Archeodig in Populonia

October 19, 2012 / Art & Archaeology
Golfo di Baratti, Populonia, Tuscany
Quietly excited voices in English and Italian blend as their discoveries unfold. Groups of volunteers, students, and young archaeologists gather at the ancient Etrucan/Roman sites (700 BC – II AD) overlooking the scenic Bay of Baratti at Populonia.

They are part of the Archeodig Project of the Archaeological Field School in Tuscany which began in 2008 with the purpose of designing, managing and coordinating archaeological excavations in the area. They are working to further our knowledge of the history of Populonia and its territory. It is the most active archaeological site in Europe and the location is blessed with the incomparable beauty of the sea, hills and bountiful nature.

Populonia was the only Etruscan city built on the sea and was the foremost centre for iron smelting and trade in the Mediterranean. Its proximity to Elba and the ancient mines of the colline metallifere (lit., Ore Hills) of Campiglia Marittima placed it in this favourable position in the industrial heartland of the (ancient) Mediterranean. This brought riches and cultural diversity the echoes of which still seem to whisper between the umbrella pines and gentle waves, reminding us that behind the busy industrial activities there was a serene and privileged – and still mysterious and compelling Etruscan culture.

The Archelodig project is linked to the non-profit organization “Past in Progress” and is also linked to the Earthwatch institute. It is under the Superintendence of Archaeological Heritage in Tuscany and under the able direction of Carolina Megale, PhD.

If you fancy your own immersion into the past and want to have a hands on experience learning archaeological techniques at a real site, consider joining in:,, or their facebook page.

Stay tuned to for news of the Archeodig projects at San Cerbone ( 7th -4th BC) and the Roman villa of Poggio del Molino (II AD),  both at Populonia.

Pat Carney

by Pat Carney

Pat Carney-Ceccarelli ( happily divides her time between Campiglia Marittima and Cambridge, UK.

13 Responses to “Archeodig in Populonia”

  1. Evanne

    Beautifully written, Pat. Your passion about what you are doing just dances off the note. You’re welcome to visit us any time…we’re only about an hour away.We’d love to get to know you better!

  2. Kudos to the volunteers, and lucky them. What a great project! Hoping to be involved in the ‘restoration’ in Tuvixeddu (Cagliari, Sardegna) at some point. Italy has great opportunities in the archeology field -for sure.

  3. So exciting Pat! Beautifully written article. Thank you for this contribution to the
    remembrance of a way of life and culture splendidly placed.

  4. Wow! These pictures take me right there. Thanks for this note. I absolutely adore the mysteries of the Etruscans and I’m hoping that I can get plugged into the archeology groups!

    • GB

      Spooky indeed! Yet at the same time.. wow, what a fascinating experience. Baratti/Populonia, a special place for sure.

  5. Evanne

    Sorry! My first comment was incorrect…We’re more than three hours from where you are working. An intrepid reader caught my error. We’d love to meet you, anyway. Good for you for all you are doing to unlock secrets of an earlier age.

    • Pat Carney Ceccarelli
      Pat Carney Ceccarelli

      Evanne, three hours sound a potential delight and would love to meet you! Let’s see what unfolds.

  6. Pat Carney Ceccarelli
    Pat Carney Ceccarelli

    Hope to catch the last day of the Roman villa dig so will be in touch again soon!

  7. Anne Robichaud

    Enjoyed the article…and more news on the Etruscans. Savored some of the wonders at Vulci this past summer….and had a MOST interesting talk for many hours with a “tombarolo”!
    Elderly and still appassioned.
    Mamma mia.

  8. Pat Carney Ceccarelli
    Pat Carney Ceccarelli

    Hi Jasmine- good reminder! Actually that was another location around the little chapel of San Cerbone where archaeologists were hoping to find the earlier site for a church and came across a medieval burial site! Different burial practices than the Etruscasns! That area is close to the Bay and archaeologists have been in a race with the encroaching waters.


Leave a Reply