This listing expired on June 10, 2013. Please contact for any updated information.
NIU Archaeological Field School in Sicily 2013

Location: Salemi, Italy

June 10, 2013 to July 7, 2013

Session dates: 
June 10 to July 7, 2013

Application Deadline: 
Monday, April 1, 2013

Deadline Type: 
Contact for details

Flyer: PDF icon sicily_poster_final_2013.pdf

Program Type

Field school

RPA certified



Northern Illinois University

Project Director:

Dr. Michael J. Kolb, Department of Anthropology, Northern Illinois University

Project Description

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 2,500 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 2,500 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.

Instruction will consist of two modules including field excavation and museum -exhibit development.  Students will learn hands-on field excavation techniques, archaeological mapping, artifact processing, pottery illustration, vessel reconstruction, exhibit design, and exhibit installation.  Excavation and museum 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;; 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

Project size: 
1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: 4 weeks

Minimum age: 

Experience required: 

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 (PMO) is included as well as all daily transportation to/from the site and all scheduled weekend excursions.

Academic Credit

Name of institution offering credit: 
Northern Illinois University
Number of credits offered Six credits of graduate/undergraduate credit
$4000 (Airfare is not included. Financial aid and loans available to qualified applicants)


Contact Information
NIU Study Abroad Office
Study Abroad Office, Northern Illinois University
United States of America
Recommended Bibliography: 

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.

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