Marzuolo Archaeological Project

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This listing expired on August 31, 2018. Please contact for any updated information.

Location: Cinigiano (GR), Italy, IT

Season: June 17, 2018 to July 14, 2018

Application Deadline: March 1, 2018

Deadline Type: Exact date

Program Type:

RPA Certified:

Cornell University, University of Melbourne, University of Arkansas

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

Project Description:

The Marzuolo Archaeological Project (MAP) is an international and interdiscplinary fieldwork project investigating Podere Marzuolo, a Roman-period rural site 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 – in a multi-craft context. MAP investigates the process of innovation, the transmission of knowledge, and the formation of a community of practice by adopting an integrated approach including targeted excavation, spatial and scientific data analysis, 3D modeling, and material studies. 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.

MAP’s previous seasons clarified the chronological phasing and spatial layout of the site and produced evidence of a multi-craft community. The 2018 season aims to uncover additional primary evidence for ceramic production (e.g. kilns, waste dumps) to better characterize the innovation process. Excavations will focus on two 10 m x 15 m trenches in the northwestern section of the site where the remains of a large concrete structure in opus reticulatum masonry (1st century AD) have been discovered, around which various production activities clustered.

Excavations are scheduled for four weeks (June 17th – July 14th, 2018) 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. 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 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 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 the multi-crafting practices and community currently missing in innovation studies. MAP is seeking enthusiastic and qualified students to participate in the third excavation season of this five-year project. 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. Keywords: Roman excavation; excavation in Italy; Roman craft production; innovation; Roman countryside.

Project Size: 1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: 4 weeks (entire duration)

Minimum Age: 18

Experience Required: No prior experience required, although preference will be given to students with previous dig experience and who have completed course work in Archaeology, Classics, Anthropology, and 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 busses connect Cinigiano to Grosseto, Siena, and Florence. Cost: $2,000 for four weeks

Contact Information:

Dr. Rhodora G. Vennarucci

425 Kimpel Hall, University of Arkansas





Phone: 479-575-6578

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