Friend 1

Further Opportunities

Villa Romana di Vacone

Rutgers University Archaeological Field School in Italy  (3 or 6 Credits)


Dates: July 10, 2016—July 24, 2016

Credits: 3, Undergraduate and Graduate


Cost: Approximately $2599 for NJ residents and $2923 for out-of-state residents; see Prof. Farney about our 6 credit options.

Contact Info: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (lead instructor and project coordinator

Websites: & Facebook: “Villa Romana di Vacone”

Educational Goals and Expectations: This program will introduce students to a variety of archaeological techniques while helping to significantly advance research for our project. The project is entitled, “The Upper Sabina Tiberina Project”; a fuller description of the site, project and staff, and practical information about living in the Sabina, can be found at: We expect to do research on the Republican period of this area (ca. 290 to 30 BCE), but we know of Imperial, late Antique and Medieval cross-over sites. For the summer of 2016, we plan to focus on the Roman Republican villa site at Vacone.

Graduate students will have two options of study in this project. They can participate in the regular field school excavation project (July 10 to July 30) and an intensive course of conservation (July 31 to August 13) for 6 credits, or they can simply participate in the intensive course of restoration and conservation (July 31 to August 13) for 3 credits. For the former option, graduate students will join the undergraduate field school operations while it begins to uncover the site and the expected material that will be found that will need conservation, and then switch to conservation on July 31. Please note that all students engaged in conservation will need to stay at the field school during the weekend of Sat. August 6 and Sun. August 7; during that particular weekend their food and lodging costs are included in the costs of the field school.

The regular field school excavation project will focus on learning and executing traditional archaeological excavation and recovery techniques: excavation; geophysical survey; and some preliminary historical preservation of materials. Students will learn these techniques by doing them under the supervision of faculty and staff, and by a series of lectures and workshops scattered throughout the program.

The intensive course of restoration and conservation will build on previous operations and interventions at the site of Vacone conducted by the Italian Archaeological Service. These previous interventions can be characterized as “rescue” restorations to preserve the standing architectural remains (namely, two criptoporitici), during the course of which mosaics were discovered and some of these conserved and removed. It is evident from these operations of this restoration and from remains visible on the site today that mosaics remain to be found that will need to be restored (in situ), and traces of painted wall plaster and a variety of small finds (mostly pottery fragments) have been discovered that will require some form of conservation treatment. The work of this course will focus on cleaning and stablizing these remains.

Weekly Discussion: In addition to regular field-work and lab-work, we will have regular discussion of assigned readings. The lectures will be on topics of historical interest and relevance to our site and the project, and on topics relating to the science of archaeology. Some of these discussions will take place with the undergraduate students, who will be assigned the same readings; the others will be a more in depth discussion with just graduate students and staff.

Department of Art History
Voorhees Hall
71 Hamilton Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
  Phone 848.932.7041
Fax 732.932.1261