Topic ID #36583 - posted 1/8/2016 11:36 AM

2016 Pran'e Siddi Field School in Italy


This field school is run by the Institute for Field Research. For any questions, please email or call us toll free at +1 (877) 839-4374. Institute for Field Research office address: 2999 Overland Ave. #103, Los Angeles, CA, 90064


Location: Siddi, Italy
Cost: $4,600
Course Dates: July 10 – August 13, 2016
Field School Website:

Attending students will be awarded 8 semester credit units (equivalent to 12 quarter units) through our academic partner, University of California Los Angeles.

Tuition includes registration, accommodations, programs, meals on workdays, and health insurance. Airfare, weekend meals, and optional excursions are additional.


Pran'e Siddi, or the Siddi Plateau, is a high basaltic plateau located in the south-central part of the island of Sardinia. The area around Siddi was inhabited by prehistoric villagers beginning in the Neolithic period (ca. 4,000-3,200 BCE). During the Middle Bronze Age (ca. 1,700-1,450 BCE), the previously egalitarian people began to develop a hierarchical social system with an elite who expressed their power and prestige through the building of monumental stone towers called nuraghi. By 1450 BCE the elite sites on the Siddi Plateau were abandoned and the population moved away. Previous archaeological work in the area suggested that the Nuragic elites may have been using unsustainable agricultural practices to gain wealth and support their power. The Pran'e Siddi Landscape Project was formed to conduct a more thorough investigation of Nuragic climate, environment, land use, and economic practices in the Siddi region. In 2016 we will dig deeper into what kind of pressures – social, environmental, and/or economic – could have made the Nuragic people abandon their towers on the plateau. Many of the questions we are trying to answer can be addressed through careful analysis of the remains the Nuragic people left behind, including pottery, animal bones, and bone, stone, and ceramic tools. During the Pran’e Siddi Landscape Project Laboratory Experience, students will contribute to ongoing research by analyzing animal bones, pottery, artifacts, and sediments recovered from the region in previous years.


Emily Holt
Dr. Emily Holt ( is an Adjunct Professor of Anthropology at the State University of New York at Buffalo. 


Students will live in comfortable, but modest, field housing in the towns of Villanovaforru and Siddi (both have around 700 inhabitants). Conditions at the field houses are basic: there is only one bathroom, hot water may run out, and students will share communal rooms. Mattresses will be provided, but it may be necessary for some students to sleep on mattresses on the floor. The houses include kitchens with cupboards where students can keep any snacks they wish to purchase.

MEALS: Breakfast during the week can be eaten at home or at one of the local cafes; lunch and dinner will be communal events that will introduce students to the traditions of Sardinian cuisine. Sardinian food is delicious and hearty, but students should be aware that meat plays a large role in it.  Specialized diets (vegan, kosher, etc.) are impossible to maintain in the context of this field school; vegetarians may attend but will find their options quite limited and may find it necessary to supplement group meals with foods they purchase themselves. The format of weekend meals will vary according to the field trip schedule, but their cost is included in the program fee. 



This laboratory experience has three main objectives:
(1) To introduce students to the theory, methodology, and laboratory practices of environmental and landscape archaeology
(2) To provide students with an understanding of the complex relationships between human behavior and environmental change as they are understood through archaeological materials,
(3) To acquaint students with the fascinating but little-known prehistoric culture of the Nuragic people on the island of Sardinia (Italy).

To achieve these objectives, this course has two primary goals:
(a) to provide students with a practical working knowledge of foundational laboratory methods in zooarchaeological, ceramic, and artifact analysis, including laboratory set-up and organization, best-practice laboratory procedures, record keeping, and artifact cataloging;
(b) to introduce students to the intellectual challenges presented by archaeological research, including research design, the recovery and interpretation of data, and the continual readjustment of hypotheses and methodologies in response to the information recovered.



Archaeological lab work involves long hours of continues work. You should be aware that conditions in the field are different than those you experience in your home, dorms or college town. Research work is intensive and involves working with ancient remains, soils and the lab will become dusty at times. This program operates in a typical Mediterranean environment. During the day, temperatures can reach 80o - 90o F. Humidity is relatively low, but some mosquitoes and flies are present. If you have any medical concerns, please discuss them with your doctor and/or project director as appropriate.


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