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

Location: Realmonte, Agrigento, Italy

July 1, 2017 to July 29, 2017

Application Deadline: 
Thursday, March 30, 2017

Deadline Type: 
Exact date

Flyer: PDF icon field_school_realmonte_2017_active_flyer.pdf

Program Type

Field school

RPA certified



University of South Florida & Soprintendenza BB.CC.AA. di Agrigento

Project Director:

Dr Davide Tanasi, Dr. Michael Decker

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 Field School includes two courses:

HIS 4936 - Field Methods in Archaeology (3 credit hours)

HIS 3938 - The Island in the Middle: Sicilian History and Culture from Late Antiquity to the End of the Middle Ages (3 credit hours)

The field school also comprises field studies in the most significant archaeological sites of Sicily as  the Valley of Temples in Agrigento, the Roman Villa of Piazza Armerina, the archaeological park and museum of Siracusa, and the archaeological parks of Morgantina and Selinunte.

The Roman Villa of Realmonte project is promoted by a partnership between University of South Florida and the Soprintendenza BB.CC.AA. of Agrigento.

Period(s) of Occupation: Roman Imperial period - Early Medieval

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: 
University of South Florida
Number of credits offered 6


Contact Information
Dr Davide Tanasi
4202 E. Fowler Ave
United States
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.