Heralded as one of the most important projects on Roman epigraphy, economy, and commerce, Monte Testaccio combines the efforts of the University of Barcelona and ArchaeoSpain to inspect the pottery shards from an artificial mound 45 meters (135 feet) high and spanning a city block that was created by centuries of discarded amphorae. Many of the shards still bear the import and export markings, including the names of traders and dates of transportation.
Once an ancient pottery dump, Monte Testaccio is now one of the largest archives of Roman commerce in the world.
Those who join us will participate in all aspects of this project: Artifact washing and identification, cataloguing, and restoration. There will also be a few after-work lectures on the research and a workshop on drawing pottery.
Monte Testaccio is located in the southern part of central Rome near the Tiber River. Our neighborhood is close to the historical center, but without the chaos of people and traffic.
While the crew is mostly Spanish, don’t worry if you don’t speak Italian or Spanish – an English-speaking archaeologist will guide you. Nevertheless, we hope that our students take advantage of the multilingual environment to learn some new words and phrases.
And the city of Rome offers unlimited options for classical world enthusiasts. There will be many opportunities during the program for participants to enjoy the city, from its busy cafes and restaurants to all the historical sites.
In cooperation with students’ universities, academic credit can be obtained.
*Several photos courtesy of the Center for the Study of Provincial Interdependency in the Classical World in Barcelona and Shelly Martin.