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Poggio Colla Field School

Location: Tuscany, Italy

June 27, 2015 to July 31, 2015

Application Deadline: 
Sunday, March 1, 2015

Deadline Type: 
Exact date

Program Type

Field school



Southern Methodist University, The University of Texas at Austin, Franklin and Marshall College

Project Director:

Greg Warden (Franklin College, Switzerland) and Michael Thomas (The University Of Texas at Austin)

Project Description

The Mugello Valley Archaeological Project and Poggio Colla Field School center on the excavation of Poggio Colla, an Etruscan settlement site in the Mugello near the modern town of Vicchio, about twenty miles northeast of Florence, Italy. The site preserves the remains of an Etruscan sanctuary and its surrounding settlement occupied from the eighth to second centuries B.C.E. Field school participants excavate up to four days per week, with the rest of the time spent conducting research and working in the lab. Students will receive training in Etruscan archaeology as well as in the theoretical and practical aspects of fieldwork from a professional staff that includes archaeologists, an architect, an illustrator, a surveyor, and a conservator. Students conduct research projects that replicate the methodologies of archaeological documentation and explication found in archaeological site publication. Much of the training takes place in the field or in the lab; however, lectures by the staff as well as by visiting scholars supplement on-site learning. 


Excavation is tough work, a fact that makes down time an integral and welcome aspect of the experience at Poggio Colla.  Students can relax in the beautiful setting of Casa delle Vigna, our main excavation house, where one can read a book or catch a nap in the lawn chairs overlooking the vineyard.  If staying connected with family and friends is important—or just surfing the web to plan your weekend trip—you can do so with the Vigna’s free Wi-Fi. Nearby Vicchio, though small, offers a charming assortment of restaurants, pizzerias, cafés, and even a wine bar. Several local festivals and concerts coincide with our field season, offering a chance to experience the charm and flavor of this quaint Tuscan town. Vicchio also has a public pool, the perfect way to cool off on a hot day.  


Weekends are free at Poggio Colla, and we encourage students to take advantage of this free time to explore Italy.  Unlike other more isolated archaeological sites, Vicchio’s proximity to Florence—less than an hour by train—affords students easy access to all points in Italy.  The project provides shuttle service on Fridays and Sundays to and from the train station.  In the middle of the season, the long weekend break allows travel further afield, and many students use that extended time to visit such places as Pompeii, Sorrento, Capri, Rome, Elba, or Venice, to name a few.


Food—and the experience of eating it—are deeply embedded in the striking regional characteristics of Italian culture.   Our own local cuisine is hearty and the rural location in the fertile Mugello Valley drives an adherence to fresh, farm-to-table eating.  The dinners at Poggio Colla Field are, for many, a highlight of the day, a time when faculty, staff, and students gather to recount the day’s experiences and enjoy multi-course meals cooked by a local Italian grandmother.  Many of the ingredients are sourced from her garden. Pasta highlights include favorites such as Tortelli Mugellani (potato-stuffed tortelli with meat sauce) and pesto lasagna, which can be paired with a second course such as the ever-popular Tuscan-style ribs and fried zucchini blossoms.  Meals can be adjusted for all dietary needs, including vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free.  

APPLICATION: can be downloaded here:  Please email to Prof. Gretchen Meyers at



Period(s) of Occupation: 8th through 2nd centuries B.C.E.

Sanctuary site, Evidence of Votive ritual, Ceramic Production, Spans the entire history of Etrucsan Culture

Project size: 
1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: full term

Minimum age: 

Experience required: 

Room and Board Arrangements

Students and staff are housed in several farm houses near the town of Vicchio. The program cost includes 4 hours of academic credit, lodging, meals (Monday-Friday), travel health insurance, and local commute. This price does not include travel to and from Italy and weekend meals. We encourage students interested in outside funding sources to contact us by February 15, 2015.

Academic Credit

Name of institution offering credit: 
Franklin and Marshall College
Number of credits offered 4


Contact Information
Gretchen Meyers
Department of Classics, Franklin & Marshall College
Recommended Bibliography: 

Meyers, G. E. 2013. “Women and the Production of Ceremonial Textiles: A Reevaluation of Ceramic Textile Tools in Etrusco-Italic Sanctuaries,” AJA 117 (2), 247-274.

Weaver, I, G. E. Meyers, S. A. Mertzman, R. Sternberg and J. Didaleusky. 2012. “Geochemical Evidence for Integrated Ceramic and Roof Tile Industries at the Etruscan Site of Poggio Colla, Italy,” Mediterranean Archaeology and Archaeometry 13.1.

Perkins, P. 2012. “The Bucchero Childbirth Stamp on a Late Orientalizing Period Shard from Poggio Colla,” Etruscan Studies 15 (2), 146-201.

M. L. Thomas, "One Hundred Victoriati from the Sanctuary at Poggio Colla (Vicchio di Mugello): Ritual Contexts and Roman Expansion." Etruscan Studies 15.1 (2012) 19-93.

P.G. Warden, “The Temple is a Living Thing: Fragmentation, Enchainment, and the Reversal of Ritual at the Acropolis Sanctuary of Poggio Colla.” In The Archaeology of Sanctuaries and Ritual in Etruria, edited by Nancy de Grummond, chapter 4, 55-67. Supplementary volume to the Journal of Roman Archaeology, 2010.

Gretchen Meyers, Lauren M. Jackson, and Jess Galloway, “The Production and Usage of non-decorated Etruscan roof-tiles, based on a case study from Poggio Colla.” Journal of Roman Archaeology 23 (2010) 303-319.

Van der Graaff I., Vander Poppen R., and Nales T., "The advantages and limitations of coring survey: An initial assessment of the Poggio Colla Coring Project" in TRAC 2009: Proceedings of the Nineteenth Annual Theoretical Roman Archaeology Conference, edited by Alison Moore, Geoff Taylor, Emily Harris, Peter Girdwood and Lucy Shipley(Oxford 2010)

Warden, P.G., M.L. Thomas, A. Steiner, and G. Meyers. 2005. "The Etruscan Settlement of Poggio Colla (1998-2004 excavations)." Journal of Roman Archaeology 18: 252-266.