This listing expired on May 31, 2015. Please contact for any updated information.
Basentello Valley Archaeological Field School

Location: Genzano di Lucania, Italy

July 27, 2015 to August 21, 2015

Session dates: 
One session from July 27 to August 21.

Application Deadline: 
Friday, March 13, 2015

Deadline Type: 

Flyer: PDF icon 2015_expression_of_interest_form_2.pdf

Program Type

Field school

RPA certified



Saint Mary's University, Halifax, Canada

Project Director:

Dr. Myles McCallum

Project Description

The Basentello Valley Archaeological Field Project (BVARP) is undertaking archaeological field survey in the territories of Irsina, Genzano di Lucania, and Banzi in the region of Basilicata from July 27 to August 21, 2105, and is looking for students. The field school is offered through the Department of Modern Languages and Classics at Saint Mary's University (Halifax, NS, Canada) and can be taken for 6.0 credit hours. All project participants will engage in archaeological field walking, collection, digital mapping, data entry, photography, and artifact processing. Depending on this summer's schedule, participants may have the opportunity to work with our paleoenvironmental team. No previous experience is required.

The BVARP seeks to understand the cultural changes that correspond to the Roman presence in the region and how these changes may manifest themselves archaeologically. We are interested in reconstructing regional settlement patterns, site hierarchies, and networks. The field survey is part of a larger project run through Saint Mary's University, McMaster University, Mount Allison University, and the University of Sheffield which includes the excavation of the Roman imperial estate at San Felice/Vagnari and its associated necropolis, as well as a paleoenvironmental study of the Basentello Valley.

In 2015, we aim to complete a substantial section of the survey area between the Basentello River and the town of Genzano di Lucania. In total, we want to cover an approximately 25 square kilometer area, which would take our total coverage up to 100 square kilometers since 2012. Our surface analysis will include further documentation of substantial sites at Monteserico (occupied from the Neolithic to the Middle Ages and currently home to a restored Norman castle) and at the site of Festula, a large Roman villa and associated village which has produced a statue of Ceres and funerary inscriptions in the past. Students will learn how to identify and delimit archaeological sites, digitally map sites in the field using GIS softward, collect surface samples of artifacts, identify, date, and document these artifacts, enter data, and analyse this data using GIS software. Students will also learn basic elements of geomporphology.

Trips to local archaeological sites and museums will be organized on the weekends, which will include a trip to and guided tour of the site of Pompeii on the Bay of Naples.

Period(s) of Occupation: Paleolithic to Early Modern Roman Magna Graecia Medieval Late Antique Hellenistic Republican Archaic

Field Survey, small project, field school, Roman, Italian Iron Age, Medeival, GIS, environmental archaeology, Basilicata, Puglia

Project size: 
1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: 4 weeks

Minimum age: 

Experience required: 
No experience required.

Room and Board Arrangements

Students will be housed in apartments in the town of Genzano di Lucania. Rental of the apartments is covered by the participation fee, as are costs for all meals. The apartments are self-catering, so we will eat evening meals in the apartments.  Genzano di Lucania is a lovely hilltop village in the province of Potenza, region of Basilicata, with a view of the Basentello and Bradano River Valleys, as well as the Apennines to the west. It was likely a small Roman village associated with the nearby town of Banzi (home of the Bantine tablets), and the region is full of incredible archaeoligcal ruins from the dating from the early Iron Age to the late Middle Ages. The town of Genzano is in the agricultural hearland of southern Italy, so produce is always fresh and delicious, and local meats, including podolica beef, are among the best in the country. Locals generally participate in the project in various capacities (including field walking and artifact processing), to there is opportunity for students to interact closely with Italian university students on a daily basis.


$2,200.00 participation fee (covers room and board as well as equipment associated with the field school).

Academic Credit

Name of institution offering credit: 
Saint Mary's University (Halifax, NS, Canada)
Number of credits offered 6.0
Approximately $1,100.00 (Canadian) for Canadian citizens and residents. Approximately $2,200.00 (Canadian) for non-Canadians.


Contact Information
Dr. Myles McCallum
923 Robie Street
Nova Scotia
(902) 420-5815
Recommended Bibliography: 

Myles McCallum and A. Hyatt (2014) “A View of Vagnari from across the Basentello: Initial Results from the BVARP Survey, 2012,” in Atti, Beyond Vagnari Conference, University of Edinburgh, October 26 – 28, 2012, A. Small (ed.), Edipuglia: Bari: 169 – 180

McCallum, Myles and J. vanderLeest (2014) "San Felice and the Basentello ValleyArchaeological Research Project, July-August 2013," Papers of the British School at Rome, 82: 338-343

Myles McCallum and J. vanderLeest (2014) “Research at San Felice: the villa on the imperial estate,” in Atti, Beyond Vagnari Conference, University of Edinburgh, October 26 – 28, 2012, A. Small (ed.), Edipuglia: Bari: 123 – 134  

vanderLeest, J. and Myles McCallum (2013) "San Felice and the Basentello Valley Archaeological Research Project, July-August 2012," Papers of the British School at Rome, 81: 374-378

McCallum, Myles and J. vanderLeest. (2012) “Excavations at San Felice, July – August, 2011,” Papers of the British School at Rome, 80: 376 – 378

McCallum, Myles, J. vanderLeest, et al (2011) "The Roman Villa at San Felice: Investigations, 2004 - 2010," Mouseion, Series III, Vol. 11:  25-108

Myles McCallum and J. vanderLeest. (2010) “Excavations at San Felice, June – July 2009,” Papers of the British School at Rome, 78: 334-336