Practicum: Exploring Mountain Society in Ancient Samnium

In this field school, you explore the archaeology of mountain society with a small, international team in mountain sites in the Apennines. Together we develop the best field methodology for each site, combining Lidar, satellite and drone data with hard old-fashioned field work. The history and archaeology of ancient societies often focus on coastal settlements in fertile plains, well-connected by the Mediterranean Sea. Mountain society has been understudied because of negative, primitive stereotyping, and simply because field work is much harder in thin air and thick vegetation. Yet, highland sites in the Apennines were often much larger and more complex than previously thought. In this campaign, we try to shed light on sites such as hillforts, and their role in ancient society. Besides practical skills in the field, in the lab you learn to process Lidar, drone and other data. The campaign is physically demanding, but guarantees beautiful views of the Italian mountains.

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Target group and admission
The field work is open to Bachelor, Master, Research Master and PhD students in Archaeology, Ancient History, Classics, Geoarchaeology and related fields enrolled in one of the KNIR partner universities in the Netherlands (RU, RUG, UL, UU, UvA, VU). Students from Italian or other international universities are emphatically welcome to apply too, with the only difference that no travel costs can be reimbursed. The standard language is English.
Each student should arrange with his/her home coordinator whether the course can be a part of the existing curriculum. Students will be assessed on the basis of participation and (part of) a case study for which the student has gathered and analyzed existing and new data during the campaign.

Activities and time period

The field work project is organized by the Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome (KNIR). It consists of intensive field work in the Apennine mountains. Ideally, you participate for the full 3 weeks. Students who cannot stay longer, may also apply for just a two-week period. Although the focus of the project is on research, not on teaching, the high staff-student ratio provides ample room for learning in practice. Autonomy, creativity and initiative are key. Besides survey work in the highlands there will be a strong remote sensing aspect in the preparation and lab part of the campaign. Especially, working with satellite and drone imagery, and visualizations of Lidar data. Finds will also be studied and documented at the base camps.

Expenses and Accommodation in Molise
The participants will stay at the study center in Jelsi (CeDISA), and/or in the mountain-top castle of the village of Castelpetroso (we work in different areas depending on the conditions).

Tuition and lodging is free for participants enrolled in the above mentioned Dutch universities. After successful completion of the campaign, international travel expenses will be reimbursed up to €100,- for students enrolled in the KNIR partner universities. Meals are not included, a kitchen is available at both accommodations to cook together, there also is a restaurant where we can eat hearty Molisan dishes for c. 5-8 euros pp. Participants sleep in shared rooms; please bring a sleeping bag, clothes for both hot and cold weather, a hat and sturdy mountain boots to the (somewhat spartan) base camps in Molise. Of course, the practicum and lodging etc. will be organized in agreement with the health measures taken by the government to ban Covid19.

More info
Phone: (+39)063269621