Classical Archaeology in the Department of the Classics

The Department of the Classics offers numerous opportunities to explore archaeology in the classical Mediterranean world. Students are encouraged to begin their study on campus with such courses as CLAS 234: The Archaeology of Greece or CLAS 235: The Archaeology of Italy. They may also pursue their study of ancient sites and artifacts at first-hand by participating in off-campus programs in Italy that vary in length and intellectual focus.

Colgate students stand under the shadow
of Vesuvius at the Forum of Pompeii
For example, an extended study course, CLAS 250: The Material Culture of Rome and Pompeii, enables students to visit for three weeks in May the ancient monuments of Rome and the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum that were destroyed in 79AD by the eruption of the volcano Vesuvius. (Successful completion of Latin 123: Elementary Latin or a higher level Latin language course is a prerequisite for CLAS 250.)




On Colgate's semester-long study group in Venice, Italy students also visit numerous archaeological sites and museum collections throughout the Italian peninsula as part of their study of the archaeology of Italy (CLAS 235Y). Fieldtrips scheduled during the course of the semester may take students, for instance, to prehistoric sites in the Italian Alps, Greek sites in Sicily, and southern Italy, and of course the Roman sites of Rome, Aquileia, and Pompeii.
Hiking in Alps near where
the "Ice Man," a Copper
Age mummy, was found on
the Venice Study Group
Sailing into the harbor of the ancient
city of Syracuse in Sicily on
the Venice Study Group
Gathering on the steps of the
Temple of Neptune at Paestum in
southern Italy on the Venice Study Group
Visiting the funerary monument of a
Roman woman from Aquileia on the Venice Study Group
Visiting excavations in the Roman Forum

Professor Rebecca Ammerman and
summer research assistant Karen
Johnson make videos of terracotta
statuettes at Paestum
Students have also been regularly involved in archaeological research at the Greek sites of Paestum and Metaponto in southern Italy as recipients of Student Humanities Summer Research Stipends . Here students are awarded summer grants to assist Professor Rebecca Miller Ammerman in her research on the ancient cults practiced at these thriving Greek city-states that were founded in southern Italy in the seventh century BCE. Days are regularly spent studying ancient artifacts at the site museums at Paestum and Metaponto
Tara McCann and Danielle Drimer study
terracotta figurines from Metaponto
in archaeological workrooms
. There are usually opportunities also to try one's hand at excavation.

Such undergraduate training in the classroom and in the field has enabled Colgate students to pursue graduate study in classical archaeology at the University of Michigan and Oxford University. A recent graduate, Rachel Mascetta CU '03, will be continuing her study of archaeology next year as a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Venice in Italy.
Rachel Mascetta studying Roman roads
in the Veneto region of Italy with
Professor Ammerman


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