25 November 2012

2013 Dates!

We've settled on the dates for next year's season: 9 June - 6 July. A bit earlier than last year, but that was a late one. As usual, students pick three weeks in there (or come for all four!), and visitors can have their choice.

See the website for more details.

A presto!

23 November 2012

The Vicus at the AIA

At this year's AIA conference in Seattle, WA, I'll be reporting on last season's results in the session "Rome and its Environs", on Saturday, January 5, 2:45 pm - 5:15 pm. See you there!

03 October 2012

Changes to the blog

I've been thinking for a bit about the name of this blog. When I started it, I connected it closely to my home institution, Drew University, and not to the site itself. In part this was because I wasn't sure how long the work would go on at the site, and in part because I expected the associated field school to be mainly populated by Drew students.

Well, the project is entering its sixth year (Yay!) and more than half of our students have not been from Drew and the site should be known for itself.

So it seems to make sense to re-name the blog and re-write its description to better reflect the current reality. I've decided to use a nice, short name for the URL, vicusmartis, and to keep the blog named according to the various inscriptions that appear in the church of S. Maria in Pantano and its tower, Vicus Martis Tudertium.

And there it is.

11 July 2012


Pretty sure that two posts in two weeks makes me a bad blogger, but I will persevere!

It's been hot here. Not as hot as some familiar parts of the US, but still hot, especially when you're outside working for more than a few hours a day. Fortunately the nights have been nice and cool, and breakfast temperatures are in the high 60s (high teens for the Europeans). Massa's pool has provided a few hours of relief for some, but it's hard not to feel the heat and sun after a few days of work.

We've been doing the usual range of recreational activities this year, with students taking a few side trips on the weekends, and more than a few staying in Italy after the dig is over for the same. Tonight we tried a new one: UmbriaJazz in Perugia. Nothing fancy, just a trip up in the minivan for dinner (on our own) and whatever free music we could catch. And there was plenty! Nice crowd and the evening cooled off enough from the extremely hot day to make it enjoyable.

Other of the usual events have included a spaghettata with friends of the dig from town (of course Otello was there!). Here's a photo of everyone getting ready to eat. No karaoke yet, but there was a little dancing. The main event is tomorrow night, so expect more photos!

Massa now has a lovely new park with an amphitheater of sorts, and they show films in the summer. Now that the micro-Olympics have ended (in victory for the Yellow Submarine team), they've started showing films in earnest. Last night was an eagerly awaited Rapunzel (Tangled).

Finally a little artwork from one of this year's students, Lucie. Everyone liked the new water coolers we bought, but one of them was familiar looking, so Lucie did a little work on it one evening.

After the second cooler arrived, well, how could she not work up that one too?

01 July 2012

Season Five!

I'm a little slow out of the blocks, because we're already one week into active digging!

We've got a good-sized group this season with eight undergraduate students, one graduate, two official Visitors, and a few friends stopping by. As usual we're working with the crew at Intrageo and with the support of the Comune of Massa Martana.

And, wow, it's hot here! It's been probably the hottest week I've ever had in Umbria, with temperatures peaking in the 90s/mid-30s every day. Today the internet says over 100°/40° in Massa, but since it's a Sunday, I'm lying low after a morning talk at the dig for a group of Italian tourists on a short visit to a number of sites in the area. We're keeping our place closed up during the day to keep the heat out and that's worked well so far, mostly because the evenings have been delightful, with lows around 70°/29°. They're predicting one more day of high heat, then a drop to something a bit more reasonable. We're going to take the precaution of starting a bit earlier this week, and doing a few of our local trips around noon. That way we'll be out of the sun for at least the very hottest part of the day.

Happy workers
More soon, but here's a photo of everyone on day one to whet the appetite.

22 May 2012


Just added to the blog support for the delightful javascript library for Ancient World Linked Data from my friend and colleague Sebastian Heath. (Inspired by Tom Elliott.)

Now I just have to start putting in the links (like this one to the site)!

For those watching for dig updates...one month to go!

26 February 2012

2012 Season Tuition Set

I'm happy to announce that we've been able to maintain tuition for this year's Vicus ad Martis field school at the same level as last year. Students will be able to earn 4 credits at the undergraduate level (or 3 at the graduate) for $3,500. This includes three weeks of room and board and local travel with the group to visit nearby sites.

Applications are being accepted on-line until April 16 at the Drew Off-Campus office. Please don't delay, if you know you're coming. This will help us to make some of the logistical arrangements in Italy. We're looking at a potentially larger crew than usual, and the sooner we have an idea of the exact number, the better.

Recently graduated high-school seniors - those entering college in the fall - are also welcome, and our Visitors program also allows (older) non-students to join us for periods as short as a week.

I just updated the project website with the tuition info (and a new front-page photo!).

Buona Domenica! (Happy Sunday!)

PS How's everyone like the new blog layout? I took one of my favorite Massa Martana photos and played around a bit with the fonts and header.

29 January 2012

Field School Dates Confirmed for Vicus ad Martis Tudertium 2012 Season

After much to'ing-and-fro'ing to make sure that I didn't miss out on my daughter's high-school graduation, we've settled on our dates for the 2012 season, our fifth, at the Vicus ad Martis Tudertium site:

24 June - 21 July, 2012

Those include the initial Sunday and final Saturday to make sure that everyone realizes they have to get to Italy the day before we actually get our hands dirty and that the last Friday is a workday. As usual I'll be there a few days earlier to get things set up.

Interested in attending? Check out the project website. And don't forget that you don't have to be a student to join us! Adult participants are welcome to come for a week or more. Contact me for details or see the Visitors section of the website..

Oh, and we've got a nifty flier for this year too, as you can see.