The Alberese Archaeological Field School

Being the ancient country of wonders that it is, Italy is filled to the brim with amazing archaeological opportunities for students who like to get their hands dirty – literally – unearthing the past. The ruins and relics of ancient Rome tell a beautiful story of bygone days, weaving together a gorgeous tapestry of the charms of antiquity.

That’s why John Cabot University offers students a chance to study and work with the Alberese Archaeological Field School whether they’re here completing a degree or here to study abroad in Rome for only a semester or two. From learning about the ancient culture and citizens of Rome to unearthing the relics of bygone days, students will get an amazing hands-on introduction to the world of archaeology in one of the most dazzling ancient cities in the world. Located in Tuscany, one of the richest archaeological sites in the world, the Alberese Archaeological Field School offers three distinct projects in the 2014 year: Archaeological Excavation and Methodology, Material Culture Studies and Magnetometry Survey.

Archaeological Excavation and Methodology

The primary focus of this course is training in “on-site archaeological field methodologies.” This means that students will be taught the techniques and methods for proper archaeological examination, excavation and extraction. Some of the course subjects include:

  • extracting methods
  •  drawing contexts
  • recording contexts
  • stratigraphic documentation
  • electronic surveying

In addition to hands-on techniques, students will also study previously excavated artifacts for a more intricate understanding of recording and studying artifacts of ceramic, glass, metal and bone. The course is complemented by frequent trips to archaeological sites and archaeological museums. International students in Italy will not only have a chance to learn, but also to explore.

Material Culture Studies

The Material Culture Field School is focused on the study of excavated finds from the Roman river port of Rusellae, with a spotlight on bone, metal and glass items sculpted or shaped by artisans in ancient times. Students will learn how to handle and record unearthed artifacts, as well as identify specific artifacts. Students will be taught cleaning methods, conservation or storage methods, cataloguing and typology studies; in particular, the finds from the ateliers of bone-, metal- and glass-artisans active in the workshop complex.

Magnetometry Survey

The main focus of the Magnetometry Survey course is training in interpreting the findings of ground-based physical sensing of archaeological materials. Students will learn the methodologies of using magnetometry to survey land and identify items. You’ll learn subjects ranging from survey design methodologies, grid and equipment set-up, topographic surveying and the interpretation of data.

Students will also explore topics like landscape morphology and be lectured and prepped on the impact of environmental changes in specific areas, as well as attend seminars on the results of previous excavations, in order to understand the topics they’re learning about in context.

So if you’re someone who is fascinated with uncovering the past, why not study abroad in Italy for a chance to dig up history? Check out the Alberese Archaeological Field School website for more information!

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