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

This listing expired on May 31, 2023. Please contact, for any updated information.

Location: Castle Potentino in Seggiano, Tuscany/ Italy

Season: July 1, 2023 to July 30, 2023

Session Dates: July 1-31 2023

Application Deadline: May 1, 2023

Deadline Type: Exact Date


Program Type:
Field School

RPA Certified:

Southern Methodist University and University of Miami

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 and Tok Tok for more images.

An innovative field school (  in July 2023 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 faculty and researchers at Southern Methodist University, the Abess Center for Ecosystem Science & Policy at the University of Miami, Cambridge University, the University of Rome, and the Open University (UK), 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 (SMU). Dr. Shriver Rice will teach interdisciplinary environmental science 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 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 Digital techniques for documenting medieval architectural structures will be taught

Besides excavation techniques, students will also learn digital rendering and archaeobotanical flotation.

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 is a non-credit field school. We encourage participants to check with their own universities about academic credit.

Contact Information:

Greg Warden and Meryl Shriver-Rice,

Coral Gables, FL and Dallas, TX


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