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Queen's University

Matera Excavation

matera imagesDr. Colivicchi's Italian fieldwork practicum will not be visiting Matera in 2012, but will instead focus on the new excavation site at Caere. 

Between 2007 and 2011, Dr. Fabio Colivicchi directed the Matera Excavation Project through the Department of Classics.  This excavation project offered students an intensive introduction to archaeological methods and interpretation, including laboratory practice and field activities (excavation, survey, mapping) in ancient sites of South-East Italy. The classes and labs were held at Matera, while the sites under investigation were located near Taranto. The course, four- or six-weeks long, took place during May, June or July.  

Course Program

An introductory week (classes on field archaeology, the history and archaeology of the area, drawing of ancient pottery and visits to sites and museums) in the city of Matera in the first week, and a daytrip to the main sites and museums of the area. The excavation team stayed at the Hostel Le Monacelle (hostel accommodation, but very convenient location and great view).

The team then moved on to the excavation site (Torre di Satriano), where they excavated a site of the native population of S Italy dating to the 6th-4th c. BC, with a blend of local culture and Greek influence and imports. You can find some slides and a text (in Italian) about the site here Also see

There were also two more daytrips to archaeological sites (Pompeii/Herculaneum and Paestum) during the excavation period.

Estimated Costs (2011 season)

The section below outlines the details of the associated costs for the 2011 season as they were given to students.

  • 800 euros for accommodation (4 weeks), including breakfast on week 1, lunch and dinner on weeks 2-4, bus rental for daytrips, etc.
  • Tuition for a full-credit course.


  • travel from Canada to Matera and back to Canada
  • your meals other than breakfast on week 1
  • your breakfast on week 2-4
  • meals during daytrips
  • personal expenses

There is also the option of applying as a volunteer, which means without taking credits, no assignments and no tuition due. The number of volunteers we can take is limited.

I will let you know as soon as possible if you have been selected. There will be a reserve list in case students who have been selected change their mind or more places are made available.

Funding opportunities for students who join the course:

The Department of Classics will have about $4,000 in travel awards, which will be shared by the students who apply for one and are selected by the awards committee.

There are also two awards made available by the Basilicata Cultural Society of Canada for students who take this course and who have taken a course of Italian at Queen's. Please check with the Department of Spanish and Italian for details.

If you would like to learn more about this excavation project, please contact Dr. Fabio Colivicchi ( at the Department of Classics. 

Department of Classics, 505 Watson Hall
Kingston, Ontario, Canada. K7L 3N6.
P: 613.533.2745 | F: 613.533.6739