The “la Biagiola” program is open to any archaeology or anthropology students, or simply to students interested in learning more about the subject. We provide an exciting opportunity for a first-hand experience in archaeological fieldwork. You’ll take part in the exploration of an ancient site in Tuscany, working alongside expert archaeologists and foreign students. The school also provide a complete formation in standing building archaeology, survey and medieval castles studies. This program is offered in collaboration with the cultural heritage office of Tuscany, the regional authority that manages archaeological sites and monuments. In addition to the archaeological experience, you will be able to enjoy a wide range of cultural sites, historic monuments, and natural sites of Tuscany.
"la Biagiola" Archaeology International Summer SchoolAn exciting seven-week program uncovering ancient Etruscan, Roman, and Lombard civilization!
You will experience all aspects of an archaeological career; fieldwork, architectural archaeology, burial archaeology, scientific analysis, physical anthropology, artifact conservation, and cutting-edge open source digital archaeology. Moreover, coursework will explore and focus on the major features of ancient Etruscan, Roman and Early-Medieval cultures.
The evolution of an Etruscan villa through centuries: from the Roman period, to the Lombard occupation, up to a Modern era rural settlement.
“La Biagiola” archaeological site, near Sovana di Sorano (GR), Tuscany, was discovered by the volunteers of Gruppo Archeologico Torinesei in 2004, during a survey project led by the Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici della Toscana. After a few sample digs, held from 2008 to 2011, the Association “Cultura e Territorio” (ACT) has been entrusted with the following archaeological research. At present, the history of the site is quite clear in outlines: beginning with an Etruscan villa, at least three phases of a Roman villa, a Lombard graveyard and a modern farm follow each other. The excavations are carried on thanks to Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici della Toscana, “la Biagiola vitivinicola”, Kaustic Plastik and the municipality of Sorano. Now we are ready to expand our excavations of the medieval cemetery and to explore new facilities of the Roman villa. In 2017, after three successful campaigns, we intend to open again the Summer School to foreign students of archaeology and anthropology, who wish to experience archaeological excavations in Italy.
The Summer School is taking place from 3/July to 21/August/2017.
First shift from July 3 to 31.
Second shift from July 31 to August 21.
The territory of Sovana has been inhabited since Prehistory.
Today the area is well known for its Etruscan necropolis, medieval castles and churches. Archaeological research however, continues revealing new artifacts and new interesting aspects of human civilization through centuries.
For example, it is well known that the Romanization phenomena in the area took place between the 3rd and the 2nd century BC, but little is yet known about the Roman settlement in the countryside. Undoubtedly during the 6th and 7th c. AD here was the awkward boundary between the Byzantine and Lombard lands, but archaeological evidence from this period are very scarce.
Indeed, the peculiarity of "la Biagiola" site lies in its multilayer stratification: a Roman villa grew over a late Etruscan settlement; afterwards, the Roman facilities were re-used by a Lombard group during the early middle ages, when the site was turned into a cemetery. Those graves that have already been excavated contained an abundance of precious and interesting goods. Finally, the villa was largely abandoned up to the present time: only one building survived over the centuries, which was transformed into a shed.
Though the walls and the tombs are only partially preserved, they can still undoubtedly supply a lot of archaeological information. When the research is completed the site will be converted into an archaeological park, and “la Biagiola” will become one more attraction in the already rich cultural landscape of Sovana.
The aims of the 2017 Campaign are:
- Completing the excavations of the Roman ruins’ nearby to uncover the ancient villa plan;
- exploring the Lombard cemetery;
- find the early medieval church supposed to be near the cemetery;
- survey, study and cataloguing the medieval castles nearby (4th week only);
- investigating some service facilities of the Roman farm: a likely oil or wine press area.
As bonus activities, students will be involved, during the fourth week, in survey activities that aim to discover, catalogue and study some “lost” medieval castles identified this fall in the territory of Sovana.
The program will include photogrammetry and wall stratigraphic analysis.
In addition, students will be involved in the “la Biagiola open air archaeological park” creation.
Tutorial activities will be focusing on the following topics (a complete dossier will be given to participants):
Roman pottery, Roman rural facilities, Medieval pottery, Early Medieval metallurgy, Modern pottery.
Archaeology of standing buildings, Burial archaeology, Total station and archaeological drawing, Open source documentation software, G.I.S., Preservation of archaeological finds, Analyzing, drawing and cataloging archaeological finds.
Roman settlement in the Sovana territory, Sovana in the Early Middle Ages: a contended territory between Langobards and Byzantines, The Aldobrandeschi medieval dominion, Archeology of the Modern era: rural settlement archaeology.
The fieldwork excavations will be a major portion of the training focus for the participants. The trainees will be guided through this new adventure by a team of skillful archaeologists who will be able to explain clearly every aspect of the research process.
Since the site is located in the middle of a rich archaeological area, several cultural excursions in the surroundings are planned, such as the Etruscan necropolis of Sovana, the impressive vie cave, Sorano and the Pitigliano museums and castles.
Classes, labs and field activities will take place daily, from Monday to Friday.
Drawing, G.I.S. and pottery laboratories will be held regularly in parallel with excavation. Such activities will be held at staff’s discretion and will involve only small groups of students (2-5) at a time.
Saturday’s schedule will be a half day of work and Sunday is totally free, in order to give students the chance to enjoy their stay in Italy. Students are encouraged to take sightseeing trips to nearby cities and the staff will be glad to help organize and guide them, if their destination is in the surroundings.
The Summer School of “la Biagiola” focuses on archaeological method, applied on a multilayered site: from the Etruscan age to the Modern era.
The 2017 Campaign is open to both undergraduate and graduate students in Archaeology.
Admission is limited to 20 students per session.
No prerequisites are requested for the Summer School; students will be adequately trained during the campaign.
Students interested in the Summer School must submit their application with a cover letter (1000 characters maximum) and a CV to info[at]culturaterritorio.org.
Application deadline: 20/05/2017. Nevertheless, the applications will be examined as soon as they are received and every applicant considered suitable will be admitted immediately.
The staff reserves the right to verify any information reported in the CV and to request additional documentation (e.g.: advising reports; references) at its discretion, before coming to a decision on the enrollment.
An e-mail of confirmation or refusal will be sent to each applicant no later than May 25, 2017.
Upon acceptance, students will receive detailed information on the following enrollment requirements:
- Medical certificate of good mental and physical health and medical history – if students have medical conditions, the certificate should be filled out and signed by a treating specialist.
- Proof of Insurance – students must have a valid international health and injury insurance and must provide the insurance provider’s contact information as well as the policy number.
- Release form – the participant must read and accept the terms of the field school; a signed release form must be submitted upon the starting date of the Summer School.
- Travel itineraries – all students must provide their detailed travel itinerary as soon as possible. This information will allow the staff to arrange airport/train station pick-ups and drop-offs in advance.
- Payment, to be made through credit transfer. 50% of the payment will be requested within 1 week after acceptance (last deadline: 5/06/2017). Balance should be paid upon arrival at the Summer School.