Tentative Program Fee
Program fee includes tuition, housing, daily breakfast, transportation to field sites, field work excursions and equipment rental, farewell Roman dinner. International Airfare is NOT included.
3 semester credits in ANTH 325, GEOL 315, GGS 398, OR HIST 398. Graduate credits may be possible, upon request. Please contact Program Officer and Academic Director.
University residences, double or single rooms, breakfast included on-site.
Optional excursions with GMU Academic Director. Locations may include Naples, Pompei, and Oplontis.
Email Megan Crain or call 703.993.4825
CONTACT Professor Giuseppina Kysar Mattietti
Discover underground Rome during this exciting two week study abroad program and earn 3 semester credits in Geology, Geography, History or Anthropology.
Everyone knows the famous Trevi Fountain in Rome (pictured below), but how many people do you know who have visited Rome, practically below the Trevi Fountain (pictured above, right)? You could have this very opportunity if you particpate on this study abroad program, which will literally take you underneath the streets and buildings of Rome!
The course is led by Dr. Giuseppina Kysar Mattietti, a faculty member in the Atmospheric Oceanic & Earth Science Department in collaboration with I Sotterranei di Roma, a non-profit organization that is actively conducting research projects in hypogean environments of archeological interest in Rome and its surroundings.
Click the image below to view a presentation from Dr. Kysar with photos from last year, "Underneath Rome: Introduction to Geoarchaeology" (Note: Only accessible when viewing through Internet Explorer.)
The goal for this course is to develop an appreciation of how the interplay of the territory and culture brings life to Rome. What is seen on the surface of the city is not even the half of the rich historical and cultural heritage of Rome: underneath her very varied topography, the city unfolds her past. This interdisciplinary course uses geoarcheology as a gateway to support of archeological, historical and anthropological studies of the city and her development.
In this introductory course to geo-archeology students familiarize with principles and methods of investigation drawn from geology, engineering, geography and hydrology and will apply them to their understanding of how the city developed. The field activities of this course are built on three themes:
The territory of Rome (geology and geography)
The waters of Rome (regional hydrology, engineering)
Buildings and infrastructures (construction materials and their sources, techniques)
These three deeply interconnected themes each present challenges and opportunities that will be explored as students learn how the history of the city unfolds. The course activities are carried out on the surface as well as in hypogean (underground) architectural environments. The course offers a unique and hands-on introduction to speleo-archeological research as students will learn about exploration techniques and research methods hands-on by following our speleologists, archeologists and geologists to underground sites where research projects are currently being carried out. Participants will be provided with technical equipment and must be able to undertake moderate physical activity for a full day. Program participants will have the opportunity to explore sites that tourists never gain access to!
Photos above: Left, "You Could Be Here!," the Colosseum as seen from the Ludus Magnum, the site of the Gladiatorial barracks built here before the Colosseum. Right, the insula (condominium) pictured above near the Colosseum is located underneath a building by the famous Trevi Fountain. The insula is adjacent to the key structures of the Aqua Virgo Aqueduct. Built in 19BC, this aqueduct is still in operation today and provides water to the city and feeds fountains such as the Trevi Fountain and the Barcaccia of Plaza di Spagna.
Nemi: This tunnel (above), excavated in a volcanic cone during the sixth century BC is an engineering structure designed for flood control. Nemi is the first speleo-archeological field practice planned for this course.
Housing Details: Students will share rooms (2 students per room and some singles, depending on final count) in dormitory style accommodations. Dormitories are conveniently located on Aventine Hill, overlooking the Circus Maximus and the Palatine, in the center of Rome. Housing amenities include:
A fully wired facility
Beautiful courtyard and common spaces
Dr. Giuseppina Kysar Mattietti is a professor of Earth Science and Science Education in the College of Science and associate Science Fellow with the Center for Teaching Excellence. Dr. Kysar Mattietti was born and raised in Rome and she is passionate about the history and development of her city. During her career she has taught courses covering general geology, geology in land use planning, engineering geology, geoarchaeology and more. Dr. Kysar Mattietti loves working with students in research related projects and she has advised graduate students in projects involving geology and the use of the territory of the Consular Roads of Rome. She is currently collaborating with Sotterranei di Roma on a study of the underground structures of the gardens of Hadrian’s Villa.
Tentative Program Fee: $TBD
includes tuition, housing, daily breakfast, transportation to field sites, field work excursions and equipment rental, farewell Roman dinner. International Airfare is NOT included.
Scholarships are available to George Mason students. George Mason students can click here to download the CGE Global Perspectives scholarship application. Mason students may also use financial aid to cover a program's cost. If you are not a George Mason university student check with your study abroad office or office of financial aid to learn more about how to cover the cost of your study abroad.
How to Apply
Note that all supplemental documents are required by the application deadline. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Contact the Program Officer for further application forms and instructions specific to your program.