Online Digital Field Survey Archaeology (3rd edition)

The Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome (KNIR) offers a unique academic environment in which students and researchers from Dutch universities and international partners can pursue their research goals and indulge their curiosity in an international interdisciplinary setting. During research stays at the institute students and researchers can explore the wealth of academic resources in Rome. Located in the centre of Rome near the Villa Borghese, the Institute offers an ample 24/7 library with workspaces, a laboratory for material culture and digital humanities as well as accommodation for students and researchers. The Institute facilitates research in disciplines that can benefit from the Roman monuments, institutes, museums and libraries, and the city of Rome and Italian society at large.

KNIR offers in-depth courses and seminars with key scholars in the field of archaeology/ancient history, art history, and history. Students and researchers may also apply for individual fellowships to write a (R)MA or PhD thesis, or develop a new research proposal. At KNIR, graduated students can also develop their application for PhD positions, supported by the KNIR community and scientific staff. Also, KNIR offers internships both at the Institute itself and at partner institutions.

Description of the internship
This third internship edition is conducted in the framework of an archaeological project funded by the Dutch Prins Bernhard Cultural Foundation. The grant allows to set up an international collaboration with scholars and students at Portuguese, Spanish, Italian and Dutch research institutes. The research project focuses on landscape archaeology, and aims to collect both so-called legacy and new field survey data of the Italian and Iberian Peninsulas especially in territories where ancient towns have been established during the early phases of the Roman conquest of the Mediterranean (3rd – 1st century BC). The wider goal of this project is to study rural settlement patterns in relation to the Roman expansion in the Italian and Iberian Peninsulas, compare these patterns and identify differences and similarities in settlement strategies and land use organisation.

Student interns will collect and digitise in GIS the legacy survey data of (early) Roman colonial landscapes in the Italian and Iberian Peninsulas. Archaeological field walking surveys are a major source of information about past societies. Especially for the Mediterranean area, large survey datasets from regional projects between the 1970s and now are available. The early projects often, however, used different field methods, which makes it difficult to compare and combine the different datasets. To understand large-scale developments in the ancient society of the Western Mediterranean, we need to integrate a good sample of field survey datasets in GIS. In order to achieve this, student interns will collect, study and systematize in databases the documentation of metadata and methods of several Italian and Iberian field survey projects. This will offer students the opportunity to compare and reflect upon the different research standards and survey methodologies adopted by Italian and Iberian research groups. Additionally, the participants will acquire knowledge about the digital platform Fasti Online Survey, which offers the opportunity to publish open-access survey projects, data and metadata.

Teaching staff: Dr. Anita Casarotto (KNIR fellow)

Your work
Under the supervision of Dr. Anita Casarotto (KNIR fellow) students will collect, systematise in databases, and digitise in GIS a good sample of legacy survey data and information from landscape survey projects conducted in Italy and Iberia around (early) Roman towns. We will furthermore assist researchers working there with their data publications in Fasti Online Survey, and take care of the data archiving.

Students can do their internship online. However, students based in Italy, Portugal or Spain can add value to the project by visiting libraries and archives in Italy, Portugal and Spain to collect data, aerial photos, historical imagery, and scan books or maps. Expenses such as bus/train tickets to reach libraries, fees to enter libraries, or to make scans and photocopies will be reimbursed by the project.

Training goals, skills and expertise gained by the participants:

  • We offer students the possibility to expand their expertise in digital archaeology such as the collection, digitisation, management and comparison of archaeological field datasets, specifically of legacy survey datasets.
  • Students will increase their knowledge in archaeological data analysis as well as in open data archiving, preservation policy and stewardship with digital archaeological research infrastructures.
  • Students will engage in collaborative archaeology and in what constitutes good practice around publication, authorship, citation and reuse of previously-collected data.
  • There are good possibilities to develop your experience further for your (R)MA thesis or PhD, also within framework of the broader research project described above.

Schedule: Working schedule is flexible and working part-time is possible – between min. 3 and max. 8 hours per day – but students should be always available for online group work twice a week from 14:00 – 17:00 (the precise dates of these meetings will be announced one week before the start of the internship). Some days off are possible – please discuss this with your supervisor.

Date: The internship is online from 1 February until 19 April and at the KNIR from 20 until 29 April.

For whom: 4 Master students and alumni of Dutch (UvA, VU, UL, UU, RUN, RUG), Italian, Portuguese and Spanish universities. We especially urge alumni (holding a master degree) and second year master students who wish to pursue a PhD in Mediterranean/Roman archaeology to apply. The internship could be a suitable stepping stone to one of the PhD positions that will be opened in due time by the connected research project about comparative regional data analysis in Italian and Iberian landscape archaeology.

KNIR offers: Students will be rewarded with a stay from 20 until 29 April at the KNIR in Rome where they will complete their internship in the KNIR laboratory for material culture and digital humanities. They will receive free lodging at the KNIR, a one-off expenditure allowance of €70 and a one-off compensation of €100 for travel expenses. At the KNIR, students will have the possibility to present their internship results to the KNIR community during a debate to be held on Thursday 28th April 2022.

University of Groningen and Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds offers: an allowance of 200 euros after successful completion of the internship.


  • (Research)Master students in archaeology (or related disciplines) or alumni (in possession of a Master degree in archaeology or related disciplines) of Dutch, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish universities, with preferably a specialization in one or more of these fields: field survey/landscape archaeology in Italy or Iberia, ancient topography, GIS, open data, digital data acquisition, computational methods. Master students must be enrolled in one of the KNIR partner universities in the Netherlands (UvA, VU, UL, UU, RUN, RUG) or in Italian, Portuguese or Spanish universities; students from other universities can sometimes be admitted as well, contact KNIR about this before applying.
  • Advanced skills in using GIS software;
  • Good database and data management skills;
  • Good communication skills, especially with online communities (e.g. through social networks, blogs etc.);
  • Fluent in English and good knowledge of the Italian or Portuguese or Spanish languages (ideally advanced reading and writing proficiency);
  • Field survey experience is an advantage;

As a mostly-online internship, a high level of autonomy is important.

Credits: min. 7 ECTS – max. 10 ECTS (depending on the total number of hours, according to the standard hour rate 1 ECTS = 28 hours).

Application and admission:
The selection of participants – max. 4, two for Italy and two for Iberia – is based on:
1) motivation
2) experience
3) the positioning of the internship in the student’s curriculum

Explain all these three aspects in a brief letter of motivation (max. 2 A4).

Prospective participants can apply via the link below; include in your application:
• the letter of motivation (max. 2 A4).
• a brief CV (max. 2 A4).
• a recent list of courses followed and grades provided by your university.

Please note that the decision of the selection committee is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

More info
Phone: (+39)063269621

With special thanks to our sponsor:

Pbcf Prins Bernard Cultuurfonds Logo