Location: Rome, Italy
Season Dates: September 1, 2013 - September 15, 2013
Application Deadline: July 15, 2013
Affiliation: ArchaeoSpain, University of Barcelona, Complutense University Madrid
Project Director: Dr. José M. Blazquez and Dr. José Remesal
Heralded as one of the most important research programs about Roman epigraphy, economy and commerce today, Monte Testaccio combines the efforts of two universities and ArchaeoSpain to process the pottery shards from an artificial mount created by centuries of discarded amphorae‚ many of which still have the maker's seal stamped on their handles, while others retain titles and notes written with a brush or quill listing the exporter's name and indicating the contents, the export controls, and consular date. Once an ancient pottery dump, Monte Testaccio is now one of the largest archives of Roman commerce in the world.
Those who join us will participate in all aspects of this project, including artifact recovery, cataloguing and restoration. There will also be a few after-work lectures on the research and a workshop on drawing pottery.
In ancient times, amphorae were the main containers used for transportation and storage of goods. They were massively produced because of their low cost, and were usually destroyed once they reached their final destination because it was easier to make a new one than to clean and reuse an old one. Between the first and the third centuries, a spectacular number of amphorae were broken and dumped at a specific location in Rome near the Tiber River. Over the years, they formed an artificial hill of testae and crockery 45 meters (135 feet) high. Originally these amphorae had been used to hold the olive oil imported from the provinces, mainly from Baetica (modern Andalucia in southern Spain).
When work is over, Rome offers unlimited options for the lovers of the classical world. There will be multiple opportunities for the participants to enjoy what the city has to offer, from its busy cafes and restaurants to all the historical sites.
Period(s) of Occupation: Roman
Project Size: 1-24 participants
Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: 2 weeks
Minimum Age: 18
Experience Required: None
Room and Board Arrangements
Participants will stay at a hotel near the excavation site, sharing double rooms. Single rooms may be an option if the participant is willing to bear the additional cost. The hotel ground floor has WiFi and a computer for guests. Meals will be eaten at local restaurants, and the Testaccio area abounds with home-style eateries and some excellent pizza.
Name of institution offering credit: In arrangement with participant's own institution
Number of credits offered: none
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Blázquez Martínez J.M., Remesal Rodríguez J. (Eds.). (1999-2010). Estudios sobre el Monte Testaccio (Roma). Col·lecció Instrumenta. Proyecto Amphorae, bajo los auspicios de la Real Academia de la Historia. Universitat de Barcelona.