Studio Art Centers International (SACI) offers a unique 5-week, 6-credit Archaeology Program (May 21 - June 27, 2014), that allows students to experience firsthand how artifacts are found, dug up, recorded, and restored in the conservation laboratory. Field work is complemented by lectures by outstanding specialists in Etruscan art and civilization.
Students work with the distinguished archaeologist Dr. Nancy De Grummond of Florida State University at Cetamura, an ancient archaeological site located on a hilltop in the Chianti region of Tuscany.
Investigations at Cetamura have revealed an Etruscan sanctuary and artisans' quarter, Roman baths, and a medieval fortified village. The rich stratigraphy and various types of artifacts in stone, terracotta, ceramics, metal, and glass provide for a variety of excavation experiences.
Students will assist in the activities related to the excavation of the ancient water well. Wells in Roman and Etruscan times were used both for disposal and for religious rituals. Students will have the opportunity to meet and work with the professionals in charge and to process a large variety of waterlogged materials. The underwater environmental conditions preserve perishable artifacts and materials survive that are usually lost underground. In 2012, along with many other finds, perfectly preserved 2000 year old grape seeds were discovered that could lead to new discoveries about the history of landscape in the heart of Tuscany.
The artifacts uncovered at the site will be processed and conserved/restored by students at the workroom and conservation laboratory at the Badia a Coltibuono under the supervision of SACI Conservation instructor Nora Marosi.
Excavation and conservation/restoration work carried out by students will be part of an important exhibition in 2015 (details to be announced).
The program features field trips to sites and museums that help enrich the students' knowledge of the cultures under excavation at Cetamura. Excursions include day trips to Orvieto, Volterra, Populonia, and Florence-Fiesole.