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River Port of Rusellae - Alberese Archaeological Project

Location: Alberese, Grosseto, Italy

July 21, 2014 to August 16, 2014

Session dates: 
July 21 - August 2; August 3 - August 16

Application Deadline: 
Sunday, June 1, 2014

Deadline Type: 

Flyer: PDF icon aap_brochure_v1.pdf

Program Type

Field school

RPA certified



University of Sheffield (UK) and John Cabot University (IT)

Project Director:

Dr Alessandro Sebastiani; Prof. Inge Lyse Hansen

Project Description

Established in 2009, the research project investigates Roman settlement trends, communication networks and trade in coastal Southern Tuscany between the mid-Republican period and late Antiquity.

The current excavations focus on the newly identified Roman cabotage port on the Ombrone River. The port provided an important commercial focus for the ancient Etruscan–Roman city of Rusellae and around the Roman road of the Via Aurelia vetus that linked the area with Rome.

Excavation has revealed an extensive complex of workshops producing bone-, metal- and glass-objects on a scale unmatched in the area. Active between the mid-1st-early 6th centuries AD, the site was gradually covered by alluvial clay, which has sealed the structures and abundant finds in a near-perfect state of preservation.

The Project also encompasses landscape and infrastructure studies centered around the via Aurelia vetus and excavations of a hilltop sanctuary dedicated to Diana. These provide important new evidence for the relationship between cities and rural settlements as well as for the 'Romanization' of Etruria.

The Field Schools are an integral part of the research excavations, and the participants contribute actively to this through their on-site and off-site work.

Students will gain practical, hands-on experience of their chosen field, and the techniques pertaining to this.

Students will gain familiarity with the terminologies and methodologies of their field, and with methods of data recording.

Students will gain a critical appreciation of the methods and scope of archaeological, artifact and survey interpretation.

Students will gain understanding of the inherent interdisciplinary approachthat forms the basis for interpretation:archaeological, historical, environmental and material culture issues.

Students will gain a contextual view of the excavations and the results through site visits and seminars.


Period(s) of Occupation: Roman Period, Late Antiquity

Glass workshops, Metal workshops, cabotage routes, Tuscany, Grosseto, Roman period

Project size: 
1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: 2 weeks

Minimum age: 

Experience required: 

Room and Board Arrangements

The excavations are situated within the breath-taking landscape of the Natural Park of the Maremma, approximately 10 km from the modern city of Grosseto.
Students will be accommodated in shared rooms in well-furnished, comfortable lodgings in the medieval walled city of Grosseto, with easy access to amenities.
The location offers a host of opportunities for independent activities during weekends. You may decide to relax on the near-by beach, explore the natural park, or take a train from Grosseto to visit outstanding cities, like Rome, Siena and Florence.

4 weeks – €2,100 ($2,900); 2 weeks – €1,300 ($1,700)

Academic Credit

Name of institution offering credit: 
John Cabot University, Rome - IT
Number of credits offered 3
Archaeological Excavation and Methodology


Contact Information
Alessandro Sebastiani
Department of Archaeology, Northgate House West Street
The United Kingdom
S1 4ET
Recommended Bibliography: 

Chirico, E. and Sebastiani, A. (2010) L’insediamento tardoantico sul promotorio dello
Scoglietto (Alberese, Grosseto – IT). Fasti Online, FOLD&R Italy Series 196

Chirico, E. and Sebastiani, A. (2010) L’occupazione tardoantica del promotorio dello Scoglietto ad Alberese (GR). Acheologia Medievale 37: 333-46.

Chirico, E., Colombini, M., Rubegni, E. and Sebastiani, A. (2011) Relazione preliminare
alla I° campagna di scavi archeologici a Spolverino (Alberese – GR). Prime valutazioni ed ipotesi sul porto romano di cabotaggio a Rusellae. Fasti Online, FOLD&R Italy Series 232

Cygielman, M., Chirico, E., Colombini, M. and Sebastiani, A. (2010) Dinamiche insediative nel territorio della foce dell'Ombrone. Il porto di Russelae. Notiziario della Soprintendenza ai Beni Archeologici della Toscana 6: 10-29.

Cygielman, M., Chirico, E., Colombini, M. and Sebastiani, A. (2012) Alberese. Loc. Spolverino, Porto fluviale di Rusellae: indagini 2011. Notiziario della Soprintendenza ai Beni Archeologici della Toscana 7: 357-61.

Sebastiani, A. (2011) Paesaggio romano della Maremma Grossetana. Forma Urbis April: 19-25.

Sebastiani, A. (2011) Nota su due strutture produttive tardo romane nell'ager Rusellanus: la bottega di un maestro vetraio a Spolverino (Alberese – GR) e l'officina metallurgica a Rusellae (Grosseto). Fasti Online, FOLD&R Italy Series 221

Sebastiani, A. (2012) Spolverino (Alberese – GR): relazione alla II campagna di scavi archeologici. Fasti Online, FOLD&R Italy Series 271 

Sebastiani, A. (2013) Spolverino (Alberese – GR): relazione alla III campagna di scavi archeologici. Fasti Online, FOLD&R Italy Series 287

Sebastiani, A., Cygielman, M., Chirico, E. and Colombini, M. (2010) Dinamiche insediative nel territorio della foce dell’Ombrone: nuovi dati agli scavi presso l’area templare dello Scoglietto (Alberese – GR). Notiziario della Soprintendenza ai Beni Archeologici della Toscana 5: 35-92