FIELD SCHOOL AT POGGIO COLLA

 



2015 Poggio Colla Field School students and staff

 

See Field Season posts on our FaceBook page:
www.facebook.com/PoggioCollaFieldSchool

Link to video about MVAP & Poggio Colla Field School on YouTube: Etruscan Project

Location: Tuscany, Italy

Note: Although the Mugello Valley Archaeological Project will continue research, publication, conservation, and illustration, 2015 was the final season of the Poggio Colla Field School. If student participation in excavation is reinstated in the future, this page of our website will announce the news. Otherwise, the information below explains what our 21-year field school has been.

Affiliation
Southern Methodist University, Franklin and Marshall College, Franklin University Switzerland, The University of Texas, and University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Project Directors
P. Gregory Warden, Franklin College Switzerland and
Michael L.Thomas, The University of Texas

Description
Poggio Colla Field School trains students on an Etruscan site about twenty-two miles north-east of Florence in the scenic Mugello Valley. The settlement on Poggio Colla spanned most of Etruscan history, from the seventh century B.C.E. until its destruction by the Romans at the beginning of the second century B.C.E. The first 11 seasons of excavation have revealed at least three major construction phases, including an extraordinarily rich Orientalizing/Archaic phase that includes the remains of a monumental structure on the acropolis, and two later phases when the site was turned into a fortified stronghold.

Period of occupation: Seventh through Second Centuries B.C.E.


Field Instructors guide students working in Poggio Colla Trenches PC 34 and PC 28

The season focuses on excavation of the hilltop sanctuary, conservation, and laboratory research. Students will receive training in Etruscan archaeology as well as in the theoretical and practical aspects of fieldwork from a professional staff that includes archaeologists, an architect, an illustrator, a surveyor, and a conservator. Students conduct research projects that replicate the methodologies of archaeological documentation and explication found in archaeological site publication. Much of the training takes place in the field or in the lab; however, lectures by the staff as well as by visiting scholars supplement on-site learning. The site's proximity to Florence allows for week-end visits to major museums and archaeological sites.


Students research field notebooks and finds in preparation for their final projects

Minimum age: 18

Experience required: None

Room and Board arrangements: Students and staff are housed in several farm houses near the town of Vicchio. The program cost includes 3 or 6 hours of credit, lodging, meals (Monday-Friday), and local commute. This price does not include travel to and from Italy and weekend meals.


Illustrator JoAnn Boscarino's drawings of 2013 Poggio Colla food

 

 
View from Monte Giove of Vicchio, in the Mugello Valley

 

 


Excavation house, Vigna, home to Poggio Colla Field School students

 


Greg Warden and students Hannah and William Nutt study Poggio Colla coins

 


All-you-can-eat picnic lunch on Poggio Colla: salads, tuna, eggs,
meat, cheese, bread, tomatoes, peanut butter, fruit, and more.

 


Poggio Colla dinner: pasta, ribs, sausages, homegrown vegetables, dessert.

Contact information for Franklin College Switzerland:
Greg Warden, President
Franklin College Switzerland, Via Ponte Tresa 29, 6924 Sorengo-Lugano, Switzerland
gwarden@fus.edu

 


Fields of sunflowers abound in the Mugello Valley

"Education is what survives when what has been learned is forgotten."
--B.F. Skinner

We believe that the Poggio Colla Field School offers one of the best opportunities available to learn the process and theory of archaeological excavation. This program also introduces the student to the cultural history of the Etruscans. Every year we modify the field school, often as a result of student feedback, in the hope of improving the didactic aspects of our program. At the same time, this is a real excavation that must conform to the limits of budget and time. Therefore as a field student, you must first and foremost be a participant of this project, and as mandated by archaeological codes of ethics, the archaeological process is the number one priority.


Andrea Summers and Michael Thomas instruct Poggio Colla field school students

 


Students excavating pithoi, roof tiles, and other finds in Trench PC 34

If you are taking this course for undergraduate credit, your grade will be based on the criteria, outlined below, that also provide you with a percentage breakdown of how your final grade will be determined. The underlying principle is that your grade is highly dependent on performance and attendance: your attendance at both the lectures and daily fieldwork/lab-work is required, and it is critical to your learning experience and to the success of the field season. Coursework will be made up of excavation, laboratory research, pottery washing and processing and survey experience. Your daily fieldwork schedule can vary by the demands of the excavation change.


Students participate in a pottery workshop

 


Molly Palmison and Ali Neugebauer wash pottery from their trench

 


Site architect Jess Galloway teaches field school students to use survey instruments

 


Trench tours give students a broad overview of the site and excavation progress

 


British students directed by Phil Perkins in Trench NW 4

 


Jessica Aither, Danielle Belanger, and Maia Van Dyke in Trench PC 33

 


View across the Mugello Valley from the archaeological site of Poggio Colla

 


View of the Mugello Valley from Vigna, the main excavation house

 


Poggio Colla romance: Survey Consultant Thijs Nales and Lab Assistant
Courtney Brasher met on the site in 2008, and later married.

 

For links to Student Research Projects, Field Reports, Student Diaries, the Field School Manual, and Lectures, go to:

Current Field Season

For views into the daily life of the field school and excavation process, see:

Daily Life at Poggio Colla Field School

Site Set-Up

Excavation Process

Season's End

SMU MLS Program

Video clip: students digging in Trenches PC 34 and 38


2009 field school students excavating Trench PC 38 on the arx of Poggio Colla in Tuscany