Summer Archaeology Program
The Field School consists of two courses (see below), one theoretical and one practical with daily work on the archaeological site. The program aims to provide you 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 program is conducted in conjunction with the Trasimeno Regional Archaeological Project (TRAP), a multi-faceted research program that aims to reconstruct the history of human occupation in the region of Castiglione del Lago. This project is a collaboration between the Umbra Institute, DePauw University (Greencastle, IN), and the Comune of Castiglione del Lago. Students who participate in the Field School are engaged in all aspects of the archaeological research, including excavation, documentation, scientific studies, digital modeling, and – beginning in the summer of 2022 – assisting with the installation of a new archaeological museum in Castiglione del Lago.
In addition to the fieldwork, there are classroom lectures and field trips. Students will also have the opportunity to travel in Central Italy as Castiglione del Lago is conveniently situated on the train line between Rome and Florence.
In the last three years of campaigns in the territory of Castiglione del Lago have revealed significant archaeological remains, including a Roman building complex, aqueduct, a Roman kiln, and a possible undiscovered Roman road. The goal of the campaign as a whole is to assess the original pattern of human impact in the entire territory and understand its development since antiquity.
Umbra Institute’s mission is to develop our students’ expertise in the full range of methods and processes employed in a complete archaeological project, from research design and preliminary survey of the territory to methods of data collection in the field and digging, to the cataloging and display of archaeological remains. By investigating the archaeological heritage of this landscape, our project provides an instructive example of how different civilizations built upon one another in the same geographic area.
In the summer of 2022, the project began the exploration of a site just outside Castiglione del Lago in the Borgo of Ranciano. Archaeological remains visible on the surface of the site (a field currently under modern cultivation) indicate that there was a Roman presence there. Results of a recent geophysical survey indicate a kiln on the site, i.e., a large installation for the production of pottery and/or bricks and tile. In the summer of 2023, the wonderous discoveries continued not far from the shores of Lake Trasimeno with the unearthing of a large multi-level complex dating from the 1st century and connected to a substantial Roman aqueduct indicating the possibility of an imperial residence, communal baths or even a fishery. The TRAP team is eager to return to this promising site in 2024 to continue the excavations and research the finds in more detail.
If this work sounds like an adventure to you, join us next summer to explore these exciting new discoveries and unearth the secrets that lie beneath as we travel back to the time of ancient Rome.
Castiglione del Lago is a charming medieval town in Umbria, a popular summer destination, 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), Castiglione is situated between renowned historical cities, such as Orvieto, Chiusi, Arezzo, Cortona, and Perugia. All Field School participants will stay in Castiglione during the summer term, and given its proximity to Perugia, it is easily accessible by bus or train. Program participants live in modernly furnished studio apartments (2-3 students each) a short walk from the lakeshore, supermarkets, and all other important venues. All apartments include fully equipped kitchens.
In line with Umbra’s traditional focus on community engagement, field school participants will have the opportunity to enjoy day-to-day life as a local and experience the ambiance of an Italian town. A renowned summer location, Castiglione is an international venue for relaxing vacations, swimming, and sunbathing on its beaches, or for practicing a variety of sports: cycling, sailing, wind- and kite-surfing, and canoeing. The beautiful hills surrounding the area offer opportunities for hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding. Bus and train services 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, the Comune of Castiglione del Lago, and the Archeological Research Intrageo. The Archaeological Field School is collaborative and aims to involve the community of Castiglione del Lago in a long-term relationship. As part of the project, students cooperate with the local archaeological museum to enhance its visibility and impact.
Deadline for application is April 19th. To receive additional information or to be contacted by an Umbra representative, we welcome you to fill out the contact form on this page. Applying is easy. Just click the APPLY NOW button and your adventure begins!
The academic program (6-credits total), airport transfers, housing in a residential hotel in Castiglione del Lago, orientation and welcome dinner (at a local restaurant), Resident Director and site coordinator, help desk and 24-hour support/assistance, residential hotel facilities (BBQ, swimming pool, etc.), Umbra-sponsored cultural activities, select field trips, transportation to/from the dig site, daily refreshments (on-site), official transcript.
Program Fees do NOT Include:
Airfare, meals, lab fees (€ 250 or $ 275), and personal expenses. Lab fees cover required field trips and excursions, museum entrance fees, and farewell dinner.