Marzuolo Archaeological Project

COVID-19 NOTICE: Please be sure to reach out to the project contact to find out the status of their upcoming season. Many projects have cancelled fieldwork for 2020 and the information below may not reflect that.

This listing expired on August 1, 2019. Please contact for any updated information.

Location: 58044 Cinigiano GR, Italy

Season: June 21, 2020 to July 19, 2020

Application Deadline: March 1, 2020

Deadline Type: Exact Date


Program Type:
Volunteer, Staff Position

RPA Certified:

Cornell University, University of Arkansas, and University of Melbourne

Project Director:
Dr. Astrid Van Oyen (Cornell University), Dr. Rhodora G. Vennarucci (University of Arkansas), and Dr. Gijs Tol (University of Melbourne)

Project Description:

The Marzuolo Archaeological Project (MAP) is an international and interdisciplinary fieldwork project investigating Podere Marzuolo, a Roman-period rural craft-production center in southern Tuscany (Italy). So far excavations at the site have yielded high-resolution evidence of Roman terra sigillata pottery production (the Roman empire’s most emblematic tableware), blacksmithing, wood working, and agricultural production concentrated around a large opus reticulatum masonry structure. MAP uses an integrated approach that includes targeted excavation, spatial and scientific data analyses, 3D modeling, and material studies to investigate the dynamics of a multi-crafting community in a transitional landscape between coastal villa estates and the hilly interior occupied by small farmers.

MAP’s previous seasons clarified the broad chronological phasing and spatial extent and layout of the site and produced evidence of multi-craft production. One of the most notable outcomes was the discovery of a blacksmith workshop ‘in use’ in the mid-1st c AD at the time it was destroyed in a fire. The 2020 season will continue with an intensive and micro-level investigation of three 5m x 5m trenches in the remaining interior rooms of the northern workshop complex in order to better characterize the different types of production occurring in this zone and to recover evidence of cross-craft interactions.

Excavations are scheduled for four weeks (June 21 – July 19) with an international team, including undergraduate and graduate students. Students will receive a comprehensive field experience, including hands-on training in cutting-edge excavation strategies and techniques, spatial data recording and analysis, photogrammetry, artifact processing and conservation, and ceramic analysis. Field work will take place in the mornings, with finds being cleaned, processed, and analyzed in the lab in the afternoons.

Program Fee: $2,000 for four weeks

In addition to covering the cost of room and board (see below), 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.

Period(s) of Occupation: Roman Period (1st c BC/AD to 3rd/4th c AD); Medieval Period (12th c AD)

The Marzuolo Archaeological Project (MAP) is an international collaboration focused on the excavation of the Roman period production site of Podere Marzuolo, located in rural Southern Tuscany. MAP is poised to make a major contribution to the study of the ancient economy and Roman Italy. Its integrated methodology and holistic approach, aimed at generating micro-level data and analysis, will enable a fine-grained reconstruction of a multi-crafting community currently missing in studies of craft production. MAP is seeking enthusiastic and qualified students to participate in its fifth excavation season. While not a formal field school, students will receive comprehensive training in cutting-edge field excavation strategies and techniques, recording practices, and artifact processing and analysis. Please note that while excavation can be extremely rewarding work, it is also physically demanding. Students will be asked to work long hours in the heat of a Mediterranean summer.

Project Size: 1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: 4 weeks

Minimum Age: 18 years

Experience Required: No prior experience required, although preference will be given to students with previous dig experience or relevant skill sets (e.g. ArcGIS, photogrammetry) and who have completed course work in Archaeology, Classics, Anthropology, and/or Art History.

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. Wi-Fi is available at a café located in the center of town. Laundromat services are available in a nearby town. 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 and eaten together. 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 buses connect Cinigiano to Grosseto, Siena, and Florence.

Contact Information:

Dr. Rhodora Vennarucci

425 Kimpel Hall




United States

Phone: (479) 575-6578

support Us

The AIA is North America's largest and oldest nonprofit organization dedicated to archaeology. The Institute advances awareness, education, fieldwork, preservation, publication, and research of archaeological sites and cultural heritage throughout the world. Your contribution makes a difference.

Post a Fieldwork Opportunity