II Archaeological Excavation Campaign at Pizzo Monaco (Custonaci, Trapani)

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The MEditerranean MOuntainous LAndscapes Project, financed by European Commission FP-7 (#613265), is coordinated by José María Martin Civantos, associate professor and researcher at the Dept of Medieval History, Universidad de Granada (Spain).

The project aims to apply an interdisciplinary perspective to study the evolution of Mediterranean mountainous cultural landscapes.

In October and November of  2014, took place the first archaeological intervention , authorized by the  Soprintendenza ai Beni Culturali e Ambientali di Trapani, at the site of Pizzo Monaci (Custonaci, Trapani). During this activity we excavated four cells and the main entrance of a fortified structure, identified as a possible collective granary from Islamic times (10th?-11th centuries)

This campaigned not only allowed to determined the chronological and cultural frame of the Pizzo Monaco settlement, but also provided data for an integrated reading of the rural landscape in which the fortified granary is located. Thus, the University of Palermo took soil samples for a dafology analysis. Archaeological sediments taken from the different use levels of the different localised environments and  soil samples, were flotated in order to extract ancient vegetable remains (Escuela Española de Historia y Arqueología en Roma-CSIC). In addition, the University of Granada developed an integral triditopography of the settlement and the hill in which it is located.

The excavation  was co-financed by the Ministry of Culture in Spain, through the funding  “Ayudas arqueológicas en el exterior”, and the Max Van Berchem Foundation.

The MEMOLA partners that participate in the II excavation Campaign are:

  • Universidad de Granada (Spain);
  • Universidad de Sheffield (UK);
  • Arqueoandalusí Arqueología y Patrimonio S.L.
  • Agencia Estatal Consejo Superior  de Investigaciones Científicas–CSIC- Escuela Española de Historia y Arqueología en Roma.
  • University of Palermo

We also count with the collaboration of  Custonaci and  Buseto Palizzolo city councils, that will provide logistical support.

This year the excavation will be organized in 2 turns of 15 days each:

  • July 6th-19th 2015
  • July 20th-August 2nd 2015

There is a limit of 17 volunteers for each turn.

Registration will be open until may 31st, 2015. It is necessary to send an email to:

Rocco Corselli (r.corselli@sheffield.ac.uk) including the following:

  • Updated Resume
  • Turn in which you would like to participate
  • Indicate any food allergies.

Campaign details:

  • Participants need to cover for their travel costs.
  • Bring a sleeping bag and appropriate work outfit (clothes, footwear and gloves).
  • Due to the characteristics of the site it is advised to bring sun protection: cream and hat.
  • Meals will be provided by the organisation from Monday through Friday: breakfast, lunch (at the excavation site), and dinner.
  • Working tools will be provided to all participants.
  • Volunteers must bring proof of accidental injury insurance, valid during the time of their participation at the excavation. Also a valid ID card.
  • The peculiarities of the terrain require good physical condition ( the weather is really hot and the excavation conditions will be hard)
  • There will be Complementary activities such as, working with archaeological ceramics and soil sample flotation
  • Work schedule will be from 7:00am to 3pm . The schedule could be modified depending on the weather conditions.
  • For all those who need it, an assistance certification will be issued.

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