Volunteer opportunity: Oppido Mamertina ceramics project 2019

 (Subsidized room and board in Italy)


Excavations at Oppido Mamertina (Contrada Mella), led by Dr. Paolo Visonà of the University of Kentucky, were completed in the early 2000s.  Most of the material from the excavations has been studied, but the coarse-, common-, and cookingwares have not.  The site was an Italic town, likely founded in the 4th or 3rd c. BCE and continued through the 1st c. BCE, with a short period of early Roman occupation in a limited part of the site.


2 students are needed to help Dr. Jennifer Knapp, coordinator of Classical Studies at Langara College, in her examination of this ceramic material in order to prepare it for publication.  The hope is to finish the data collection in the study season.  This study season will be run with Dr. Visonà and the Foundation for Calabrian Archaeology.


Another student (from previous years) has already been selected, so there will be 3 student assistants for this project.  Students will be trained in basic ceramic analysis, including identification and illustration


We will work 5 or 6 days a week, generally from 7:30 or 8am until 5 or 6pm with a break for lunch.  Most lab work with the pottery will be done at a rented house, where we will also live, just outside the village of Antonimina.  There will be opportunities to travel in Calabria, including to ancient Greek, Roman, Byzantine, and Medieval sites, and an option to take a trip to Sicily in the middle of the field season.  I am also willing to discuss travelling for a few days as a group in advance of the field season beginning.


Please be aware that smoking may not take place near the site or any archaeological materials.


The project will run from May 16, 2019 to July 6, 2019; students are requested to be present for at least a month and preferably the entire period.


Fees for room and board will be $60 USD per day and will include accommodation and 3 meals a day; the student is responsible for all airline and travel fees, special meals out, spending money, and any travelling before or after the project.  A trip to Sicily in the middle of the field season will cost extra; we will plan this as a group.


A Langara Research and Scholarship Activity Fund grant will pay $1000CDN towards accommodation and food for each student.



Minimum Requirements:


Current Langara student (as of Fall 2018/Spring 2019) in good standing.

Successfully completed at least 18 credits of coursework.

Successfully completed at least one Classical Studies or Anthropology course


Preference will be given to applicants planning further studies in Classical Studies or archaeology, but all interested students are encouraged to apply.


Application Materials:


1. CV or résumé that includes the following:

  • Langara Student ID
  • Relevant coursework (at Langara or another post-secondary institution)
  • Relevant work or volunteer experience


2. Cover letter, including a discussion highlighting why you would be a good choice and discussing your interest in archaeology, material analysis, and your future career plans.






The successful student will be required to:

1.  attend pottery drawing classes and several training sessions during the Spring 2019

semester, dates and times to be determined by availability of everyone involved.


2. make travel arrangements to South Italy, including flight and train.  All travel costs are

the responsibility of the student.


3. work with Dr. Knapp for at least 4 weeks on ceramic material from Oppido Mamertina


4. pay all accommodation/food costs beyond the $1000 CDN contributed by Langara. 

Meals at special restaurants, admission fees, spending money, and optional travel are the

financial responsibility of the student.


5. sign a waiver releasing Langara College, The Foundation for Calabrian Archaeology,

and any associated individuals from liability in the event of an accident.




Applications should be emailed to Jennifer Knapp (jknapp@langara.ca) by 5pm, Friday, February 15, 2019.  If necessary, interviews will be held; the successful candidate will be informed before the end of February.  In the case of multiple applications, the decision may be made by a committee.