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Archaeology & Anthropology Field Schools

Europe - Italy -Field School in Medieval Archaeology and Bioarchaeology at Badia Pozzeveri - 2012

Europe - Italy -Field School in Medieval Archaeology and Bioarchaeology at Badia Pozzeveri - 2012

Archaeology Field School Location and Dates

Application Deadline
Start Date 2012-07-09
End Date 2012-08-03

Multiple Session information


Archaeology Field School Location

Badia Pozzeveri, Altopascio, ITALY

Archaeology Field School Tuition and Credits

Sponsoring College/Institution

The Ohio State University (OSU)
University of Pisa (UniPi)
City of Altopascio

Academic Credit

Five (5)

Archaeology Field School Tuition

Payable to The Ohio State University. Tuition varies according to residence status; possibility of receiving credit through own institution available.

Archaeology Field School Room and Board

Covered by Support Fees (see below) - Accommodations are provided for the entire duration of the field school; meals are provided when the school is in session (i.e. Monday-Friday).

Archaeology Field School Travel
Airfare not included
Additional Information on Tution/Room and Board/Travel Costs

Support fees: $1295

These fees will cover housing, meals, excavation and laboratory equipment, and staff costs, and are payable in full upon admission.

Archaeology Field School Description

The Field School in Medieval Archaeology and Bioarchaeology at Badia Pozzeveri (Lucca, Italy) is an academic program aimed at training students in archaeological and bioarchaeological field and laboratory methods.

Excavations take place at the church of “San Pietro a Pozzeveri” in the municipality of Altopascio. Badia Pozzeveri is located approximately 10 miles east of the city of Lucca, capital of the Tuscan province of the same name. San Pietro’s church was once part of a Camaldolese monastery, which was founded in the 11th century on the shores of Lake Bientina. The medieval lake, now entirely dried up, extended between Lucca and the Arno River. The monastery flourished during the 12-13th centuries thanks to its location along the Via Francigena, a major trade and pilgrimage route, which connected France and Northern Europe with Rome throughout the entire Middle Ages. The monastery’s decline started in the 14th century and eventually led to its dissolution in the 15th century. San Pietro’s church remained as the village’s center of worship and is still in use. Previous excavations at the site have exposed the 19thc. cemetery and identified buried remnants of a post-medieval building adjacent to the church, as well as structures belonging to the medieval church and cloister. During the 2012 field season, the field school will continue to explore the medieval levels of the site, including the cemetery as well as the monastery’s ruins (the cloister, well, capitular hall, church, and fortifications).

The field school is part of a broader academic collaboration between The Ohio State University and the University of Pisa investigating biocultural complexity in the region surrounding Lucca during the Middle Ages. Specifically, the research project has the following objectives:

1. Excavation and analysis of the monastery’s cemetery, with particular attention to population demography, burial typology, and funerary ritual.

2. Bioarchaeological analysis of the medieval population buried at Badia Pozzeveri, with particular attention to biological diversity, paleopathology, and activity patterns.

3. Reconstruction of the settlement’s evolution from the Early Middle Ages until Modern times.

4. Analysis of material culture from a monastic center along the Via Francigena, with particular attention to trade dynamics, diffusion of technical knowledge and economic activities related to monastic life.

The field school at Badia Pozzeveri is an outstanding opportunity for students to gain practical experience in archaeological excavation and bioarchaeological investigation by working side-by-side with leading researchers in the field. The field school is designed to provide all participants with an in-depth knowledge of archaeological field methods – including survey, excavation, and GIS (Geographic Information Systems) – and bioarchaeological field and research methods – recovery, restoration, and analysis of human skeletal remains. Practical, hands-on experience in the field will be complemented by laboratory activity in archaeology and bioarchaeology. Lectures by the directors and instructors on their research will also provide students with insights in the theory and practice of archaeology and physical anthropology

Archaeology Field School Additional Information

Archaeology Field School Type

Medieval Archaeology and Bioarchaeology

Time Period

Middle Ages

Field School Setting/Conditions

The site is located in the municipality of Altopascio near Lucca. Students and staff will be housed about 1 mile from the site and about 1.5 miles from the city center.

Major cities of cultural interest are easily reached by train: Lucca (approx. 10 miles), Pisa (approx. 20 miles), Florence (approx. 40 miles).

How is the project area accessed each day

Typically, students will walk or ride bicycles to/from the site. For the entire duration of the field school, all students will be provided with bicycles, which will be at their disposal for visiting the surrounding area.

Faculty and staff will have vehicles for transportation of materials and supplies to and from the site, as well for any emergency transportation.

What is the daily schedule for the field school

Excavation will take place daily, Monday through Friday, between 8:00 am and 6:00 pm, with an hour lunch break.

Laboratories will be held regularly in parallel with excavation. Such activities will be held at the instructors’ discretion and will involve only small groups of students (4-5) at a time.

Lectures will be given in the morning once or twice a week. At the end of the working day students will have time to relax and shower. Dinner will be served at 8:30pm.

Number of years this Archaeology Field School has been in operation
Is there a professional certification for this field school


Directors and Instructors

Clark Spencer Larsen (OSU) & Gino Fornaciari (UniPi)

Antonio Fornaciari (UniPi)
Francesco Coschino (UniPi)
Giuseppe Vercellotti (OSU)

Graduate Research Assistants:
Marissa Stewart (OSU)
Tim Gocha (OSU)

Specialized skills you will have the opportunity to learn

1. Archaeological Survey Methods
2. Stratigraphic Excavation
3. Bioarchaeological Excavation
4. GIS and electronic data management
5. Restoration and Analysis of artifacts
6. Restoration and Analysis of human remains

On rain days will there be lab work?

In case of inclement weather, excavation will be replaced with laboratory activities and lectures.

Will there be additional organized activities?

The program includes some receptions/outreach lectures with the local community; visits to other sites are possible based on students' interest.

Will there be additional organized activities?

Excavation and lectures will not be held on weekends to give students the opportunity to enjoy their stay in Italy.

Is travel restriced during free time?

Students are welcome to take sightseeing trips to other cities, provided that they inform the instructors of their whereabouts and return on time for regular excavation and lecture activities. A travel form must be filled out for overnight stays off-site.

Other resources students will find useful

Previous students found the following sites helpful in planning their stay in Italy and sightseeing trips:

US Department of State’s Website - Italy:

Public Transportation -

Archaeology Field School Contact Information and Website

Field School Website:

Field School Contact Information

Giuseppe Vercellotti, MSc.

Department of Anthropology
The Ohio State University
4034 Smith Laboratory
174 West 18th Ave
Columbus, OH 43210

614.292.4149 (tel).
614.292.4155 (fax)

Field School Contact E-mail:
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Field School Contact Website:

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