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San Martino Archaeological Field School

Location: Torano di Borgorose, Rieti, Italy

July 17, 2017 to August 17, 2017

Application Deadline: 
Friday, March 31, 2017

Deadline Type: 
Exact date

Flyer: PDF icon rochester_san_martino_archaeology_in_italy_2017.pdf

Program Type

Field school

RPA certified



University of Rochester

Project Director:

Elizabeth Colantoni, University of Rochester

Project Description

This is the tenth season of excavation at the San Martino site in Torano di Borgorose, Italy. The site's archaeological sequence runs from the prehistoric period up to the present day, with archaeological material from every time period in between, including evidence from the Chalcolithic period, a polygonal wall that was part of a pre-Roman or Roman structure, extensive remains of a Roman villa, and a medieval church.  The site stands to offer important data about: (1) settlement characteristics in the Chalcolithic period, as no other habitation site from this period has been found in the vicinity; (2) the dating, use and significance of polygonal masonry terracing, a type of ancient architectural feature widely present in central Italy, but rarely studied on the basis on excavation data; (3) the nature of the production and trade of pottery in the area in the late antique period; and (4) the dating of ancient earthquakes and other environmental events in the region.

Work at the site in 2017 and subsequent years will be carried out with the goals of: increasing our understanding of the earliest phases of the site, uncovering a larger expanse of the villa, completing excavation of the late antique strata at the site in order to reach the Roman republican and imperial levels, and conducting further geophysical testing to locate other areas of archaeological interest at the site.  On-site training is supplemented with regular class meetings and field-trips to museums and archaeological sites in Rome, Sulmona, Alba Fucens, Avezzano, and Rieti.

Further details about the program can be found on the San Martino Archaeological Field School Website.  Applications can be submitted either through the program's online application system or with a paper form, although applicants are encouraged to use the online application system if possible.  The application deadline is 31 March 2017.  Applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis if spaces are still available after the deadline.

Period(s) of Occupation: Prehistoric, Roman, Late Antique

The San Martino Archaeological Field School is a summer program designed to teach students about archaeological field and laboratory methods, geophysical prospection in archaeology, and the archaeology of ancient Italy. The course is taught on site in central Italy, and participants learn through first-hand experience excavating at the San Martino site as well as through lab work, assisting in geophysical studies, lectures, readings, and guided museum and archaeological site visits. Participants live in the small town of Torano di Borgorose, where they have the opportunity to learn about life in modern as well as ancient Italy.

Project size: 
1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: Full program

Minimum age: 

Experience required: 

Room and Board Arrangements

Participants live in the town of Torano di Borgorose in hostel-style accommodations, with cots for three to six people in each room and shared bathrooms and showers. Single rooms are not available, and participants should be prepared to live in shared space. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are provided during the week and on some weekend days. Breakfast is self-service, with cereal, milk, fruit, cookies, coffee, and tea available. Lunch is taken picnic-style at the site. Dinner is either a hot meal prepared by a local cook for our group or a meal prepared in a local restaurant.  Participants also have access to and are welcome to use the kitchen on their own.

The program fee for 2017 is $4950. This cost includes: two nights in a hotel in Rome, transportation within Italy, room and board as described above, museum admission fees, and tuition for 6 credit hours from the University of Rochester. It does not include the cost of airfare or course textbooks.

Academic Credit

Name of institution offering credit: 
University of Rochester
Number of credits offered 6 credit hours
Included in the program cost


Contact Information
Elizabeth Colantoni
Department of Religion and Classics, University of Rochester, Box 270074
Recommended Bibliography: 
  • E. Colantoni, G. Colantoni, M.R. Lucidi, J.A. Stevens, F. Tommasi, 2016, L’insediamento rustico di età romana e tardo antica a San Martino di Torano (Borgorose, RI): lo stato delle ricerche, in Lazio e Sabina 11.
  • E. Colantoni, G. Colantoni, M.R. Lucidi, J.A. Stevens, F. Tommasi, 2015, La ceramica dai contesti tardo antichi di San Martino di Torano (Borgorose RI), in Le forme della crisi. Produzioni ceramiche e commerce nell’Italia central tra Romani e Longobardi (III-VIII sec. d.C.), Atti del Convegno (Spoleto-Campello sul Clitunno, 5-7 Ottobre 2012), edited by E. Cirelli, F. Diosono and H. Patterson, Ante Quem, Bologna, pp. 493-498.
  • E. Colantoni, G. Colantoni, A. D’Eredità, M.R. Lucidi, 2012, Materiali ceramici di età romana e tardo-antica dall’area archeologica di San Martino a Torano di Borgorose (Rieti), in Lazio e Sabina 8: 181-186.
  • E. Colantoni, G. Colantoni, M. R. Lucidi, 2011, Testimonianze di età preistorica, romana e medievale dall'area archeologica di San Martino a Torano (Borgorose, Rieti): le campagne di scavo 2008-2009, in Lazio e Sabina 7: 157-163.
  • E. Colantoni, G. Colantoni, K.J. McDonnell, 2009, Indagini archeologiche presso la chiesa di San Martino a Torano, in Lazio e Sabina 5: 133-139.

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