Archaeology in Tuscany: the Roman Villa of Poggio del Molino, Populonia (Archeodig Project)

Location: Populonia, Livorno, Italy

Sunday, September 2, 2012 to Friday, October 26, 2012

Flyer: archeodig_2012.pdf

Program Type

Field school


Superintendence for Archaeological Heritage in Tuscany, University of Florence, Earthwatch Institute, Past In Progress Association

Project Director:

Andrea Camilli (Superintendence for Archaeological Heritage of Tuscany), Giandomenico De Tommaso (University of Florence), Carolina Megale (Archeodig Project)

Project Description

The Archeodig Project was born in 2008 with the objective of filling as many of the gaps as possible in our knowledge of the history of Populonia and its territory, from the late Etruscan period to the late Roman age. Populonia, located in the region of Italy once known as Etruria, was for centuries one of the most flourishing centers of iron smelting and trade in all over the Mediterranean.  

The Roman Villa of Poggio del Molino is located in the heart of the territory of Populonia, overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea. The Villa is situated in a strategic part of the bay, next to a navigable inland lake and the great Campiglia mines. The Villa was built around the middle of the 2nd century C.E. by modifying a previous farm with adjoining cetaria, a handicraft factory for the production of garum (fish sauce), equipped with pools for soaking the fish. The house has a large open area set out as a garden which is surrounded, to the south-west, by living quarters (cubicula and dining rooms) with mosaic floors and painted walls. To the north-east is the baths complex, also decorated with frescoes and mosaics, connected to the living quarters by a corridor overlooking the sea and equipped with basins and fountains. The Villa of Poggio del Molino is, so far, the most significant site to reconstruct the history of Populonia between the 1st century B.C.E. and the beginning of the Middle Age.




Period(s) of Occupation: From Late Repubblican period (1st century B.C.E.) to Middle Age

Project size: 
1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: 1 week

Minimum age: 

Experience required: 
No pre-requisites and no archaeological experience

Room and Board Arrangements

Students will stay in comfortable apartments in the quiet village of Populonia Station, about 5km/3.2 miles away from the site. The apartments feature modern furnishings, single beds, hot showers, flush toilets, electricity and sockets to charge cameras, mobile phone, gas heat. here is a small kitchen in each apartment with an oven, hob and fridge. Rooms will be single gender, but apartments mixed gender. Participants will need to bring a towel and sleeping bag. Food will be typical Tuscan and Italian style cuisine. The evening meal will be prepared by the staff with the help of students and volunteers.

€ 450,00 (approx. $ 585) per week

Academic Credit

Name of institution offering credit: 
Superintendence for Archaeological Heritage of Tuscany
Number of credits offered: none


Contact Information
Carolina Megale
Via della Pieve, 6
+39 339 7544894
Recommended Bibliography: 

G. De Tommaso, F. Ghizzani Marcìa, C. Megale, La villa romana di Poggio del Molino e il Progetto Archeodig: un nuovo approccio all’archeologia sul campo, in G. Baratti, F. Fabiani (eds.), Materiali per Populonia 9, 2010, Pisa, pp. 163-180.
G. De Tommaso, F. Ghizzani Marcìa, C. Megale, Piombino (Li). Populonia, Villa di Poggio del Molino: nuove indagini, le campagne 2008 e 2009, «Notiziario della Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici dellla Toscana», 5/2009, 2010, pp. 352-356.
V.Saladino, La villa romana sul Poggio del Mulino (Populonia) e il lago di Rimigliano, Atti e Memorie dell'Accademia Toscana di Scienze e Lettere 'La Colombaria', LX: 33-101, 1995, Firenze.
S. Bertone, Mosaici della villa romana di Poggio del Molino a Populonia, Atti del II Colloquio dell'Associazione italiana per lo studio e la conservazione del mosaico, (Roma 5 - 7 dicembre 1994), 159-162, 1995, Bordighera.
E.J.Shepherd, La villa romana di Poggio del Molino (Populonia, Livorno), Rassegna di Archeologia, 6: 273-300, 1986-87, Firenze.
V.Saladino - E.J.Shepherd, G.De Tommaso, La villa romana di Poggio del Molino. Campagna di scavo 1984, Rassegna di Archeologia, 4: 319-335, 1984, Firenze.