Potentino Exploration Project Field School — Archaeology & Material Heritage and Biodiversity & Heritage

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 altered fieldwork plans and the information below may not reflect that.

Location: Castle Potentino in Seggiano, Tuscany/ Italy

Season: May 28, 2022 to June 24, 2022

Session Dates: May 28 - June 24th (Summer I Session)

Application Deadline: May 1, 2022

Deadline Type: Rolling


Program Type:
Field School

RPA Certified:

Franklin University Switzerland

Project Director:
Greg Warden and Meryl Shriver-Rice

Project Description:

Heritage studies. Archaeology. Environmental studies. Stay in a beautifully renovated castle, eat organic food grown on the castle grounds, and take a dip in the castle pool surrounded by rolling vineyards. See @potentino_exploration_project and #potentinoproject on Instagram for more images.

A new and innovative field school ( will take place in June 2022 at Potentino Castle (, near Seggiano (Grosseto). Seggiano is nestled in the north-western foothills of the scenic Monte Amiata, next to the better-known Val d’Orcia. The dramatically beautiful unspoiled landscape produces excellent wines, coveted cheeses, and olive oil from a special cultivar that is only found in this region, the Olivastra Seggianese.

The new project, a partnership of Franklin University Switzerland and the Abess Center for Ecosystem Science & Policy at the University of Miami in collaboration with Castello di Potentino will focus on the heritage, archaeology, and biodiversity of this fragile landscape. The research design of the Potentino Exploration Project and Field School combines archaeological excavation, heritage studies, archaeobotany, biodiversity studies, land survey, and archaeometry as part of an interdisciplinary regional landscape analysis of the area around Potentino Castle and the Seggiano Valley.
The goal is to produce an integrated, transdisciplinary study of the area to provide crucial data for long-term planning and policy-making that can be connected to the holistic environmental and social framework set forth in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. The project, aims to increase awareness of the ethical management of endangered cultural and natural heritage. while also connecting to and respecting the local community.

The project will be co-directed by Meryl Shriver Rice (Abess Center) and Greg Warden (Franklin University Switzerland). Students can enroll for up to two courses (6 credit-hours) through Franklin University. Dr. Shriver Rice will teach an interdisciplinary environmental science course where students will learn the fundamentals of biodiversity measurement methods in the context of socio-ecological systems in the Seggiano Valley, Italy. Dr. Warden will teach a course that will introduce students to all aspects of archaeological field methodology, from actual excavation and documentation to the processing and study of material culture.

For more information write to and

Period(s) of Occupation: Pre-Roman, Etruscan, Roman, Medieval

Students will also learn Archaeobotanical Flotation and Science Communication skills

Project Size: 1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: Full term for the Field School

Minimum Age: 18

Experience Required: None. Please go to for more details and to apply.

Room and Board Arrangements:
Room and board is included in the overall Field School fee. Students stay within the castle, all food is organic produce grown on the castle grounds or locally produced in Seggiano. T See #potentinoproject on instagram for images of locally grown organic food! Vegan and vegetarian options available.

Academic Credit:
This Field School can be take for 3 or 6 Credits. There are two courses offered that can be take together: Archaeology & Material Heritage 3 credits Biodiversity & Heritage 3 credits

Contact Information:

Greg Warden and Meryl Shriver-Rice,

Lugano, Switzerland

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