COURSE DESCRIPTION:The Department of Geosciences, in the College of Science
and Mathematics, and the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, in the College of
Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences will be co-sponsoring a field course on the
geology and archaeology of ancient Italy. This course is a joint offering by the two
departments and will be cross listed as Geology 495 and Anthropology 495, for 4
credits. The course will be offered through Continuing Education at North Dakota State
University and is therefore open to anyone who qualifies for continuing ed, whether
registered student, alumnus, or interested community member.
The theme of this course is ancient peoples and their volatile landscapes. The course
will provide an intensive introduction to Mediterranean volcanism and geology, and to
Greek and Roman prehistory in Italy. It is a study tour that involves travel to Italy for a
two-week field experience during which we visit a series of Greco-Roman town sites
and the volcanoes in their vicinity. We will travel to Rome, then to the coastal regions
south of Naples, on to Sicily, then to the Aeolian Islands of Vulcano and Stromboli, and
finally up the boot of Italy back to Rome. Our stops will include several renowned
archaeological sites of the ancient Greco-Roman Mediterranean and some of the best
examples in the world of active volcanoes.
COURSE TRAVEL ITINERARY:The course will officially begin at the onset of the
Spring 1998 semester but will continue beyond the normal end of the semester,
finishing on May 26. The field portion of the course is scheduled for a two week period
between May 11 and 25. The planned itinerary is given below but we reserve the right to
make changes in the itinerary at any time due to arising circumstances related to cost,
safety, or opportunity; it is extremely important to recognize the need for flexibility in
- Arrive in Rome on May 11. Two nights in Rome visiting sites such as the Forum and the Colosseum.
- Travel to Sorrento, with a visit to the National Archaeological Museum in Naples, and a stop at the
site of Ercolano (Herculaneum).
- Stay the night in Sorrento; then to the sites of Pompeii and on to Paestum (or Poseidonia).
- Another night in Sorrento; a climb to the top of Mt. Vesuvius, then to Naples to catch the overnight
ferry to Palermo.
- Day and night in Palermo; students free to see what they wish in Palermo or countryside.
- To Agrigento, with stop at Segesta and/or Sellinunte ruins.
- From Agrigento to Etna area, probably staying in Taormina.
- Ascend Mt. Etna.
- To the north coast of Sicily for ferry to Vulcano Island; trip to top of volcano, and spend the night.
- Ferry to Stromboli and hike to the top of the central volcano.
- Ferry back to Sicily to catch bus for trip through the boot and back to Rome, arriving on May 25.
The field portion of the course ends in Rome on May 25. At that time, students have
the option of returning to the United States or of continuing their stay in Italy or
elsewhere in Europe (on their own). We will make flight arrangements for those who