Welcome to the web site of the Mugello Valley Archaeological Project and Poggio Colla Field School. This web site presents current information about the excavation project co-directed by Professor P. Gregory Warden, a Classical archaeologist and Associate Dean of the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University, and by Professor Michael Thomas of the Tufts University. The project is sponsored by the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University, Franklin and Marshall College, and by the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.

For information on the year 2005 Field School at Poggio Colla, click here: Field School.

The Mugello Valley in Tuscany.

This Etruscan excavation is part of a long-term project which centers on Poggio Colla, a site in the Mugello near the modern town of Vicchio, about twenty miles northeast of Florence, Italy. Poggio Colla was first excavated from 1968 to 1972 by Dr. Francesco Nicosia, the former Superintendent for the Archaeology of Tuscany. With Dr. Nicosia's permission and encouragement, the excavations have continued to reveal a site that promises to contribute tremendously to our knowledge of Etruscan Italy.

The excavation functions also as the Poggio Colla Field School, allowing students from North American and European universities to participate in the excavation project each summer while studying Etruscan archaeology and archaeological field techniques.

View of trenches in the Podere Funghi during the 2004 field season.

A long-term goal of our project is an interdisciplinary regional landscape analysis of the area around Poggio Colla. Through the integrated use of geomorphology, archaeology (both survey and excavation), and history, we hope to create a kind of landscape archaeology for the region.

Part of the mission of our project is pedagogical. If archaeology is to survive as a discipline into the next century, it will have to develop a broader base of support and will have to change its image from an elite and esoteric discipline understood by only a chosen few. Archaeological sites are becoming endangered by pollution, construction, and human pressures that run the gamut from neglect to outright vandalism. We hope that over the years, through our field school, we will train a large number of individuals, some of whom may go on to become professional archaeologists, but most of whom, no matter what their career, will become advocates of cultural and archaeological preservation.

Field Students removing backfill from trenches on Poggio Colla in 2005.

We hope to make our site and our cause known to a greater public through the use of the Internet, CD-ROMs, and an outreach program in the United States and Italy. Every year we publish an annual report that is deliberately unscholarly, without footnotes or jargon. These reports provide insight into our excavation strategy and the changing interpretation of the site. We will continue to publish informal annual reports and will include them on this website. Additionally, we have published a scholarly report on the 1995 and 1996 seasons in Etruscan Studies; the 1995 through 1998 seasons in the Journal of Roman Archaeology; and the 1998 and 1999 seasons in Etruscan Studies.

While in the field, the team will report on their activities through periodic updates of this website. Additional reports on special projects and research, distinguished visiting professionals, and other materials will be added as they become available. Stay tuned.