Vada Volaterrana. A Harbour in the Mediterranean Sea

This listing expired on June 23, 2014. Please contact diggingvada@gmail.com for any updated information.

Some of the most important findings from the site: a) marble statue of Attis; b) wall painting with head of Medusa; c) clay statue from a late imperial age trash pit
plan of the site with GPR survey and 3D reconstruction of warhouseVada_Volaterrana_2013_excavation:plan of the new building
Vada_Volaterrana_2013_survey: the amphoras:workshopsVada_Volaterrana_2013_excavation:digging and studying pottery on site

Location: Vada, Livorno, Italy

Season Dates: July 6, 2014 - July 26, 2014
Application Deadline: June 23, 2014

Website: http://www.diggingvada.com

Flyer:

Program Type
Field school

Affiliation: University of Pisa

Project Director: Stefano Genovesi, University of Pisa

Project Description

Our project: Vada Volaterrana. A Roman harbour in the Mediterranean Sea

Our project stems from the archaeological researches the Laboratory of Ancient Topography of the University of Pisa has been conducting for over twenty years at St. Gaetano di Vada (municipality of Rosignano Marittimo, Livorno), along the coast of Tuscany. Here a settlement of considerable interest, related to the harbour system of the famous Etruscan and Roman city of Volterra, has been found and partially excavated.

Now the Laboratory of Ancient Topography is going to start a Summer School opened to foreign and Italian students of archaeology, who wish to live an experience of archaeological excavation in Italy.

These will be our main purposes:

  • conducting tutorial activities that allow participants to understand the scientific method that archaeologists use today, starting from when a site is identified through surveys and GPR (Ground Penetrating Radar) investigations until the stratigraphic excavation.
  • the scientific research of the University of Pisa will extend to a new area of the settlement, recently identified through geophysical surveys. Participants will be deeply involved in this new adventure, thanks to a team of skillful archaeologists.

During three weeks the Summer School’s students will practice with all the different activities an archaeologist usually does into the field and in the lab, from the discovery of a new site until its stratigraphic excavation and study:

1.      Survey in the surroundings of the site

2.      Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) analysis

3.      Stratigraphic excavation, consisting of digging in the site of Vada Volaterrana and related labs (GIS lab, pottery lab)

Lectures will focus on the history and archaeology of the harbour of Vada Volaterrana and its sorroundings and on archaeological methods, in order to explain students all the activities they will face during the excavation on site.

 

The site of S. Gaetano di Vada: the roman harbour of Vada Volaterrana

The Etruscan and Roman city of Volaterrae - the current Volterra, in the core of Tuscany - was connected to the coast by the Cecina River valley;.the main port, whose name was Vada Volaterrana, was located further North of the mouth of the river, at S. Gaetano di Vada.

The quarter was built, according to a plan, during the Augustan age. Many building have been unearthed in time: two thermal baths, a large warehouse (horreum), a water tank, a monumental fountain - used for watering the animals - and the head office of the guild (collegium) in charge of port activities’ menagement. The corporation’s member were worshippers of the Eastern god Cibele, whose lover Attis’ marble statue was found in the cold pool (frigidarium) of the main bath house, where it was intentionally thrown in broken pieces in Late Antiquity.

The findings of amphoras, pottery, coins, glass vessels and marbles testify the intensive trade activities; every kind of goods arrived from the entire Mediterranean Sea basin, to be redistributed from the port to the countryside and the city of Volaterrae, and here local products were shipped out.

If you want to learn more about 2013 excavation season download the 2013 report (see above).

Period(s) of Occupation: Roman imperial age

Project Size: 1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: all the period (3 weeks)

Minimum Age: 19

Experience Required: No prerequisites are requested for the field school; students will be trained for all the activities they’ll experience.

Room and Board Arrangements

Students and staff will stay in a new agritourism, houesd inside a restored tipical Tuscany farmhouse, located in the countryside East of the town of Rosignano Solvay (municipality of Rosignano Marittimo, Leghorn), close to the railway station (2 miles/3,2 km far), the city center (2,2 miles/ 3,5 km far; ) and the beach (3 miles/4,8 km far).
The archaeological site of Vada Volaterrana is about 4,3 miles/7 km South.
Students and staff will stay in appartments with kitchen-living rooms, bedrooms and bathrooms for 3-5 persons. Internet access and laundry will be available at the accommodation.
The food will be provided by a local restaurant specialized in Italian cuisine, located close to the excavation (about 4,3 miles/7 km far from the accomodation).  
The breakfast, consisting of  coffee or cappuccino and pastries, will be consumed at the accommodation; lunch which will be consumed on the excavation (students and staff will be provided with lunch-boxes).
Dinner, consisting of typical Italian courses, will be held at the restaurant (the cost of the summer school includes water; all other drinks are excluded).
Every effort will be made to accommodate students with severe food allergies (nuts, shellfish, etc.); students with severe food allergies are required to communicate their specific dietary restrictions to the field school’s organizers immediately upon admission.
We will try to accomodate individual lifestyles and dietary choices (vegetarianism, veganism, etc.) too.
Meals are provided during weekends, when the field school is not in session.
At request, it will be possible - every three or four days - going shopping; students may communicate staff members what they want to buy.

Cost: €1,920 ($2,500) for 3 weeks

Academic Credit
Name of institution offering credit: Pisa University
Number of credits offered: 6 Pisa Univ. credits offered (150 hours). The Laboratory of Ancient Topography of the University of Pisa will issue signed certificates for all the activities made during the Field School, specifying type and hours.
Tuition: None

Contact Information
Stefano Genovesi
Via Mozzoni 18
S. Giuliano Terme, Pisa 56017
Italy
diggingvada@gmail.com
Phone: 3384755644

Recommended Bibliography

M. Pasquinucci et alii, Ground Penetratine Radar Survey of urban Sites in North Coastal Etruria: Pisae, Portus Pisanus, Vada Volaterrana, in F. Vermeulen, G.-J. Burgers, S. Keay, C. Corsi (eds.), An offprint from urban Landscapes Survey in Italy and the Mediterranean, 2012, pp. 149-159.

M. Pasquinucci – S. Menchelli, The landscape and economy of the territories of Pisae and Volaterrae (coastal North Etruria), in Journal of Roman Archaeology, XII (1999),  pp. 123-141.

http://www.fastionline.org/micro_view.php?fst_cd=AIAC_1102&curcol=sea_cd-AIAC_2930

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