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Durham University

Department of Archaeology

Archaeology Fieldtrip to Rome 2011

The Pantheon

20-24 March 2011

Rome was the spectacular setting for this year's overseas archaeology fieldtrip.  Fourteen undergraduate students, from a variety of our degree programmes, accompanied by two members of staff explored some of the city's key sites and monuments over three very full and enjoyable days.

Our perfect guide was Dr. Anna Leone, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Archaeology and a specialist in Roman and Byzantine archaeology, who - with her intimate knowledge of Rome's archaeology and history - showed and taught all of us many new things, as well as finding a comfortable hotel to stay in close to the Aurelian walls and some great restaurants to eat in each evening.  Her trusted assistant was Dr. Robin Skeates, Reader in the Department of Archaeology and a specialist in Italian prehistoric archaeology, who essentially paid for all the bus and entrance tickets and made sure that no one got lost.

Highlights included: a visit to the evocative closed monastery of SS. Quatro Coronati to view some wonderfully preserved Byzantine frescos; a lively guided tour of the Roman houses under the church of SS. Giovanni e Paolo; experiencing the sheer scale of the Coliseum; wandering through the Roman Forum; standing inside the huge Pantheon; gazing at the beautiful ancient sculptures, mosaics and wall paintings in the Palazzo Massimo museum; eating pizza for dinner close to Piazza Navona; not eating pizza for dinner in a special restaurant serving contemporary Roman cuisine; and overindulging on half-price ice creams in the 'ice palace'.

There's now talk of a fieldtrip to Burgundy next year, led by Dr. Tom Moore, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Archaeology, and a specialist in the French Iron Age. There's certainly the famous hillfort of Bibracte. But don't they make wine there?