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Field School in Archaeology: The Roman Villa of Realmonte (Agrigento)

Location: Realmonte, Agrigento, Italy

June 28, 2014 to July 25, 2014

Application Deadline: 
Monday, March 31, 2014

Deadline Type: 

Program Type

Field school



Soprintendenza BB.CC.AA. di Agrigento & Arcadia University - The College of Global Studies

Project Director:

Davide Tanasi (Arcadia University) Rosa Maria Motta (Christopher Newport University)

Project Description

Students will actively take part in an archaeological dig. Traveling a few miles outside the town of Realmonte, you'll find the remains of a Roman Villa perched directly on the beach. The site was designed as a holiday resort in the first century AD. As the only such example in Sicily, this Villa Marittima was built with a central courtyard, flanked by columns with a central Impluvium. Some floors are inlaid with marble, others with polychrome mosaics depicting sea creatures and myths. A private dock area remains to be explored. The site has been interpreted as the property of a Roman governmental official.

The academic and fieldwork components of this course comprise field teachniques, recording procedures, archaeological drawing, material culture anaylsis, and stratigraphic analysis. Historical context is provided through lectures and writing assignments.  The history of Sicily is very prominently depicted by this area, currently under study by students and scholars from Italy and from around the world. This is a rare opportunity to experience ancient history first-hand.

The three-credit course spans four weeks and is team-taught by Dr. Davide Tanasi of the Arcadia University - The College of Global Studies (Arcadia Sicily Center) and Dr. Rosa Maria Motta (Christopher Newport University).  Students will utilize two required texts, comprising an introduction to field archaeology and an archaeological history of Sicily during the Roman era. Rituals of every day life, material production, and other aspects of life in Roman Sicily will be explored both in class and through the practical experience of working with the excavation team.

The The Roman Villa of Realmonte project is promoted by a partnership between the Soprintendenza BB.CC.AA. of Agrigento and the Arcadia University - The College of Global Studies (Arcadia Sicily Center).

Period(s) of Occupation: Roman Imperial period (1st-3rd century AD)

Project size: 
1-24 participants

Experience required: 

Room and Board Arrangements

Housing in a 3 stars resort by the excavation area. 

Academic Credit

Name of institution offering credit: 
Arcadia University
Number of credits offered 3


Contact Information
Davide Tanasi
Via Roma 124
+39 0931 449262
Recommended Bibliography: 

M. Aoyagi, "Ripresa degli scavi nella villa romana di Realmonte (Agrigento)," in Kokalos 26-27, 1980-81, pp. 668-673.

M. Aoyagi, Il “Mosaico di Posidone” rinvenuto a Realmonte, in Quaderni della Facoltà di Lettere e Filosofia dell'Università di Messina, 3, 1988, pp. 91-103.

F. Guidobaldo, "I sectilia pavimenta della villa romana di Durrueli presso Agrigento," in  R. M. Carra Bonacasa, F. Guidobaldi (edd.), Atti IV Colloquio AISCOM (Palermo 1996), Ravenna 1997, pp. 247-258.

G. Fiorentini, "Attività di indagini archeologiche della Soprintendenza ai Beni Culturali e Ambientali di Agrigento," in Kokalos 39-40, 1993-1994, pp. 717-733.

G. Fiorentini, La villa romana di Durrueli presso Realmonte (Agrigento), Agrigento 2006.