and course fees, accommodations, some meals, and program excursions. Airfare, other meals, optional excursions and any COVID-19 testing required for travel are additional.

Fees are subject to change by action of the UC Regents. View full fee disclaimer.

Document Fee

Non-UCLA students will be charged a $50 Document Fee. This is a one-time document fee which covers fees for first-class mailing of official transcripts, diploma and much more. Please visit the Registrar’s Office Website for more information. Matriculated UCLA Students: Please visit the Registrar’s Office Website for document fee information.


All undergraduate students will be charged a $61 IEI fee per summer. The IEI (Instructional Enhancement Initiative) fee is a course materials fee that is charged in order to support the use of technology in undergraduate education at UCLA. For more information please click here.


We recommend that you budget accordingly to cover optional sightseeing, laundry, internet cafes, emergencies, etc.  How much to budget depends on your travel, entertainment and souvenir choices. It is always best to overestimate your spending. Take the time to research the cost of living in your destination and the activities you want to participate in while abroad.

Purchasing Airfare

Please do not purchase airfare until instructed to do so by your Travel Study Program Coordinator.

Financial Aid

Financial aid for Travel Study programs is available to qualified UCLA students. All other students should inquire about financial aid at their home institution. For details about the financial aid application process, please visit the Financial Aid section of this website.

On Location


Students will stay in the Ktisis building located at Cyprus University of Technology.  Students will be placed in single-occupancy rooms with air conditioning and shared kitchen space to prepare meals as needed.

UCLA Travel Study reserves the right to change housing location. Should this be necessary, we will arrange comparable accommodations elsewhere.


There will be occasional group meals included as part of your program fee, but the majority of meals will be on your own. If you have strict dietary requirements, this program may not be able to accommodate your needs. Please let us know when you apply for this program if you have special dietary needs as well as any physical or medical conditions. We will advise you accordingly.


Tentative excursions planned for the program include the following:

  • Guided boat tour around Limassol
  • Archeological site of Amathus
  • Troodos mountains and mine of Skouriotissa
  • Hellenistic/Roman city of Nea Paphos
  • Sanctuary of Aphrodite at Palaepaphos
  • Kourion archaeological site
  • Nicosia, capital of Cyprus

Limited free time is built into this program for independent sightseeing. If you plan on traveling, we recommend that you budget additional spending money.