Archaeology Field School: Tuscania (Italy)

ANT / ANC / HIS - 282 / 283 T - 6 Credits
Archaeological Excavation Project of the Etruscan necropolis of Orientalizing & Archaic period of Sasso Pinzuto, Tuscania (VT)
Excavation and Scientific Director: Prof. Alessandro Naso (University of Naples, CAMNES)


The Field School

Lorenzo de' Medici and CAMNES run a four-week intensive Archaeology Field School under the direction of a team of professional archaeologists. This program gives the opportunity to learn and work in a real excavation environment while gaining an understanding of ancient Etruscan culture and archaeological methods. In previous sessions of the Field School students have uncovered important archaeological finds such as a mirror with incised gods, now exhibited at the National Museum of Tuscania. Students play an active role in the excavation of the Etruscan necropolis (city of dead) near Tuscania. Through field trips and by examining the abundance of materials found in this region, students learn about the lives of the ancient Etruscans from archaeological evidence and literary sources. This program is an exciting and unique opportunity for a firsthand look at archaeological fieldwork and a new approach in understanding ancient civilizations. 

Tuscania and the Etruscan Necropolis

The archaeological area of Tuscania (VT) consists of several necropolises (cemeteries) that stretch all around the modern town and that probably corresponded to different settlement cores, which haven't been brought to light yet. LdM started to investigate two newly discovered "cities of the dead", Pian delle Rusciare and Podere Pratino in 2005, with the support of CAMNES. Both necropolises are from the 3rd-2nd century BC (Hellenistic period) and have ipogeum tombs. In these underground environments, Etruscans buried their dead and deposited their belongings when celebrating funerary rituals. Many tombs had been violated over the years; however several have been left intact revealing an incredible number of ancient artifacts. Tomb N.20, for example, held 47 graves with a total of over 450 objects that LdM students and CAMNES are currently restoring in the 'Archaeology Workshop' course in Florence. 


Last week I participated to the excavation in Tuscania: it was a thrilling experience.
Bringing to light objects and contexts of the life and death of our ancestors of 2400 years ago is something quite different from visiting an archaeological site already equipped for tourists.
It almost seems to get in touch with them, and to retrace their steps in accompanying their relatives to the afterlife.
For me it was great.
I wanted to thank all those who participated in the excavation who with infinite patience, total availability and expertise have answered all my questions and curiosities.
If fate does not decide otherwise, I would like to book also for next year, in Tuscania or in any other place chosen by CAMNES.
I also would like to book for the restoration activities of the artifacts during the Winter season.
Thanks again to all.
F. Agnoloni

The comments of a Field School participant The comments of a Field School participant

The Archaeology Field School Experience

General information

Arrival Thursday July 4th - Departure Thursday August 1st 2024

Sasso Pinzuto, Tuscania (VT) LdM Tuscania, Italy.

See separate price list on Lorenzo de' Medici web site 

Prerequisites and Requirements: 
  • Please consult the Health and Safety section ( students/health-and-safety/) on the LdM website to learn about the Covid-19 related requirements to attend LdM courses
  • An up-to-date tetanus inoculation
  • International Medical / travel insurance
  • It is of paramount importance that every student communicates to the enrollment offices any allergies, food intolerances or any kind of medical issues upon enrollment.
  • No prerequisites and no experience of archaeology or knowledge of Italian are needed. The principal qualifications include a strong academic record, a desire to learn more about archaeology and the Etruscan civilization, and an enthusiasm to dig.
  • Participants must bear in mind that the archaeological field school of Tuscania is a full-time workshop within a professional archaeological research project that includes a five day per week involvement including lessons, archaeological field activities and visits. Participants have Saturdays and Sundays off.
  • The schedule includes a lot of fieldwork and walking during field trips. While at the archaeological site, fieldwork requires digging, stooping, bending and exposure to sun, wind and/or rain. This field school is not recommended to participants with allergies to sun and/or dust. 
In the first part of the course, participants take classes that introduce them to the civilization of the ancient Etruscans as well as to basic archaeological theory and practice. Students also visit a number of local Etruscan sites and have field trips to some world famous Etruscan sites, such as Tarquinia, Cerveteri, Tuscania and the Archaeology Museum of Villa Giulia in Rome. During the final three weeks of the course students participate in the excavation of important Etruscan burial sites, it is therefore requested full cooperation and hard fieldwork labour. Participants must bear in mind that working days go from Mondays to Fridays. 

Participants are responsible for proper usage and storage of their assigned tools and materials. Each participant is required to personally provide the following equipment, necessary to work on the archaeological dig:
  • Simple, comfortable clothing for working in hot weather
  • Long trousers
  • Safety-shoes (i.e. with a steel toe)
  • Good-quality 100% cotton hat
  • Strong sunscreen
  • Bug spray
  • Water bottle
  • Working gloves
  • An note-book to be used as an Activity Journal.

Participants must bear in mind that all above- mentioned equipment and materials are MANDATORY and must be brought from home. If participants are found devoid of any of these items, the director of the project may deny excavation access.
Further details will be given during the first class. Participants will be provided with necessary work and study materials, covered by the tuition.


Prospective applicants must contact Lorenzo de' Medici for further details about the program and how to apply.
A maximum of 20 participants are accepted, with preference given to early applicants.

Deadline for applications: May 15th, 2024

The Tuition Fee includes
  • the entire course for a minimum of 148 contact hours and 6 credits (no additional registration fees required)
  • transfer from Rome International Airport ‘Leonardo da Vinci’ to Tuscania and back
  • accommodation in a typical and suggestive B&B, double room with private bathroom
  • weekday breakfast at the B&B or at a Café, weekday lunch at the excavation
  • travel connected with course related activities
  • scheduled museum entries
  • social and cultural events organized by the institute 
  The Tuition Fee does NOT include 
  • meals other than scheduled (i.e. dinner, week-end meals, etc)
  • beverages (to be paid on site)
  • required personal materials (to be brought from home)
Further details and suggestions about expenses will be given during enrollment and first classes.


Download Brochure 2024


To Enroll:
If you are seeking academic CREDITS you must enroll through Lorenzo de' Medici Institute here:

If you are NOT seeking credits please CONTACT US

Suggested readings

  • Etruscan Studies: Journal of the Etruscan Foundation 1994-2010 (available online at: http:// 
  • Rasenna: Journal of the Center for Etruscan Studies 2007; 2009 (available online at: http://
  • S. Haynes, Etruscan Civilization. A Cultural History, Oxford (Oxford University Press) 2005. 
  • M. Torelli, The Etruscans, New York 2001.
  • M. Sprenger, G. Bartoloni, The Etruscans. Their History, Art, Architecture, New York 1983. 
  • T. F. Borrelli and M.L. Targia. The Etruscans. Art, History, Architecture. British Museum press. 
  • G. Barker, T. B. Rasmussen, The Archaeology of an Etruscan Polis: a Preliminary Report on the Tuscania Project (1986 and 1987 Seasons), in BSR 56, 1988, pp. 25-42.
  • T. B. Rasmussen, Tuscania and its Territory, in Roman Landscapes. Archaeological Survey in the Mediterranean Region (Archaeological Monographs of the British School at Rome, 2), London 1991, pp. 106-114.
  • N.A. Winter, Symbols of wealth and power. Architectural terracotta decoration in Etruria and Central Italy, 640-510 BC, Ann Arbor 2010, pp. 561-562.
  • A.M. Moretti Sgubini, S. Costantini, Testimonianze della cultura di Tuscania tra orientalizzante antico e medio, in L’Etruria delle necropoli rupestri, atti del XXIX Convegno di Studi Etruschi e Italici, Tuscania, Viterbo. 26 – 28.10.2017, Roma 2019, 275-304.
  • G. Scardozzi, Gli ipogei della necropoli etrusca di Casale Galeotti (Tuscania): tipologie architettoniche e trasformazioni, in Daidalos 17, Miscellanea di archeologia, topografia antica e filologia classica, a cura di G.M. Di Nocera, Viterbo 2019, 81-128.
  • G. Barker, T. Rasmussen, In the Footsteps of the Etruscans. The Tuscania Archaeological Survey, London, in press.
The necropolis is within the Caponetti property nearby Tuscania (VT, Italy)

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