Archaeological Field Schools

Alberese Archaeological Field School 2017


July 17-August 11, 2017
Application deadline: February 28, 2017
Maximum number of participants: 12

The excavations examine a newly discovered Roman rural villa located within the territory of the famous Etruscan-Roman city of Rusellae in Tuscany.

The excavations have brought to light a complex structure, with evidence of mosaic pavements. The villa was located in close proximity to the Mediterranean and to a busy port on the Ombrone River. Its economy was hence largely based on fishing and shipping. However, it also included a workshop producing metal objects and – highly unusual – Egyptian blue pigment.

The site is rich and well preserved, and clearly formed part of an important commercial center: for Mediterranean trade and as intermediary between the region and Rome.

The excavations provide exciting new evidence for ancient international trade and exchange networks.

The course is a fundamental introduction to stratigraphic excavation methods and to studies of excavated artifacts. Subjects include excavation methods and their application, analysis of built structures and archaeological features, context analysis, finds handling and recording, and studies of ceramic, glass, metal, bone, and numismatic material.

Established in 2009 the research Project is shaping a new understanding of Roman settlement trends and international exchange networks between the mid-Republican period and late Antiquity.

Current research focuses on the relationship between local and international economies, and the relationship between towns and territory. This is done through the archaeology of two outstanding sites: the excavation of a newly identified Roman rural villa and workshop site, and the investigation of the forum of the Etruscan-Roman city of Rusellae.

Other ongoing studies in the area include excavations of: a manufacturing district active between 1st-6th centuries AD that produced objects in glass, bone and metal on a scale unmatched in the area; a sanctuary dedicated to Diana Umbronensis situated as a 'marker' for Mediterranean trade; as well as landscape and infrastructure studies centered around the via Aurelia vetus.

The Project provides important new evidence for Roman Italy. Its current research themes include, the 'Romanization' of Etruria; the relationship between cities and rural settlements; local economy and international exchange; and manufacture and infrastructure organization.

The Field School is an integral part of the research excavations, and the participants contribute actively to this through their work.

The Field School is located near the modern city of Grosseto in Tuscany, Italy. It is set in breath-taking archaeological and natural landscapes: at the archaeological site of ancient Rusellae and within the Maremma Natural Park.

Students will be accommodated in shared rooms in well-furnished, comfortable lodgings in or near the charming, walled city of Grosseto with easy access to amenities.

The location offers a host of opportunities for independent weekend activities: explore the natural park, relax on the nearby beach, or visit important cities, like Rome, Pisa, Siena and Florence.

Reaching Grosseto
By air: Pisa and Rome (Fiumicino and Ciampino airports) are the closest international airports. Rome Fiumicino and Ciampino airports are connected by train and/or bus to Rome Termini train station.

By train: From Rome Termini station there are regular direct trains to Grosseto, from Pisa the train departs outside the airport. For details see

Meeting point: At the train station at Grosseto around 17.30 (5.30 pm) the day before the start of the course

Courses are offered as for-credit and as certificate of participation. Preference will be given to students taking the 4-week course.

Fees include tuition, accommodation, meals Monday-Friday (breakfast, picnic lunch, restaurant dinner), and transportation from lodging to site on working days. Travel to and from Italy/Grosseto; and weekend meals and activities are not included.

Approved applications will be asked to submit a nonrefundable deposit payment (500 Euro for the four-week course; 250 Euro for the two-week courses) to ensure a space in the program. The remaining portion of your fee should be paid no later than May 1, 2017

Cancellation: with notice provided before May 12, 2017 the fee (minus the deposit) will be refunded, after this time it is non-refundable

Three-credit course (credits issued by John Cabot University)
4 weeks (July 17 - August 11, 2017) 4000 Euro

Certificate of participation courses (certificate issued by the University of Sheffield)
4 weeks (July 17 – August 11, 2017) 3800 Euro
2 weeks July (July 17-28, 2017) 2100 Euro
2 weeks August (July 31-August 11, 2017) 2100 Euro

Want to organize your own accommodation, meals and transportation to site? Ask us about tuition only fees.

Contact us:
Alessandro Sebastiani ([email protected])
Inge Lyse Hansen ([email protected])

Insurance: to work on site it is mandatory to have insurance that covers the period of your stay. You will be asked to provide the reference number of this and to sign a risk assessment form once on site.

Tools: please bring a 4" WHS trowel (available in on-line stores). All other equipment is provided by the project

Clothing: safety boots are required for the excavation as well as appropriate clothes (long or short trousers). Please remember a hat, flask for water, sunscreen and insect repellent.

Working days: Monday to Friday – 8.00 am to 5.00 pm

Arrival and departure dates: participants are asked to arrive on the Sunday before the first working day and depart on the Saturday after the last working day of their chosen period of participation.

Select bibliographic sources available on-line

Chirico, E. and Sebastiani, A. (2010) L’insediamento tardoantica sul promotorio dello Scoglietto (Alberese, Grosseto – IT). Fasti Online, FOLD&R Italy Series 196

Chirico, E., Colombini, M., Rubegni, E. and Sebastiani, A. (2011) Relazione preliminare alla I° campagna di scavi archeologici a Spolverino (Alberese – GR). Prime valutazioni ed ipotesi sul porto romano di cabotaggio a Rusellae. Fasti Online, FOLD&R Italy Series 232

Sebastiani, A. (2011) Nota su due strutture produttive tardo romane nell'ager Rusellanus: la bottega di un maestro vetraio a Spolverino (Alberese – GR) e l'officina metallurgica a Rusellae (Grosseto). Fasti Online, FOLD&R Italy Series 221

Sebastiani, A. (2012) Spolverino (Alberese – GR): relazione alla II campagna di scavi archeologici. Fasti Online, FOLD&R Italy Series 271

Sebastiani A. (2014) Spolverino (Alberese- GR). The 4th Archaeological Season at the Manufacturing District and revision of the previous archaeological data. Fasti Online, FOLD&R Italy Series 320

Fill in the application form.

If your application is approved then you will be asked to submit a nonrefundable deposit payment (500 Euro for the four-week course; 250 Euro for the two-week courses). This payment is the only way to ensure a place in the program.

The remaining portion of your fee must be paid no later than May 1, 2017.

The field school projects are popular so early application is advised. Should spaces remain, applications will be accepted also after the stated deadline.

All information provided on this form will be treated as strictly confidential and not passed to third parties for any purpose whatsoever.