The application deadline for the program has been rescheduled to May 20, 2024.


The Field School Montaione in Archaeology, Survey and Material Culture is focused on the archaeological investigation of a 1st – 5th century AD Roman Thermae copmplex and welcomes students in anthropology, archeology, classic history, historical topography and allied disciplines at undergraduate and graduate levels. The Field School has no formal prerequisites.

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A program offered in collaboration with:

Field School Montaione in Archaeology, Survey and Material Culture

Field School in Montaione in Archaeology, Survey and Material Culture is a program offered by the Municipality of Montaione (Florence) in collaboration with the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Archaeological Association of the Val D’Elsa Fiorentina and Associazione Culturale Cetra, powered by IRLAB aimed at training students in archaeological, anthropological, historic and topographic methods and topics. It is an outstanding opportunity for students to gain knowledge in stratigraphy investigation from an immersive field course in the thermae area of a wider rural complex belonging to the Roman Republic.

Program & Dates

July 1st – 27th, 2024

The school is designed to provide all attendees with an advanced knowledge of applied stratigraphy method, topographic surveys and analysis, GIS and photogrammetry, material culture and the study of the relationships between the site and the not yet discovered village it belonged to.

Students will gain experiential skills in on-site recordkeeping, documentation, and laboratory practice, including data management and the interpretation of archaeological evidence. Students can expect to participate in weekly lectures and labs will several experts, as well as take visits to local museums and sites with Montaione staff.

The official language of the Summer School is English and no knowledge of Italian is required.

Program includes:

  • Field excavation of Thermae complex
  • Weekly labs/lectures specializing in:
    • Survey
    • Topography
    • GIS (Including use of total stations)
    • Photogrammetry
    • Material Culture study and analysis


Housing is provided in an old countryside farm that has been converted into a hostel for relaxing tourist holidays. Students will sleep in dorm-style rooms of 2, 4, 6, or 8. The hostel has a swimming pool, which students may use after excavation. The excavation site is a 10 minute walk away.

Participants in the Summer School will be provided with breakfast, lunch and dinner from Monday to Friday.

Students are encouraged to explore the neighboring towns and cities, though they are welcome to stay at the hostel. The center of Montaione is about a 30 minute walk away from the accomodation. From there students may catch buses to cities, though we also plan to have some local trips curated by our local archaeologists during the week.

Structure and Methodologies

The course will be offered in English (with optional Italian translation) in the following formats:

  • Field practice
  • Lectures
  • Discussions
  • Labs
  • Workshops
  • Cultural trips

Working Hours

Monday through Friday, 8:00am-6:00pm (including one hour lunch break).

An occasion to visit Italy
Montaione is located in a strategic position that allows you to reach the main cities and touristic localities easily. In 40 mins you can get to Pisa, the leaning tower city. Florence, considered the birthplace of the Renaissance, featuring countless monuments and art masterpieces, is only 45mins. The connection to Rome is direct with a 3-hour trip. You can also reach the city of Volterra, located in the interior of Tuscany, with its many archeological monuments, and in 2 hours you can reach the pearls of Ligurian tourism, the Cinque Terre.


Program coordinators
On-field staff
Academic coordinators
  • Francesco Coschino (IRLAB)
  • Alessandro Cariboni (IRLAB)

4-week session, accommodations & meals included

The cost covers Field School activities (excavation practice, lectures, laboratory activities and instruments), meals (MON to FRI: breakfast, lunch and dinner), accommodation and airport pick-up service (set schedule). Additional documentation and payment processing fees (not to exceed $80/session) will be applied to the final invoice.


The course is open to up to 18 undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate students in archeology, anthropology or allied disciplines from any country and institution. Current enrollment in a university is not a requirement; all applications are evaluated equally and acceptance decisions are primarily based on merit.

Should minimum attendance requirement of 18 students not be met, course will be cancelled.

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Admission Procedure

The Summer School has no formal prerequisites; students will be fully trained for all the activities they experience. Students interested in applying to the Summer School must fill out and submit the online Application Form.

Students must have valid international health and injury insurance (made available through student travel centers) and must provide the insurance provider’s contact information, as well as the policy number, including a proof of tetanus vaccination (or booster) within the last 10 years.

All students must read and accept the terms of the IRLAB Participation Agreement to participate in the program; a signed release form must be submitted prior to the start date of the Summer School.

Students will be required to pay fees in full within 15 business days of receipt of the invoice in case of admission. In case of student withdrawal, all fees minus a non-refundable deposit of $500 will be refunded until May 19, 2023. After May 19, 2023 fees will not be refunded. In the unlikely event of course cancellation, fees will be refunded in full (any applicable processing fees may not be refunded). Failure to provide all the above-mentioned documents and payment within the terms specified at the time of admission will constitute an automatic forfeiture of the student’s place in the summer school.

The application deadline is May 20, 2024. However, applications are reviewed as soon as they are received and successful applicants accepted right away.

Curriculum vitae and/or reference letters (e-mails) may be requested. The staff reserves the right to verify any of the information reported in the application form and request supporting documentation (e.g., advising reports; references) in its sole discretion. Staff will make final decisions regarding enrolment.

Acceptance will be communicated by e-mail. Upon acceptance, students will receive detailed instructions on how to submit required documentation and payments.


At the end of the program every participant will be provided with:

  • Certificate of attendance from the Sistema Museale della Val D'Elsa Fiorentina
  • Certificate of attendance from IRLAB

Although run independently of a specific university, participants may obtain academic credit for their participation in the program through independent study. We have a decade of experience working with students, their advisors, and administrative staff to develop customized independent study plans.

If you are interested in obtaining academic credits, please indicate your preference in your application. If you would like to obtain academic credits for the program, please consult with your advisors regarding the option to enroll in independent studies or an equivalent course at your university and having your advisor assign a grade based on our evaluation of your performance (as well as any additional requirements they may deem appropriate). If your advisor agrees to this arrangement, at the end of the program, IRLAB will send them a written evaluation and grade recommendation.

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As IRLAB prepares for the possibility of holding in-person programs for the 2024 season and beyond we ask that interested participants keep in mind the following:

  1. Participants are advised not to purchase intercontinental flights without having consulted the guidelines of their government and without being sure that the program will take place.
  2. The successful operation of any in-person program will depend upon strict adherence to safety protocols based on the most up-to-date public health information.
  3. Restrictions may come from any level, including international travel to local municipal regulations, meaning that the restrictions in your community may differ from those at the project location.
  4. Due to this level of uncertainty, in-person programs may need to be cancelled with minimal prior notice.

While we sincerely hope to get back in the field with our incredible students at new and existing sites, IRLAB must prioritize health, safety, and adherence to regulations first and foremost. Should in-person programs be offered for the 2024 season, we will be updating interested students as often as possible.

We appreciate your continued patience and understanding!

Application form

Dear Applicants,
Please note that places in the program are assigned to successful students on a first come, first served basis; hence, it is advisable that you apply as soon as possible to increase your chances of being admitted.

If you have any questions regarding the program, contact prior to submitting an application form.
Thank you for your interest in our program and good luck!

    Current Institution

    Current Academic Status

    Major, Minor, Institution and GPA

    Statement of Interest

    Academic References

    Acknowledgement of Understanding

    Acceptance will be communicated by e-mail. Upon acceptance, students will receive detailed instructions on how to submit required documentation and payments.
    Students will be required to pay fees by the invoice sent by mail in case of admission. In case of student withdrawal, all fees minus a non-refundable deposit will be refunded until the deadline of the program. After the deadline of the program fees will not be refunded. In the unlikely event of course cancellation, fees will be refunded in full (any applicable processing fees may not be refunded).