Location: Gravina in Puglia (province of Bari); Genzano di Lucania (province of Potenza), Italy
The Department of Modern Languages and Classics invites applications for its archaeological field school in the Basentello Valley in the historic regions of Puglia and Basilicata (south central Italy; the ‘instep’ of the boot). Students will participate in an ongoing archaeological research project which involves the excavation of a Roman imperial estate in southern Italy (including a small village and a Roman cemetery) as well as regional field survey of a 200 square km area in the territories of Genzano di Lucania, Banzi, and Irsina. The goal of our research is to examine the settlement patterns of this territory, with special emphasis on the transitions from the Hellenistic to the Roman period, and from the Imperial to the Late Antique period. We are also examining cultural interaction between the pre-Roman indigenous population of the region and the Romans who arrive in the area as colonists and landowners during the first century BC.
History of the Project
Since 2005, students from North American and European universities have participated in the study of an imperial estate and its surrounding territory in the Basentello Valley of south Italy. This has included the excavation of a Roman villa, part of an imperial estate, the analysis of artifactual and environmental data from this excavation, and the survey of a roughly 200 square kilometer territory to the west of the Basentello River Valley in the regions of Puglia and Basilicata. The project has involved specialists in pottery, zooarchaeology, archaeobotany, CAD, GIS, and the environmental scientists. Reports of our fieldwork have been published in the Papers of the British School at Rome, the Fasti Online, and Taras, and a substantial preliminary report will appear shortly in Mouseion. The project, which is partially funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, is of vital importance for our understanding of the process of Romanization or cultural hybridization in southern Italy, as well as to our understanding of the nature of imperial estates in Italy. A field school has been associated with the project since its inception, which has been a formative experience in the careers of many graduate students, including one Rhodes scholar, and professional archaeologists.
Work in 2013
During the summer of 2013, the field school will afford students the opportunity of excavating the villa site at San Felice, documenting this work, and dealing with the finds from the excavation. Students will also participate in archaeological field survey in the territory of the modern towns of Genzano di Lucania, Banzi, and Irsina. Throughout the field school, students will interact with professors and students from Mount Allison University (excavating at San Felice), McMaster University (excavating a Roman period cemetery 850 meters from the villa at San Felice), and Sheffield University (excavating a small Roman village associated with the villa and the cemetery).
Students will be trained in the essential methods and techniques of archaeological excavation, photography, drawing, documentation, data entry, finds analysis, environmental archaeology, field walking, digital mapping, GIS, and site identification. This training is hands on and will take place almost entirely in the field, complemented by a series of lectures presented by professors and specialists related to various aspects of the project.
Students will be graded on their ability to learn and execute various archaeological techniques in the field and the lab, on their entries in an archaeological daybook, and on a final exam. Students will enroll in two 3.0 credit hour courses (CLAS 3610, Field Study in Roman Archaeology and 3611, Roman Archaeology Field Laboratory) offered by Saint Mary's University through the Department of Modern Languages and Classics.
Period(s) of Occupation: Roman imperial period (excavation); Paleolithic to Medieval periods (survey)
Room and Board Arrangements