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The Vultur Project

Location: Rionero in Vulture, Italy

July 8, 2013 to August 24, 2013

Application Deadline: 
Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Program Type


RPA certified



The Comune of Rionero in Vultur, The Comunità Montana Vultur, and University of Alberta

Project Director:

Dr. Richard Fletcher

Project Description

The Vultur Project is an archaeological investigation of the Vulture zone of the Lucanian Frontier as a sphere of pre-Roman cultural interaction and Late Roman stability.  The project consists of an extensive survey of the Rionero-Atella area and the excavation of a Roman villa/baths/cemetery complex located near a medieval church called Torre degli Embrici.  The survey aims to identify sites of particular importance and to supply data for an analysis of settlement nucleation and land-use from the Early Iron Age to the Late Roman period.  The excavation aims at determining the duration of the site's use, it's economic importance, and to gain a glimpse of the everyday lives of the people that inhabited it. 

The Vulture was the gateway from the north to the mountainous region of Basilicata and to the ancient arterial of the Ofanto valley.  Thus, this region was a main route connecting the complex systems of the Ofanto with the more isolated mountains.  The route was used by Bronze Age polities, Peuketiantes, Lucanians, Romans and Goths in succession.  What is particularly attractive about the Vulture region, other than the wealth of archaeological material in the area,  is that the conditions of sociocultural formations and negotiation which are unique to the frontier enviroment are very likely to be here, both highly magnified and unusually well-preserved in the archaeological record.

Period(s) of Occupation: Pre-Roman to Late Roman

Roman, pre-Roman, villa, excavation, extensive, survey, cemetery

Project size: 
25-49 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: 6 weeks

Minimum age: 

Experience required: 

Room and Board Arrangements

Staff and Students are housed in a school in the town of Rionero, which the local commune allows us to use.  All participants stay in a dorm setting, with 6-10 people per classroom.  There are multiple bathrooms, and several showers for both men and women are located in the gymnasium change rooms.  
Food is prepared by a professional chef (and friend of the project), using mainly local produce.  While you prepare a breakfast for yourself, which usually consists of cereal, fruit or toast, lunch and supper are prepared for you.  Room and board for 6 weeks is included in the price, however, as the project gives everyone the weekends off to travel and visit sites in the region, food is not prepared on Saturday or Sunday, and food on these days is the responsibility of the individual participants.  Everyone is more than welcome to stay on the weekends if they so choose, however, food will not be prepared on these days.  

€1,500 for 6 weeks.

Academic Credit

Number of credits offered: none


Contact Information
Brian Leslie
11125 101st