Location: Cinigiano , Italy
The Marzuolo Archaeological Project (MAP) is an international and interdisciplinary fieldwork project investigating the Roman-period craft site of Marzuolo (ca. 2 ha) in southern Tuscany (Italy), which was in use between the 1st century BCE and the early 4th century CE. Preliminary excavations at the site in 2012-13 have yielded high resolution evidence of Roman terra sigillata pottery production – the Roman empire’s most emblematic table wares – in a multi-craft context. Through an integrated approach including targeted excavation, spatial archaeometric data recording, 3D modeling, and specialist analyses, MAP will investigate over the next five years how innovation happened at the site, how knowledge was shuffled, and how a community of practice was formed. The result will be a nuanced picture of the changing practices of a crafting community that is highly diversified, well connected, and actively innovating –one that stands in marked contrast to the stereotypical Roman countryside occupied by conservative, isolated, and economically underdeveloped farmers.
The 2016 season will excavate two adjacent areas based on geophysical imaging: 1. a large opus reticulatum building, whose concrete masonry style suggests significant investment, and 2. a series of possible workshops. The aim will be to clarify the site’s layout and chronology in order to understand the relation between the two hitherto separate areas of the site, and the two craft communities they represent
Excavations are scheduled for four weeks (July 3rd – 31st, 2016) with an international team, including undergraduate and graduate students from the UK, US, the Netherlands, and Italy. Students will receive a comprehensive field experience, including hands-on training in excavation strategies and techniques, spatial archaeometric data recording and analysis, photogrammetry, artifact processing and conservation, flotation for paleo-botanical materials, and ceramic analysis. Excavation will take place in the mornings, with finds being cleaned, processed, and analyzed in the lab in the afternoons.
Period(s) of Occupation: Roman Period (1st c BCE/CE and 3rd/4th c CE); Medieval Period (12th c CE)
Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers:
Room and Board Arrangements
Students will be housed in shared rooms in the picturesque Tuscan hilltop town of Cinigiano (GR), Italy, within walking distance of cafes, grocery stores, and restaurants. Free Wi-Fi is available in the finds lab and at an Internet café located in the center of town. Laundromat services are available nearby. The project provides participants with three meals a day, Sunday dinner through Friday lunch. While a light breakfast will be eaten on site, lunches and dinners will be catered in town. Participants must provide their own meals on Saturdays and Sundays. Weekends are free for travel, and students are encouraged to take advantage of the rich historical and cultural sights of Tuscany—regional busses connect Cinigiano to Grosseto, Siena, and Florence.
In addition to covering the cost of room and board, the program fee includes shuttling to and from the site, excavation tools and supplies on site and in the lab, and instruction in excavation techniques, recording practices, and artifact processing.
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Wenger, E. 1998. Communities of Practice. Learning, Meaning and Identity. Cambridge.