Saturday, January 28, 2012

Discovering Italy’s Ancient Etruscan and Roman Coast


Project Case Study

Andrea Camilli also runs projects for teens.

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On the Expedition

Help save the cultural treasures of a Roman villa, or uncover an Etruscan burial ground, both overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea along Tuscany's stunning central coast.

The year 2012 brings an intriguing new site to this archaeological project. During May and June, you'll excavate the Etruscan coastal necropolis - a burial ground - of San Cerbone, at the Baratti and Populonia Archaeological Park. You'll investigate a portion of the Park stratigraphically, verify the site's history, and find out what structures have occurred. It is the most important place to discover and understand the lives of the people who lived in Populonia between the 7th and the 1st century BC.

From September to October, you'll continue to help save a nearly-forgotten treasure trove of ancient Roman culture at the Roman maritime settlement of Poggio del Molino. You'll fill key gaps in our knowledge of the industrial history and coastal economy of Populonia and its territory, from the early Roman period (250/200 BCE) to the early Middle Ages (600 CE) and enrich Tuscany's archaeological heritage.

You'll join Dr Carolina Megale, Dr Francesco Ghizzani Marcia, and Dr Giandomenico De Tommaso as you document all finds, carry out experimental archaeology and survey the area surrounding the dig site to collect, clean, and document artefacts such as pottery shards, mosaic, fresco, metal, and coins.

Meals and Accommodations

You'll stay in simple-but-comfortable apartments in the quiet village of Populonia Station, about 5km/3.2 miles away from both sites. The apartments feature modern furnishings, beds, flush toilets, electricity, gas heat, hot showers, kitchen facilities, and internet access.

Project staff and volunteers will help themselves to breakfast. Project staff will prepare lunches and dinner every day. Volunteers will be asked to assist with clean-up. You will have many opportunities to enjoy local wines, desserts and other culinary delights as well as traditional cultural events and festivals, depending on the season.

About the Research Area

The Poggio del Molino site is located in luxuriant green landscape overlooking the sea where the Mediterranean vegetation is particularly varied in species, form and color. You'll be near the wood-covered Natural Park of Montioni's Hills as well as the Coastal Park of Sterpaia, which has a rare and highly-prized humid forest, once typical of the landscape of the ancient coast of the Maremma. An important bird and amphibian reserve, Orti Bottagone, is also in close proximity.

Populonia's own Parco Archeologico di Baratti, contains the famous Etruscan necropolis of monumental tomb mounds, along with acropolis temples and a sacred complex, probably dedicated to Venus.

Characteristically medieval towns such as Donoratico, Bolgheri, Suvereto, Sassetta, and Massa Marittima dot the area, all of them famous for their traditional seasonal festivals, excellent wine, and succulent food (especially wild game such as boar). Populonia's central position on the Tuscan coast makes it easy to reach Pisa, Firenze, Siena, Arezzo, Volterra, Pienza, San Gimignano, and Montalcino in a very short time.