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Populonia Archaeological excavations

Location: Populonia, Livorno, Italy

June 30, 2013 to July 27, 2013

Application Deadline: 
Friday, March 1, 2013

Deadline Type: 
Exact date

Flyer: PDF icon populonia_brochure_12.12.pdf

Program Type

Field school



Superintendence for Archaeological Heritage in Tuscany, University of Arizona, University of Florence, Past in Progress Association, and Parchi Val di Cornia Society

Project Director:

Andrea Camilli, Superintendence for Archaeological Heritage of Tuscany, David Soren, University of Arizona, Giandomenico De Tommaso, University of Florence, and Carolina Megale, Archeodig Project

Project Description

Populonia, located in the region of Italy once known as Etruria, was one of the most important Etruscan cities, the only one overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea. The city was for centuries one of the most flourishing centres of iron smelting and trade in the whole of Mediterranean. 

Populonia is composed by a lower city, an area centred on the port and on the metallurgical activities (located outside the city walls), and an upper city, the Acropolis, with the houses and the temples, on the summit of the promontory. In the lower city are the monumental tombs (tumuli and aedicule-shaped) of the San Cerbone necropolis (seventh-fourth centuries B.C.E.).

The purpose of the research is to investigate a portion of the lower city still intact, where it have been identified traces of an early Roman building for iron smelting activity and, underneath, a portion of the Etruscan necropolis.


Period(s) of Occupation: From Etruscan (7th century B.C.E.) to Roman Age (1st century C.E.)

This field school will provide students with the necessary knowledge of methods and techniques of stratigraphic excavation, as well as with a practical experience in archaeological digging, documentation of the excavation, technical relief and structural analysis of walls and mosaics. In the pottery lab, students will be introduced to cleaning, classifying and cataloging mobile artifacts. In the conservation lab, students will learn and practice techniques of restoration on the mosaic floor. Seminars about Principles of Stratigraphy, Etruscan and Roman pottery, and History of Populonia are included. The program includes excursions and trips around the region, including the Archaeological Park of Baratti and Populonia, the Acropolis and the Medieval Castle of Populonia. During this four-week program, students may earn up to 6 fully accredited units from the University of Arizona at the undergraduate or graduate level.

Project size: 
1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: 4 weeks

Minimum age: 

Experience required: 
No pre-requisites and no archaeological experience

Room and Board Arrangements

During this four-week program, students will stay in apartments (3-5 students per apartment) at 1 of 2 area four star resorts: Resort Poggio all'Agnello or Villaggio Orizzonte. These beautiful resorts with swimming pools are in close proximity to the beach and have cooking facilities available for students. 

$4,800 (4 weeks)

Academic Credit

Name of institution offering credit: 
University of Arizona
Number of credits offered 6
included in the participation fee


Contact Information
Kendra Corey, University of Arizona, Study Abroad & Student Exchange
University Services Building 888 N. Euclid Avenue, Room 301
United States
Recommended Bibliography: 

A. Semplici, Baratti and Populonia Archaeological Park. A guide to discovering the landscape, 2008, Firenze.

G. De Tommaso, Populonia. A city and its territory. Guide to the Archaeological Museum of Piombino, 2004, Tavarnelle V.P. (FI).

A. Zifferero (ed.), L'archittettura funeraria a Populonia tra IX e VI secolo a.C.. Atti del convegno (Castello di Populonia, 30-31 Ottobre 1997), 2000, Firenze.

F. Fedeli, A. Galimberti, A. Romualdi, Populonia e il suo territorio. Profilo storico-archeologico, 1993, Firenze.

F. Fedeli, Populonia e il suo territorio, 1983, Firenze.