PEATS Italy – Policastro

Placement Dates: 2022 DATES TBC
Number of UK Participants: TBC
Duration: 32 days

PEATS Application form

This is an opportunity for UK-based archaeology students and recent graduates to participate on the Policastro Project in South Italy. The excavation is run by Etruria Nova Onlus, and is based in Salerno, south of Campania.

The site typology ranges from Roman urban settlement to post Medieval settlement. The group will be working alongside the Italian team excavating and recording. The working day is from 0830 – 1700

The site has been the focus of archaeological investigation since the 1960’s, where a series of excavations carried out by Venturino Panebianco in the area of the centro storico uncovered part of the Roman road of Buxentum

A new small test excavation was carried out in 1979 by archaeologist Clara Bencivenga Trillmich behind one of the medieval turrets, in via Vescovado. This uncovered a fair amount of ceramic fragments, dating back to a period between the fifth century BC and the full Middle Ages. From the same year, as part of a programme to consolidate and restore a section of the outer curtain of the medieval city walls, several small digs were directed by Werner Johannowsky, then an official the Culture Ministry’s Superintendency for Archaeological Heritage. These identified the remains of the city’s first defensive system, and, outside the city walls, part of a Roman necropolis.

In 2010, a succession of precautionary probes near Palazzo De Curtis brought to light some masonry structures from different eras, along with the remains of a male burial site dating back to the IV-V century AD.

Since 2011, the area has been the focus of a research and development project under the scientific supervision of the Superintendency for Archaeological Heritage of Salerno, Avellino and Benevento, in partnership with the City of Santa Marina and the Association of Archaeologists of Etruria Nova Onlus and the University of Genova, a private non-profit organization. Between 2011 and 2013 a series of archaeological surveys were carried out with the aim of defining the pattern, manner and timetable in which humans populated the territory. The first two excavation areas to be opened investigated the ancient urban neighbourhood preserved in the Notaio Pinto Archaeological Park and the Roman necropolis outside the ancient city walls.

Immediately outside a section of the city’s fortification, not far from the area dug up by Werner Johannowsky, were found the remains of two burials, probably classifiable as Roman, but unfortunately badly damaged by erosion of the hillside. The oldest burial remains were of the type known as “enchytrismos“; the corpse of a child had been placed inside an amphora, without its top, which was then buried in a narrow pit. Inside the tomb no further corroboratory evidence could be found beside the bones. The second tomb, more recent, contained the remains of 2 individuals, an adult and a child, buried in the style known as “alla cappuccino” (Capuchin style). The remains were placed directly on the bottom of a narrow pit, perhaps on top of a wooden base, fabric or other perishable material, and were covered with big roofing tiles under a pile of earth sealing the tomb. Again, no corroboratory evidence could be found with the bones.

For more information about the site and the area in general, please read the pdf’s available to download from the top of this page.

The group will be accommodated in apartments about 1km from Policastro town centre.

Things to bring with you:

Bedding, towels, any food stuffs you think you will find difficult to find if you have dietary requirements, steel capped boots, sturdy walking boots, light water proofs, long trousers, long t-shirts/shirts, gloves, hat, sun cream, insect repellent, flask, lunch box, trowel (WHS recommended) and any other equipment you may want to take with you (your own tape measures, drawing equipment etc marked up clearly as yours), back pack/ruck sack.

As with most archaeological sites, expect a degree of physical work. As with all our placements, participants are joining partner excavations. These are not UK led excavations. The group will be learning different methods and techniques that are used for this particular site, so must expect differences in how the site is run.


The Erasmus + grant will cover return flights, train travel to the pick up point at Sapri train station, accommodation, food, transport to site and supervision.  Participants will also have to make sure they have their EHI card. They will also have to budget for extra food meals out, extra snacks), excursions and personal purchases.

If you are interested in this placement, then the application form is available to download on the PEATS Archaeology main page.

For past participants feedback, please refer to our Participants Reports page

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission

This publication [communication] reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.