Archaeology Field School: Exploring Mountain Society in Ancient Samnium

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In this field school, you explore the archaeology of ancient mountain societies with a small, international team working on mountain sites in the southern Apennines. Together we develop the best field methodology for each site and area, combining hard old-fashioned field work with Lidar, satellite and drone data. The history and archaeology of ancient societies often focus on coastal settlements in fertile plains, well-connected by the Mediterranean Sea. Mountain societies have 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 more complex than previously thought and display dynamic connections within as well as outside the region. In this campaign, we try to shed light on sites such as hill-forts, villages and farms and their role in the local ecosystem as well as in the wider ancient Mediterranean world. Besides acquiring practical skills in the field, in the lab you learn to study ceramics and other finds, as well as to process Lidar, drone and other remote sensing data. The campaign is physically demanding, but guarantees beautiful views of the Apennine mountains and an encounter with a very special area of Italy, far from beaches, metropoleis and tourists.

Teaching staff
Dr. Tesse Stek (KNIR)
Rogier Kalkers (Sapienze/KNIR)
Giacomo Fontana (UCL)

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.

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. After the field work out in the highlands, in the afternoons we return to our base camp to study our finds such as ceramics and metals. In the lab, we also work on the processing of the GPS data and the other field documentation in GIS, as well as on remote sensing data from Lidar, satellite, drones and geophysics.

Credits and assessment
The study load is the equivalent of 6 ECTS (168 hours) for the full campaign. 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 their development of insights and skills during the field school.

Expenses and Accommodation in Molise
Our team 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, depending on the base camp we cook together or eat hearty Molisan dishes at a local restaurant (6-8E 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.

Application and admission
Students can apply via the link below; include in your application:
• a brief letter of motivation (max. 1 A4)
• a brief cv (if applicable, pointing out previous field work experience, max. 1 A4)
• a recent list of courses followed and grades provided by your university

Apply before
1 July 2021 via the application form below.

More info
Phone: (+39)063269621