Archaeological Field Schools

Alberese Archaeological Field School 2017


July 15 - August 9, 2019
Application deadline: March 1, 2019 (late applications will be accepted should spaces remain)
Maximum number of participants: 12

The excavations focus on a Roman residential and production settlement (a so-called positio) located on what was the ancient coastline of the Tyrrhenian/Mediterranean Sea.

The residential part of the complex is still unexcavated but evidence of mosaic pavements and the presence of luxury glass objects hint at the nature of this. Previous seasons have focused on the production areas and have revealed workshops for metal-working and, exceptionally, for the working of Egyptian Blue pigment. The latter has hitherto only been attested at the rich port at Pozzuoli in the Bay of Naples.

The location of the site (at the modern place-name of Prima Golena) was in the ancient period at the intersection between the Mediterranean Sea and the River Ombrone that traverses the territory of the powerful city of Russelae. The Field School, hence, offers an exceptional opportunity to investigate Roman exchange systems as both regional and international networks. Similarly, the composite nature of the site and the finds will give students a well-rounded understanding of what constitutes the nature and scope of modern archaeological analysis.

The site is well preserved, and the excavations form part of a long-term research project on settlement and exchange networks within the territory of Russelae (the Etruscan city made Roman colony) between the late Republican and late Imperial periods (3rd century BC-4th century AD). The Field School is an integral part of the research excavations, and the participants contribute actively to this through their work.

Established in 2009 the interdisciplinary Research Project investigates 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 archaeological excavation of a newly identified Roman positio, a residential and workshop site, located on the Tyrrhenian coast within the territory of the Etruscan-Roman city of Rusellae.

The Project also comprises two other sites located at the point of intersection between the River Ombrone and the Mediterranean: the excavation of the river port and manufacturing district at Spolverino, active between 1st-6th centuries AD, which produced objects in glass, bone and metal on a scale unmatched in the area; and the excavations of the temple sanctuary dedicated to Diana Umbronensis at Scoglietto, which was situated as a ‘marker’ for Mediterranean trade at the mouth of the river. Other ongoing studies include landscape and infrastructure studies centered around the road of the via Aurelia vetus, which linked the area to Rome.

Current research themes hence focus on the Roman economy between regionalization and globalization; on the relationship between cities and rural settlements; and on manufacture and workshop organization. 

The Field School is located near the modern city of Grosseto in Tuscany, Italy. It is set in the breath-taking archaeological and natural landscape of the Maremma Natural Park.

Students will be accommodated in shared rooms in a comfortable, family-run hotel located in the center of the modern city of Grosseto with easy access to amenities. The main train station is within walking distance of the hotel.

Grosseto is a charming, walled city well-furnished with shops, restaurants and cafes, and it offers a host of opportunities for independent weekend activities: explore the natural park, relax on the nearby beach, or visit famous cities, like Rome, Pisa, Siena and Florence.

Reaching Grosseto
By air: The closest international airports are Pisa and Rome (Fiumicino and Ciampino 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 lodgings 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 the fee must be paid no later than May 1, 2019.

Cancellation: with notice provided before May 12, 2019 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 15 – August 9, 2019) 4000 Euro

Certificate of participation courses (certificate issued by the Alberese Archaeological Project)
4 weeks (July 15 – August 9, 2019) 3800 Euro
2 weeks July (July 15 – 26, 2019) 2100 Euro
2 weeks August (July 29 – August 9, 2019) 2100 Euro 

Contact us:
Matteo Colombini ([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 and a copy of this must be submitted in advance. Similarly, all participants must have had a tetanus vaccination or booster within the past ten years; no other vaccinations are required

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

Complete the online 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, 2019.

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. Students wanting to enroll in the for-credit course will be asked to give specific consent to their details being given to John Cabot University for purposes of issuing the course transcript.


See more about the Alberese Project