Location: Salemi, Sicily, Italy
Explore the rich archaeological past of ancient Sicily, uncovering the ancient Iron Age, Greek, Roman, and Medieval remains beneath modern Salemi, Sicily. Live and excavate in a city which is over 2500 years old while learning to excavate stratigraphically and discovering artifacts from the past. Salemi was first inhabited by the indigenous Iron Age Elymi of western Sicily 2500 years ago. Since then, Salemi has been inhabited continuously through the Greek contact, Roman, Byzantine, Islamic, Norman, Swabian, Medieval, Renaissance, and modern periods. Excavations in the modern city of Salemi commenced in 2001, discovering an Elymian house. Since then, NIU's excavations have uncovered Greek contact period houses, Roman cisterns, Medieval buildings and cisterns, Renaissance grain silo's, and much more.
Students will learn hands-on field excavation techniques, archaeological mapping, artifact processing, and pottery illustration. Excavation schedules include full days Monday through Friday and half days on Saturdays. Lectures on the history and archaeology of Salemi and western Sicily will be complemented by weekend trips to nearby archaeological sites including Mokarta, Segesta, Erice (ancient Eryx), Marsala, and Selinunte (ancient Selinus).
Student participation is organized by Northern Illinois University's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the Study Abroad Office. Contact Professor Michael Kolb, PhD, Department of Anthropology, Northern Illinois University; firstname.lastname@example.org; tel. (815)753-7037 for more information. This program is open to both undergraduate and graduate students enrolled at any university or college. This six-credit course covers all field school activities, airfare to Sicily not included.
Period(s) of Occupation: Iron Age, Greek contact, Roman, Byzantine, Islamic, Norman, Swabian, Medieval, Renaissance, Modern
Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: Four weeks
Room and Board Arrangements
Participants will stay in the project fieldhouse located in Salemi, Sicily with double or triple occupancy dormitory-style rooms. Seventeen meals a week will be provided. Dinners during the week are cooked by a local chef. Transportation from/to the Palermo airport is included as well as all daily transportation to/from the site and all scheduled weekend excursions.
Balco, W. and M. Kolb (2009). Loomweights as Material Culture Indicators: A western Sicilian case study. SOMA 2008: Proceedings of the XII Symposium on Mediterranean Archaeology, Eastern Mediterranean University, Famagusta, North Cyprus, 5-8 March 2008. H. Oniz. Oxford, Archeopress. BAR International Series 1909: 177-182.
Heinzel, C. and M. Kolb (2011). Holocene land use in western Sicily: a geoarchaeological perspective. Human Interactions with the Geosphere: The Geoarchaeological Perspective. L. Wilson. London, Geological Society. Special Publications 352: 97-107.
Kolb, M. J. (2007). The Salemi Survey Project: long-term landscape change and political consolidation in interior western Sicily 3000 BC-AD 600. Uplands of Ancient Sicily and Calabria: the archaeology of landscape revisited. M. Fitzjohn. London, Accordia Research Institute, University of London. Volume 13, Accordia Specialist Studies on Italy: 171-185.
Kolb, M. J. and R. J. Speakman (2005). "Elymian regional interaction in Iron Age western Sicily: a preliminary neutron activation study of incised/impressed tablewares." Journal of Archaeological Science 32: 795-804.
Kolb, M. J., P. Vecchio, et al. (2007). The lost settlement of Halikyai and excavations at Cappasanta, Salemi, Sicily. Uplands of Ancient Sicily and Calabria: the archaeology of landscape revisited. M. Fitzjohn. London, Accordia Research Institute, University of London. Volume 13, Accordia Specialist Studies on Italy: 197-208.
Leighton, R. (1999). Sicily Before History: an archaeological survey from the Paleolithic to the Iron Age. Ithaca, New York, Cornell University Press.