1st Archaeological Excavation Campaign at Castello Eufemio (Sicily)

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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.

We announce the opportunity to participate in the 1st Archaeological Excavation Campaign, authorized by the Soprintendenza ai Beni Culturali e Ambientali di Trapani, at Castello Eufemio in Calatafimi Segesta (Trapani).

The castle is located at a calcareous summit (400 ft) and it controls all the current urban centre. The present village was developed to the East since the 16th-17th centuries, leaving the castle protected from this urban growth. The Castello Eufemio gives its name to the village: Qal’at Fîmî, that means Eufemio’s castle, and it appears in the Idrisi’s documents as a fortress with village annexed. In 1239 the castle becomes part of castra exempta of Federico II, i.e one of the castles controlled directly by the throne in their fight against Muslims. It remained this way until 1336 when the castle passes into the hands of different landowners. The castle will be converted into a prison from half of 17th century until 1868, when it was abandoned.

The excavations made at Castello Eufemio at the end of last century was focused on the restoration and conservation of the more recent structures. During this excavations different materials (pottery) from the 11th-12th centuries were located, confirming a possible occupation during that period. The main objective of our excavation will be the documentation of structures related to this chronology or to previous phases of the castle.

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

  • University of Granada (Spain);
  • University of Sheffield (UK);
  • Arqueoandalusí Arqueología y Patrimonio S.L. (Spain)
  • Agencia Estatal Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas–CSIC- Escuela Española de Historia y Arqueología en Roma.
  • University of Palermo, C.I.R.I.T.A.- Centro Interdipartimentale di Ricerche sulla Interazione Tecnologia-Ambiente;

We also count with the collaboration of Calatafimi Segesta city council, that will provide logistical support, and of the association SiciliAntica, based in Castellammare del Golfo


This year the excavation will be organized in 2 turns of two weeks each:

  • July 3th-14th 2017
  • July 17th-28th 2017

Registration will be open until May 31st, 2017. It is necessary to send an email to:

Rocco Corselli (rocco.corselli@gmail.com) including the following information:

  • Full updated Resume
  • Which turn you would like to participate
  • Indicate any food allergies.

Campaign details:

  • Participants will cover 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 a 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 and a valid ID card.
  • The peculiarities of the terrain require good physical condition (the weather is extremely hot and the excavation conditions will be hard)
  • There will be parallel activities such as working with archaeological pottery and soil samples flotation
  • Work schedule will be from 7:30am to 3:30pm. The schedule could be modified depending on the weather conditions.
  • For all those who need it, a certificate of participation will be issued.


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