Summer School in Classical Archaeology

Previous Editions

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Scenes from the 2016 Vada Volaterrana harbour quarter excavation: students at work in Room 9.

 

A recent GPR (Ground Penetrating Radar) survey allowed us to identify in the Southern sector of the harbour settlement, the structures of one or more new buildings, whose excavation started in 2013.

 

The 2016 edition

The 2016 excavation focused both on the Late Antiquity cemetery and on some rooms, added at the end of the IInd cent. AD to the rectangular building.

The building: further developments

East of room 8, already discovered in 2015 and completely dug out in 2016, a large rectangular room (no. 9) was found. The surface as a whole is covered by a huge layer of broken roof-tiles, not already dug out and likely to be the floor of a workshop. One more room has been discovered east of room 9; its perimeter walls were lavishly decorated with marble slabs. Therefore, it was a very important part of the building.

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Plan of the building currently under excavation in Vada Volaterrana and (on the right) a reconstruction of its Western sector.

 

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The new sector of the building dug in 2016: Rooms 8, 9 (a metal workshop?) and 10 (a “marble hall”). Down on the left the treshold of Room 9.

 

The necropolis

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Students digging a female tomb during the 2016 season

As we have already discovered in the recent years, during the Vth-VIth cent. AD – the building been already abandoned – the area and the structures were used as a cemetery – a common practice in Late Antiquity.

Despite containing no grave-goods, the burials allow us to get a privileged insight into the local community life. Tunisian amphoras for olive-oil or fish sauces were often used as coffins for burying children – inside two of these containers, we have found the skeletons of two children. Simple graves dug in the soil were used for adults. The Vada Volaterrana Anthropology Lab – started in 2015 – has begun studying these remains during the Summer school. Looking for the results? So, go for the full 2016 report (and those of the previous campaigns) here – the relevant download link is down on this page – and apply for the 2017 campaign!

 

 

 

Digging V-VI cent. AD tombs in the settlment of Vada Volaterrana

Digging V-VI cent. AD tombs in the settlment of Vada Volaterrana

 

Download full report

The full report of the 2015 edition of the Digging Vada Summer School can be downloaded in PDF format from here: report_vada_volaterrana_harbour_project_2016

The full report of the 2015 edition of the Digging Vada Summer School can be downloaded in PDF format from here: Summer_School_Report_2015

The full report of the 2014 edition of the Digging Vada Summer School can be downloaded in PDF format from here: Summer School 2014 Report

The full report of the 2013 edition of the Digging Vada Summer School can be downloaded in PDF format from here: Summer_School_2013_Report

 

Going on investigating: the 2017 campaign…

During the 2017 Vada Volaterrana Harbour Project campaign, we’ll go on both field survey and excavation.

On-site we’ll focus on the following activities:

  • digging the roof-tiles layer in room 9 and digging out the room with marble veneers, in order to understand their full stratigraphical sequence and the final aim they were built for,
  • excavation of cemetery’s tombs we found in 2016,
  • discovering of more tombs, in order to identify the cemetery’s extension