Italy - Pran'e Siddi


Pran'e Siddi, or the Siddi Plateau, is a high basaltic plateau located in south-central island of Sardinia. The area around Siddi was inhabited by prehistoric villagers beginning in the Neolithic period (ca. 4,000-3,200 BCE). During the Middle Bronze Age (ca. 1,700-1,450 BCE), the previously egalitarian people began to develop a hierarchical social system with an elite who expressed their power and prestige through the building of monumental stone towers called nuraghi.  By 1450 BCE, however, the elite sites on the Siddi Plateau were abandoned and the population moved away. Previous archaeological work in the area suggested that the Nuragic elites may have been using unsustainable agricultural practices to gain wealth and support their power.  In 2014, students will conduct archaeological survey, soil studies, and artifact analysis to reconstruct changing patterns of land use and look for evidence of environmental depletion.  During survey, students will use data collected from satellite imagery and receive basic training in GIS by using collected artifact data to build maps.  Students will also engage in intensive classification and seriation of the ceramic record recovered from the region in previous years.   

Italy Pran'e Siddi Archaeology Field School - Institute for Field Research Field Schools Italy - Pran'e Siddi18-352014-06-20
Course Dates: Jun 29 - Aug 2 2014
Enrollment Status: CLOSED 
Total Cost: $ 4,950 
Course Type: Field Archaeology
Instructor: Dr. Emily Holt

Course Syllabus 


Emily Holt

Dr. Emily Holt

Dr. Holt ( is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Archaeology and Anthropology and Oberlin-Michigan Partnership Postdoctoral Fellow at Oberlin College.  For more information, click here.


"Attending the Pran'e Siddi Landscape Project was amazing both personally and professionally.  I was already a graduate when I attended but had been feeling nervous and ill-prepared looking for jobs in the field. The opportunity to have such a rigorous and hands on relationship with the sites, artifacts, and data was massively instructive, interesting, and confidence building. Dr. Holt's knowledge of, and passion for, the subject matter is exhaustive and infectious. The extent of her connections to Sardinian archaeologists belies a deep love and respect, not only for the archaeology but the local scholars who study it. It afforded several fascinating tours of nuraghe guided by an expert who was intimately acquainted with the site and the significant research that had come of its study.The staff and my peers were equally fantastic and made the days pass in good humor and conversation whether we were hiking up a brambled hillside in search of an elusive site, working in the lab analyzing and cataloguing pottery sherds, or spending a Sunday swimming in the Mediterranean. The food was great. In short: I met amazing people, ate delicious food, acquired hands on experience in my chosen field, and was consistently bombarded by fascinating information for about five weeks straight. I highly recommend it."

 - Daniel Sinderson, Portland State University (2013)

"The Pranne Siddi Landscape Project was an amazing cross-disciplinary experience. As a Landscape Architecture student with no prior education in archeology, I felt very well prepared to go out into the field with the help of the instructors. They were very accommodating to everyone’s different skill sets and knowledge, without compromising anyone’s experience. I would highly encourage anyone who is slightly interested in archeology to participate in this field school. I learned a lot about the discipline that can directly relate back to my field. I think it would be highly beneficial to have a more diversified team to work on a project like this.  The experience outside of the field school was great too. Living within the village of Siddi, you become immersed within the culture of the local people. They were very welcoming and curious as to what we were doing. Living and working within the village enabled us to really see how important it is to preserve the cultural heritage of the local people and the greater region. Community involvement should be a component to every project, as it creates a relationship between the team and the local people, fostering an extremely successful project overall." 

- Corryn Feeney, Virginia Tech (2013)

"At the risk of sounding cliché, being part of the Pran’e Siddi Landscape Project during the 2013 field season completely expanded my horizons. Having not had much, if any, archeological experience outside of the classroom I was admittedly a bit nervous about spending 5 weeks living, learning, and working in an unfamiliar environment in a foreign country. However, I need not have been nervous because felt so wholly welcomed by Dr. Holt and entire project staff as well as my peers. Throughout the project, I was surrounded by other hardworking students who were both interested and committed to our work, which made the challenging academic environment feel comfortable and engaging. Dr. Holt was able to easily transfer her deep knowledge not only of archeological theory, methods, and ethics, but also the Sardinian cultural heritage. It is evident that she is well respected, both personally and academically, by her fellow Sardinian archeologists as well as every person she interacts with.  Additionally, the community accepted us with open arms and consequently I fell in love with both the town of Siddi and it’s inhabitants. From adventures with potentially scary Italian driving, to learning traditional Sardinian dance moves, hiking up the plateau to see the super moon, overcoming the language barrier with gestures and laughter, and to eating Luciana’s famous ravioli, being a part of this program was more than just academically stimulating. Overall, when looking back on my life, I will always remember this project as a delightful experience that taught me not only about field archeology, but also about a whole new culture and most importantly myself."

-Erin Fallon, University of Michigan (2013)




Student Fees

Early Enrollment Begins November 15 - Full payment must be received by April 1  
(Full Payment = Deposit + Tuition)
 Payment by Cashier or Personal Check Payment by Credit Card/Debit Card
Deposit:500 USD Deposit: 510 USD 
Tuition: 4,450 USD Tuition: 4,540 USD 

Late Enrollment Begins April 2 - Full payment must be received 10 days prior to course start date
(Full Payment = Deposit + Tuition)
 Payment by Cashier or Personal Check Payment by Credit Card/Debit Card
Deposit:500 USD Deposit: 510 USD 
Tuition: 4,550 USD Tuition: 4,640 USD 


Students will live in comfortable, but modest, field housing in the town of Siddi (ca. 700 inhabitants). Conditions at the field house are basic: there is only one bathroom, hot water may run out, and students will share communal rooms. Mattresses will be provided, but it may be necessary for some students to sleep on mattresses on the floor. The house includes cupboards and a full-sized refrigerator where students can keep any snacks they wish to purchase.  

MEALS:  All meals during the week will be communal events that will introduce students to the traditions of Sardinian cuisine. Sardinian food is delicious and hearty, but students should be aware that meat plays a large role in it.  Specialized diets (vegan, kosher, etc.) are impossible to maintain in the context of this field school; vegetarians may attend but will find their options quite limited and may find it necessary to supplement group meals with foods they purchase themselves. The format of weekend meals will vary according to the field trip schedule, but their cost is included in the program fee.