Project Description


The Alcamo Archaeological Project is a multidisciplinary archaeological research project investigating Iron Age to medieval (c. 9th c. BCE to 15th c. CE) occupation and land use at Monte Bonifato in western Sicily. This mountain, and its surrounding territory, were home to temporally and culturally diverse populations for more than two millennia. This archaeological survey project explores the development and growth of the Iron Age and medieval settlements atop Monte Bonifato and the land surrounding it. This project uses hands-on experiential learning methods, combining regional and site-specific surveys with laboratory analysis to understand Sicily’s ancient past and train future archaeologists.

Download Syllabus

Course Details

  • Course Dates: May 27-June 30, 2018
  • Enrollment Status: OPEN
  • Total Cost: $4,440
  • Course Type: Field Archaeology
  • Payment Deadline: April 20, 2018
  • Instructors: Dr. William M. Balco, Dr. Michael J. Kolb
  • Online Orientation:  April 21, 2018, 1:00 PM PST
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The directors welcome emails and inquiries about the research elements of this project. More general information (tuition, health insurance, and payment schedule) can be found under the ‘Students’ tab above. Any further questions may be addressed to IFR staff. Additional details about research, course schedule, travel, accommodation, and safety can be found on the syllabus. Contacting the directors or the IFR office is encouraged and appreciated. It may help you determine if this field school is a good fit for you.

Dr. William M. Balco
Dr. William M. BalcoDirector
Dr. William M. Balco is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Anthropology, University of North Georgia. He is Anthropology Coordinator for the Dahlonega Campus
Dr. Michael J. Kolb
Dr. Michael J. KolbDirector
Dr. Michael J. Kolb is a Professor of Anthropology and the Director of the Center for Faculty Development at the Metropolitan State University of Denver. Dr. Kolb is also a Presidential Teaching Professor Emeritus (pending) at Northern Illinois University, where he spent 20 years as a faculty member and served as Associate Vice Provost.


This is a new IFR field school. There are no student testimonials available at this time.

Tuition Includes:

  • Costs of instruction
  • Cost of Academic Credits
  • Room & board
  • All local transportation
  • Health Insurance

Student Fees

A nonrefundable deposit of $500 is required to secure a seat in this program.  This program requires an application (no application fee is requested). Only accepted students should pay the deposit fee. Deposit fee is part of the program Tuition. The remaining tuition, minus the $500 deposit, must be paid prior to the tuition deadline (see above under “Course Details”).

Important Note: If you were accepted to this program but did not cancel your participation by the tuition payment deadline, you are legally responsible for the full tuition regardless of attendance in this program. Please read the IFR Cancellation Policy for further clarification.

  • A 2.5% Processing Fee is automatically assessed for all credit/debit card payments
  • A $100 Late Fee will be assessed if full tuition payment is not completed by the deadline.
  • Look at the field school syllabus above for room & board details.


Students will be housed in an apartment complex in the city of Balestrate. Students will complete assigned, daily chores in order to keep the apartments clean. The project will transport all students to and from the site daily, as well as to local grocery stores and shops. Breakfast and lunch will be provided Monday through Saturday. Students will make and pack their lunch Monday through Friday. Dinners will be provided Monday through Friday at Ristorante Corallo, located on the ground level of the apartment building. Dinner on Saturday, and all Sunday meals are not provided. Vegetarian, gluten-free, or any other special dietary requests will be accommodated. The water in the apartment is potable; however, bottled water will be provided to all project participants. All students are expected to be respectful to apartment and restaurant staff at all times.

Travel Info

Students should plan to arrive at the Aeroporto di Palermo Falcone e Borsellino (airport code PMO) on Sunday, 27 May 2018. Please note that travel to Europe from the United States involves a date change, therefore to arrive on a Sunday, you must depart the United States on Saturday. Numerous air carriers service the Palermo airport; however, travel from the United States usually requires a connection elsewhere in Europe first. Students are responsible for providing project staff with arrival information at least one week prior to arrival. Project staff will meet students in the arrivals hall of the Palermo airport, immediately beyond the frosted glass doors dividing baggage claim from the arrivals terminal. If you missed your connection or your flight is delayed, please call, text, or email the project director immediately. A local emergency cell phone number will be provided to all enrolled students. If you cannot call, text, or email the project director, please wait patiently and do not exit the ground level of the arrivals hall or accept rides from anyone else.

Students will depart from the Aeroporto di Palermo Falcone e Borsellino (airport code PMO) on Saturday, 30 June, 2018. Program staff will transport students to the airport on the departure date.


US Citizens do not need a visa for tourist or business stays of up to three months in Italy. Your passport should be valid for at least three months beyond the period of your stay.

Citizens of other countries are asked to check the Italian Embassy website page at their home country for specific visa requirement.

Student Safety

Student safety is paramount for the IFR. Unlike many universities who are self-insured, the IFR purchases a range of high end insurance policies from some of the largest insurers in the world. Students in all our international programs have a comprehensive health insurance policy. It covers sickness, and chronic and mental health conditions at 100% of the cost. We have a strong evacuation and extraction policy. We can remove students from any location anywhere in the world with one phone call – whether medical evacuation, political or natural disaster extraction and anything in between. We purchase intelligence services from a global private provider and monitor the world 24/7. We automatically enroll our students to the US State Department STEP program. All of our students receive safety orientations both before and on the first day of each program. Our faculty have all been working in the areas where we operate field schools for years. They are intimately familiar with local customs and traditions, know the landscape well and have deep relationships with local communities.

All our domestic programs are coordinated with local authorities which are informed of our operations. Students in domestic programs are covered by their own health insurance and evacuations are managed by local emergency services, as appropriate.

The IFR has strong, explicit and robust policy towards discrimination and harassment in the field (click here for a shortcut). If students feel they cannot discuss personal safety issues with the field school staff, the IFR operates an emergency hotline where students can contact IFR personnel directly.

Travel does involve risk, but we try to minimize this risk as much as possible. Call us at 877-839-4374 or email us at if you have questions about the safety of particular programs.