What to Expect

The Gabii Project is a very serious undertaking with real, groundbreaking discoveries being made each day. This process would be impossible without the passion and dedication of our student volunteers. It is very important to understand that duties on-site involve safe, yet strenuous physical labor in temperatures up to 100º Farenheit. In the field, students are expected to carry out the tasks assigned to them to the safest extent; periodic breaks built into the day provide a chance to rest and escape the heat, and students are urged to monitor their energy and take small water/shade breaks as conditions necessitate.

With such great work come great rewards. The site of Gabii is full of unexpected treasures and special finds, often discovered by our volunteers. The insights provided by such revelations can provide great starting points for research projects and theses, besides simply expanding a student’s understanding of ancient Italian culture. Furthermore, Gabii is a premiere field program boasting international acclaim for both the archaeological work being performed and the pedagogical value of the instruction. Students can be absolutely certain that the methods they learn in the field at Gabii are on the cutting edge of excavation practices and will be useful at any future excavation. With all the opportunities available to students, it is easy to see why many of our alumni count The Gabii Project as a critical experience in their studies.

All volunteers are assigned to an excavation area, where they will work with various teams excavating several stratigraphic units. Each team will be supervised by experienced excavators. Students are expected to follow the instructions of their supervisors, for both their own safety and the integrity of the excavation. Additionally, the field program will expose participants to all facets of fieldwork, including working with ceramics and other archaeological materials, environmental sampling, flotation, topography, conservation, and documentation.  A regular rotation will be established for field program participants.

During the week, students should expect to be ready to depart from the main residence building by 6:45 AM. Arriving at the dig site by 7:30, work will commence as soon as everyone has acquired their tools and safety equipment and lasts until 4:30 PM, with two breaks. The first break takes place at 10 AM, and lasts 20 minutes, and a bagged lunch is served from 1:00-2:00 PM. Generally, students arrive back at their residences by 5:30 PM; periodic catered dinner lectures illuminating various areas of archaeological endeavor will be given after students’ return. Students enrolled for credit are required to attend these lectures, and all other participants are strongly encouraged to do so as well.