Sicily — Exploring Ancient Palikè (Rocchicella di Mineo)

This listing expired on April 1, 2023. Please contact for any updated information.

Location: 8MHX+R5 Mineo, Metropolitan city of Catania, Italy

Season: May 14, 2022 to June 18, 2023

Session Dates: Full five-week session from May 14 - June 18, 2023

Application Deadline: March 1, 2022

Deadline Type: Exact Date


Discount for AIA members: none

Program Type:
Field School

RPA Certified:

The program is a collaboration between Florida Atlantic University (FAU) and the Sicilian Region through its territorial agencies, the Parco Archeologico di Catania e della Valle d'Aci and the Soprintendenza BB.CC.AA. di Catania.

Project Director:
Professor Brian E. McConnell, Ph.D., RPA (Illustration instructor) Associate Professor Corey Lamb

Project Description:

Join the long-term exploration of Sicily’s most significant indigenous Sikel cult-site, the Sanctuary of the Divine Palikoi (Rocchicella di Mineo).  Over the course of five weeks between May 14 and June 18, 2023, the program combines archaeological fieldwork with instruction in archaeological and creative illustration and visits to important museums and related cultural centers.  Excavation projects in the coming season will focus on the development of the sanctuary in the Archaic period, the nature of specific industrial quarters at the site, and the site’s transformation in Late Antiquity.  Lecture sessions contextualize on-site experience in terms of the history of Sicily and historical and contemporary concepts of cultural resource management.  The program leaves ample time during the day and on weekends to explore the program base at Catania and other areas around the island or further afar.

Period(s) of Occupation: The site, Rocchicella di Mineo, which is located in the Margi river valley of southeastern Sicily, has a long chronological sequence from the Mesolithic period through the Middle Ages. The site's famous indigenous sanctuary is manifest through monumental architecture and cultural materials of the Archaic period through the early Roman empire. Later transformation fo the former sanctuary into a Roman imperial farmstead yields to the appearance of a Byzantine-era settlement and evidence for Medieval Arab occupation.

Research and educational activities at Rocchicella di Mineo are conducted under a multiple-year agreement between Florida Atlantic University and the Sicilian Region. Enrollment in the program includes credit for undergraduate (upper or lower division) and graduate courses from Florida Atlantic University (see the listings above). In 2023, the program will feature archaeological illustration in scientific and creative modes taught by FAU Associate Professor Corey Lamb. All participants will be registered as FAU students with international health and travel insurance coverage provided by Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI). This mandatory insurance ensures that students have access to medical and emergency support services while abroad, and it is included in the program cost.

Project Size: 1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: five weeks

Minimum Age: One year of undergraduate-level study is required together with a minimum 2.5 grade point average and good standing at one's home institution of study.

Experience Required: No previous experience in archaeology, Classical Studies, Anthropology, or related disciplines is required. Individuals with special skills and abilities relevant to archaeological fieldwork are invited to participate (please contact Professor Brian E. McConnell; email --

Room and Board Arrangements:
The program charges an overall fee of $3,872.00, which includes accommodation and evening meals, as well as transportation to and from the program base in Catania to the dig site, dig site supplies, some meals while traveling as a group, transportation for museum visits and related program activities, and guest lectures. Program fee payment deadlines: first payment $1,872.00 by February 24, 2023; second payment $2,000.00 by March 30, 2023. The program fee does not include a $200 administrative fee paid at time of application submission, international flight and related initial travel to the program base, tuition for credits taken on program (see above), meals while on personal travel (e.g., weekends), personal spending money, and potential COVID-19 testing related to travel if applicable (entry or exit requirements).

Academic Credit:
Enrollment in the program includes credit for undergraduate (upper or lower division) and graduate courses from Florida Atlantic University, according to the needs of one's academic program. Program Course Offerings: ARH 2952 or ARH 4957 Art History Study Abroad (3 credits) - Required for undergraduate students who are first-time program participants ART 4905 Art History Directed Independent Study (3-4 credits) Optional ART 4906C Directed Independent Study in Art (3-4 credits) Optional ARH 1300 Drawing Foundations (3 credits) - Required for graduate students participating on the program for the first time. ART 4311C RI: Advanced Drawing - (3 credits) Optional ARH 6913 Directed Independent Study - program course listing for graduate students (3-4 credits) Required for graduate students participating on the program for the first time. Students participating on the program for the first time must take two required courses listed above for at least 6 credits. Students returning to participate for a second time may take one required course for 4 credits.

Contact Information:

Alex Baker, Education Abroad Program Coordinator

Education Abroad, Florida Atlantic University, 777 Glades Road

Boca Raton




Phone: (561) 297-1039

Fax: (561) 297-2850

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