Trasimeno Archaeology Field School
The Trasimeno Archaeology Field School provides a curricular concentration in Archaeology and History based in nearby Castiglione del Lago on the shores of Lake Trasimeno between Umbria and Tuscany.
Castiglione del Lago is a charming medieval town in Umbria, located on top of a small peninsula along the southwestern shores of Lake Trasimeno. A member of the prestigious I Borghi più Belli d’Italia Association (The Most Beautiful Villages in Italy, www.borghitalia.it), Castiglione lies among renowned historical cities, such as Orvieto, Chiusi, Arezzo, Cortona and Perugia. All Field School participants will stay in Castiglione during the summer term, only a few miles away from Perugia and easily accessible either by bus or train.
The Academic Program
The Field School consists of two courses, one theoretical and one practical, both held in Castiglione del Lago. The program aims to provide students with a comprehensive overview of up-to-date theories and methods of archaeological research and fieldwork as applied to the civilizations that shaped the history and culture of central Italy. The Field School runs for 6 weeks, from the beginning of June through mid-July. Program dates for the summer 2015 will be May 29th (arrival in Italy) to July 11th (departure).
The course ARFW 350: Archaeological Field Workshop is an archaeology practicum. Students will work alongside professional archaeological staff to uncover artifacts and learn essential excavation and cataloging skills.
Course Credit: 3
The course ARCL 340: Archaeological Heritage of Lake Trasimeno, the program’s theoretical component, introduces students to the region’s excavation history and provides context for the archaeological initiatives of today.
Course Credit: 3
Both courses are non-prerequisite and mandatory. They include fieldtrips to various archaeological and cultural sites, including an overnight trip to Rome. Fieldtrips are designed to enhance student understanding of the territory’s history, while also providing the opportunity to study and visit neighboring archaeological sites and major museum collections.
The Archaeological Dig
The excavation will focus on two different areas of Castiglione. The first is located inside and around the medieval walls, towards the southern shore of the lake. Recent geo-magnetic surveys of this area have indicated the presence of a rich archaeological site: possibly a Roman building and Etruscan tombs. Further investigations concern the ruins of a small medieval church built atop the previous structures.
The second site lies on the shore of the nearby Lake of Chiusi, where the remains of a Roman cistern will be excavated.
The goal of the campaign as a whole is to assess the original function of the entire area in order to understand the origins of the settlement of Castiglione, and to follow its development from Etruscan, through Roman, to medieval times. The project is an instructive example of how different civilizations built upon one another other in the same geographic area.
Important note: Digging in an archaeological campaign is very exciting work, but it is also sometimes tiring and challenging. It is very important that students are ready and fit for this type of physical activity. The typical day starts early in the morning and runs until mid-afternoon.
Cooperation With the Local Community
In keeping with the Umbra Institute’s academic philosophy, the Archaeological Field School is collaborative and aims to involve the community of Castiglione in a long-term relationship. Students will collaborate with a local archaeological association and will help the municipality of the town to catalog findings and establish a new archaeological museum.
Life in Castiglione del Lago
Students will live in modernly furnished studio apartments (2-3 students each) directly on the lake shore, a short walking distance from supermarkets and the archaeological site. All apartments include furnished kitchens. Castiglione has a lively local community which students will get to enjoy on a daily basis.
A renowned summer location, Castiglione is an international venue for relaxing vacations, swimming and sun-bathing on its beaches, or for practicing a variety of sports: cycling, sailing, wind- and kite-surfing, canoeing. The beautiful hills surrounding the area offer opportunities for hiking, mountain-biking, and horseback riding.
Bus and train services directly connect Castiglione to other cities, including Rome and Florence, making it easy to travel over weekends.
The Trasimeno Archaeology Field School is run by the Umbra Institute in cooperation with the Archeological Superintendency of Umbria, with the Comune of Castiglione del Lago and the Archeological Research Company Intrageo.
Program Fees Include
Academic program, housing, airport transfers, Resident Director, orientation, use of facilities in Castiglione del Lago, Umbra-sponsored cultural activities, and official transcripts.
Program Fees do NOT Include
Airfare to/from Rome, meals, lab fees (for a total amount of € 150), and personal expenses.
How to Apply
Deadline for application is April 1st, 2015. To receive additional information or to be contacted by an Umbra representative, please complete the attached form.
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