Trasimeno Archaeology Field School

Location: Castiglione del Lago, Perugia, Italy

Saturday, May 24, 2014 to Saturday, June 28, 2014

Application Deadline: 
Monday, March 31, 2014

Program Type

Field school


Umbra Institute, Arcadia University, Intrageo, Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici dell'Umbria, Comune di Castiglione del Lago

Project Director:

Dr. Francesco Burzacca

Project Description

The excavation will focus on two different areas of Castiglione del Lago, a charming medieval town situated in Umbria, along the southwestern shores of Lake Trasimeno, close to renowned historical cities, such as Orvieto, Perugia and Cortona.

One area is located  off the medieval walls, on the sloping side of the hill, towards the southern shore of the lake. Recent survey investigations of this area have indicated the presence of a rich archaeological site, possibly a Roman building and Etruscan tombs. Among olive trees, geo-magnetic surveys have revealed the presence of underground structures, probably belonging to Etruscan tombs.

The second site lies in the courtyard of a large castle on top of the hill. Inside, there are ruins of a small medieval church built on top of previous structures, still to be investigated. 

The goal of the campaign is to assess the original function of the whole area, in order to understand the origins of the settlement of Castiglione, following the settlement’s development from Etruscan, through Roman, to Medieval times. The project is an instructive example of how different civilizations built upon each other on the same area.

The Field School consists of two courses, both held in Castiglione del Lago during The Umbra Institute’s General Studies summer session. This curricular concentration aims to provide students with a comprehensive overview of up-to-date theories and methods of archaeological research and fieldwork as applied to the civilizations that shaped the history and culture of central Italy.

The course ARFW 350: Archaeological Field Workshop (mandatory) is an archaeology practicum. Students will work alongside professional archaeological staff to uncover artifacts and learn necessary archaeological digging skills. Course Credit: 3

The course ARCL 340: Archaeology in Central Italy: The Etruscan and Roman Legacy (optional) offers students the necessary theoretical background to introduce them to the actual excavation experience in this region of central Italy. Course Credit: 3

These are non-prerequisite courses, students can choose to take one course or both. Courses include fieldtrips to various archaeological and cultural sites, including an overnight trip to Rome.

The archaeological field school is collaborative and aims to involve the community of Castiglione in a long term relationship. Students will cooperate with a local archaeological association and will help the municipality of the town to catalog findings and set up the new local archaeological museum.

Period(s) of Occupation: Etruscan, Roman and Medieval Age

Project size: 
1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: 5 weeks

Room and Board Arrangements

Students will live in modernly furnished studio apartments (2-3 students each) directly on the lake shore, a short walking distance from supermarkets and the archaeological site. All apartments include kitchens. Castiglione has a lively outdoor life and students will have the opportunity to enjoy the everyday life of a typical Italian community. Bus and train services directly connect Castiglione to other cities, including Rome and Florence, making it easy to travel over weekends. A renowned summer location, Castiglione is an international venue for relaxing vacations, swimming and sun-bathing on its beaches, or for practicing a variety of sports.

Academic Credit

Name of institution offering credit: 
Arcadia University
Number of credits offered 3 - 6
3,950 - 4,975


Contact Information
Francesco Burzacca
Piazza IV Novembre 23
+39 075 5734595