Temple Summer in Italy

Excavation of the Roman Villa in Artena

On this program, you will gain hands-on experience in archeological fieldwork. You'll participate at the excavation of a Roman villa in Artena, a small hill town approximately 40 miles south-east of Rome, under the direction of Temple University Rome faculty member and archaeologist Jan Gadeyne and his colleague Cécile Brouillard, who works for the French Institute for Preventive Archaeology (INRAP).

Program Overview

Expand upon each of the links below to view more details about this program.

Academic Program

As a program participant, you will enroll in one 3-credit course that includes learning how to read stratigraphies, artifacts and building fragments in order to reconstruct the development of the site in time and place. You will take part actively in the excavation process "from the pickaxe to the pencil," learning to collect, describe, identify and draw archaeological evidence.

In preparation for the excavation, you will read an introduction to archaeological fieldwork. On-site, you will record your experiences and observations in a required journal, and scholarly literature will assist you in contextualizing the site. Weekly excursions to sites and museums nearby will deepen your understanding of the archaeological remains and artifacts in the broader context of the material culture in central Italy.

Language of Instruction

English. Basic knowledge of Italian and/or French could be useful, but is not required.

Course load


Course Offerings

  • Undergraduate students: choose from either Art History 2117: Archaeological Excavation (3 credits), or Anthropology 3189: Field Session in Archaeology (3 credits)
  • Graduate students: you'll enroll in Art History 5621: Archaeological Excavation (3 credits).

View all courses.


Artena is a small hilltown located approximately 40 miles southeast of Rome.

The Excavation Site

In this course, you will participate at the excavation of a Roman villa and its surroundings in Artena, a picturesque hill town approximately 40 miles south-east of Rome, under the direction of Temple University Rome faculty member and archaeologist Jan Gadeyne and his colleague Cécile Brouillard, who works for the French Institute for Preventive Archaeology (INRAP). The site, a large artificial terrace that was part of an early Republican settlement, has revealed the remains of a Roman villa and other buildings that were in use from the 4th century BC until at least the 7th century AD. About 13,000 sq. ft. of the villa that started out as a small farmhouse to become a more sophisticated residence, have thus far been excavated.

The complex comprises an atrium, a peristyle with several rooms around it and a small private bath complex. Parts of it were decorated with wall paintings and mosaic floors. An aqueduct and large cisterns supplied the villa with water. Underneath and next to the villa important remains of pre-existing buildings of the Republican age, including another aqueduct, have been discovered. After the villa was abandoned, new structures were built that partially reused the villa and its material from the 4th to the 7th century AD. A small treasure with four gold Byzantine coins ends for the moment the occupation of the terrace. The history of the artificial platform illustrates in an impressive way the transformation of a site near Rome from a Republican town to an Imperial age villa to a late antique and early medieval settlement covering an arc of time of more than a thousand years.

Program Dates

Four weeks: mid-June through mid-July

Tentative Program Dates

Departure from U.S.June 14
Arrival in Rome / Group travel to ArtenaJune 15
Orientation in ArtenaJune 15-17
Class / excavation beginsJune 17
Class / excavation endsJuly 12
Last night in housingJuly 12
Program endsJuly 13

Do not use the above dates to book your flight, as they are tentative and subject to change. Accepted students will receive confirmed program dates and flight booking guidelines from Education Abroad before making travel plans.  

Program participants are required to be present for the entire length of the program, from the official arrival date through the program end date.


Housing type: local hotel

You will be housed with the rest of the excavation team in a small local hotel near the excavation site. Each room accommodates two or three people. 

Housing includes breakfast, a light lunch and a three-course dinner Sunday evening through Friday evening for the duration of the campaign. As meals are provided (included in the cost of accommodations), students must be willing to be flexible with their eating habits and diet. If students go away on the weekends, they must return to the hotel by dinner time on Sunday night. Transfer from and to the nearest train station can be arranged.

Activities & Excursions

Excursions during orientation and weekly excursions to sites and museums nearby are designed to enhance your understanding of the archaeological remains and artifacts in the broader context of the material culture in central Italy.

Depending on the weather and how the dig proceeds, excursions may include a visit to the Archaeological Museum of Artena; visit to the temple complex of Fortuna Primigenia in Palestrina; visit to ancient sites in Rome; in house lectures on introduction to the study and cataloging of ancient pottery; visit to the ancient city of Segni. 

Faculty & On-site Support

Temple Faculty

Dr. Jan Gadeyne, a Temple Rome faculty member and archaeologist, serves as the program director overseeing the academic program and student support.

View program faculty.

Program Costs


Temple students pay their usual rate by school/college and residency..

Non-Temple students are charged the non-matriculated per-credit rate based on residency. For the 2023-24 academic year, PA residents are charged $749 per credit and non-PA residents are charged $1,349 per credit. *Non-Temple students: your program costs may vary depending on your home institution's billing model. Please check with your study abroad office about your school's billing policies.

All students pay:

  • University Services Fee
  • Artena Program Fee, estimated at $2,500, which includes housing in shared hotel accommodations, orientation, transportation from the airport upon arrival, some field trips and a few group meals.

For complete details about billable costs and estimate for non-billable expenses, such as airfare, meals, and personal expenses, view the program cost sheet.

View detailed program costs.


Education Abroad offers competitive, need-based scholarships for this program. Learn more about scholarships and financial aid.

Health & Safety

Staying healthy and safe abroad requires good planning and strong support. Review our health and safety page for important steps to preparing for study abroad, and details about international travel medical insurance and assistance provided by Temple.  

In Italy, quality medical care is available, as well as teletherapy. Sun safety is especially important during your summer in Artena.


For more information, contact:

  • Education Abroad; 215-204-0720; 
  • Students with specific questions related to the excavation or local arrangements may contact Professor Jan Gadeyne at  .


Eligibility Requirements

Temple programs are open to qualified students matriculated at any U.S. or Canadian college or university.

You are eligible to apply if you meet the following requirements.

Are enrolled fulltime and will have completed 2 semesters before studying abroad
  • You are enrolled as a full-time matriculated student at the time of application as well as during the semester prior to studying abroad.
  • You will have completed at least two (2) semesters of college-level study by the program start.
Are in good academic standing and meet minimum GPA requirement for the program

You meet minimum cumulative GPA requirement, on a 4.0 scale from all colleges/universities attended. The requirement varies by program:

  • Temple Semester Programs: 2.75 (Internships: 3.0)
  • Temple Summer Programs: 2.5
  • Exchange Programs: 2.75
  • External Programs: 2.5

You remain in good academic standing from the time of application until the start of your term abroad; students on academic warning are not eligible to participate.

Have a valid passport

You will need a passport, valid well beyond the length of your program, by the application deadline.

View deadlines and validity requirements for your host country.


Are in good disciplinary standing

You are in good disciplinary standing at the time of application and remain so through the start of your term abroad. Students who have been found responsible for a code of conduct violation and will not be in good disciplinary standing (including disciplinary probation) may submit a petition for review.

Meet the minimum age requirement

You are at least 18 years old at the time of application.

For Temple in Italy - Artena, the following additional considerations apply.

  • Because the nature of the program emphasizes a small team atmosphere, program space is limited. Preference will be given to students of anthropology, archaeology, architecture, art history, classics, or history. It is important to be very motivated and be prepared to work from early in the morning and in the summer heat. Team spirit and social skills are paramount to successful completion of the program and a good excavation campaign.

Application Requirements

The standard application requirements pertain to all students applying to Temple programs.

    For Temple in Italy - Artena, there are no additional application requirements.

      Admissions Timeline

      • Admissions is rolling (early applications encouraged).
      • Once you submit your application, you should expect a decision within two (2) weeks.

      "Through my blog, I hope to give prospective students insight into a small and unique study abroad program that explores Italian culture and history outside of the classroom by being literally immersed in Italian soil."

      Rashi shown seated on a blanket in front of trees

      Olivia Bartholomew