Roman Forum Field School – The Signum Vortumni Project (2020)

This listing expired on March 30, 2020. Please contact for any updated information.

Location: Via di S. Teodoro, 16-20, 00186 Roma RM, Italy

Season: June 15, 2020 to July 24, 2020

Application Deadline: March 1, 2020

Deadline Type: Exact Date


Program Type:
Field School

RPA Certified:

The International Society for the Archaeology, Art and Architecture of Rome (ISAR)

Project Director:
Dr. Dora Cirone (ISAR) - Project Director; Dr. Alessio De Cristofaro (ISAR, LATERES) - Project Co-Director; and Dr. Matthew J. Mandich (ISAR) - Field School Director

Project Description:

This 2020 campaign marks the fifth season of the ‘Signum Vortumni Project’, which was launched by ISAR in 2016 with an official concession from the Ministero dei Beni e delle Attività Culturali (MiBAC). The primary aim of the project is to unveil the pre-Imperial topography of this important area of central Rome where the NW slope of Palatine Hill meets the Velabrum. Despite the site’s central location, it has yet to be thoroughly investigated. The upcoming season will focus on uncovering evidence of the Republican, Archaic and Regal periods preserved below the imposing visible remains of the Horrea Agrippiana, built during the reign of Augustus. Findings to date have been promising, but there is still much more to be done and we need your help!

This year ISAR will be presenting a sequence of lessons, both in the classroom and on-site, to provide students with the basic skills necessary to discern and document the multiple phases of site use present at the Horrea Agrippiana. Lessons will address the history, topography, and architecture of ancient Rome with the aim of helping students recognize and identify architectural elements and material culture through hands-on training. Further lessons will focus on helping students understand the techniques of stratigraphic investigation, the use of topographic instruments, hand-drawing, and digital documentation. Each of these pedagogic components will combine clear, illustrated instruction by experts in the field with readings, interactive discussions, and practical applications.

The first week of the program includes an orientation featuring site and museum visits, as well as classroom lectures. The following five-week field program teaches students the fundamentals of stratigraphic archaeological excavation and introduces them to the suite of tools, instruments, and practical methods necessary for archaeological excavation via hands-on experience. Throughout the season students will also receive guest lectures, both in the field and off-site, from visiting specialists and experts in addition to visiting other ongoing excavations in Rome and its environs.

Period(s) of Occupation: Etruscan, Roman, Medieval, Renaissance

The Signum Vortumni Project is a six‐week, on‐site archaeological field school conducted in the Roman Forum at the base of the Palatine Hill in ancient Rome. Students will learn about all phases of the archaeological project including excavation, artefact identification and analysis, hand-drawing, and digital documentation. Applications will be accepted online through the project's website. The deadline for applications is March 1, 2020. All students over 18 are eligible to apply, and no previous experience is necessary. We look forward to welcoming you to Rome!

Project Size: 1-24 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: Six weeks

Minimum Age: 18

Experience Required: No previous experience required!

Room and Board Arrangements:
Students will be housed in shared apartments in central Rome.

Contact Information:

Dr. Matthew J. Mandich

Rome, Italy

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