Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Archaeological Excavation: Amphora Graveyard of Monte Testaccio

Archaeological Excavation: Amphora Graveyard of Monte Testaccio |

Italy: Roma (Rome)


Program Duration
1-2 weeks

Typical Duration of Program
1-2 weeks

September 2-16, 2012

  • Although venturing outside our normal jurisdiction, ArchaeoSpain could not pass up sending some of its students to Rome to participate at Monte Testaccio. Heralded as one of the most important research programs about Roman epigraphy, economy and commerce today, Monte Testaccio combines the efforts of two universities and ArchaeoSpain to process the pottery shards from an artificial mount created by centuries of discarded amphorae many of which still bear the markings of the contents and the exporters who transported them. Once an ancient pottery dump, Monte Testaccio is now one of the largest archives of Roman commerce in the world.

    Monte Testaccio is located in the southern part of modern Rome and behind the old river port. Those who join us will participate in all aspects of this project, including artifact recovery and conservation work, restoration, recording and drawing.

    While the crew is mostly Spanish, don't worry if you don't speak Italian nor Spanish - an English-speaking archaeologist will guide you. Nevertheless, we hope that our students take the opportunity to learn a new tongue or improve what they already know. And the city of Rome offers unlimited options for classical world enthusiasts. There will be many opportunities during the program for participants to enjoy the city, from its busy cafes and restaurants to all the historical sites.

  • In ancient times, amphorae were the main containers used for transportation and storage of goods. They were massively produced because of their low cost, and were usually destroyed once they reached their final destination because it was easier to make a new one than to clean and reuse an old one. Between the 1st and the 3rd centuries, a spectacular number of amphorae were broken and dumped at a specific location in Rome near the Tiber River.

    Over the years, they formed an artificial hill of testae and crockery 45 meters (135 feet) high.

    Many of the amphorae still have the maker's seal stamped on their handles, while others retain titles and notes written with a brush or quill listing the exporter's name and indicating the contents, the export controls, and consular date. All these notes make Testaccio the largest archive of Roman commerce in the world.

    This excavation is overseen by professors from Madrid's Complutense University and the Center for the Study of the Provincial Interdependency in Classical World at the University of Barcelona.

    Working alongside this team will offer you a unique opportunity to take part in one of the most important research programs in Roman epigraphy and archaeometry.

    • Archaeology
    • Eco Tours
    • Heritage Tourism
    • Language Immersion
    • Photography
    • Student Tours
    • Tours
    • Volunteering
  • Previous fieldwork experience and Italian/Spanish language abilities are NOT required to join the field crews. All we ask is that applicants share a desire to learn about Roman history and culture.

    • English
    • Italian
    • Spanish
    • Archaeology
    • Classical Studies
    • Culture
    • Field-study
    • Geography
    • History
    • Humanities
    • Intensive Language
    • Italian
    • Spanish
    • Travel / Tourism
  • USD 3,300

    • Emergency evacuation services
    • Food
    • Housing
    • Medical insurance
    • Medical services
    • Registration fees
    • Written materials abroad
    • Written materials pre-departure
  • - full room and board - medical Insurance
    - transportation from airport on first day of the program
    - application fee and administrative costs.

  • yes

  • no

    • Archaeology
    • Conservation
    • Culture
    • Digging
    • Eco-tourism
    • Historic Preservation
    • Research
    • Restoration
    • Tourism
  • A university student (undergraduate or graduate) studying Archaeology

  • 18 and over

  • Worldwide Participants. This Program is also open to Couples and Individuals.

    • Group living
  • Independently

  • in Groups of 8

    • Online Application plus Application Assessment
  • One week

    • Alumni Network
  • ArchaeoSpain is an educational organization founded in 2001 by a group of archaeologists and teachers with the goal of providing an opportunity for people from all over the world to participate in scientific research important archaeological excavations in Spain and Italy. We are committed to furthering cultural exchange and experience in archaeology.

  • 2001