Project Description


The Alcamo Archaeological Project is a multidisciplinary research project investigating Iron Age to medieval (c. 9th c. BCE to 15th c. CE) occupation and land use around the city of Alcamo in western Sicily. This area was home to temporally and culturally diverse populations for more than two millennia. The archaeological survey and excavation project explores the development and growth of the Iron Age and medieval settlements around Alcamo, focusing on sites at Monte Bonifato and Calatubo. This project uses hands-on experiential learning methods, combining regional and site-specific surveys with stratigraphic excavation and laboratory analysis to understand Sicily’s ancient past and train future archaeologists. The 2020 field season will focus on excavating tombs and exploratory trenches in the territory of Alcamo. Come join the Alcamo Archaeological Project and contribute to better understanding western Sicily’s complex archaeological record!

Download Syllabus

Course Details

  • Course Dates: May 24-Jun 27, 2020

  • Enrollment Status: PROGRAM CLOSED

  • Tuition: $4,710

  • Course Type: Field Archaeology
  • Payment Deadline: April 3, 2020

  • Instructors: Dr. William M. Balco & Dr. Michael J. Kolb
  • Online Orientation:  TBA
  • Academic Credit: 8 Semester Credit Units (equivalent to 12 Quarter Units)



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. Balco
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. Kolb
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.


Coming Soon!

Tuition Includes:

  • Cost of Instruction
  • Cost of Academic Credits Units
  • Room & Board
  • All Local Transportation
  • Health & Evacuation Insurance

Student Fees

This program requires an online application — there is no fee to submit an application. Once admitted, a payment of the nonrefundable deposit fee is required to secure a place in the program(s). The Tuition balance (total program cost minus the deposit fee) must be paid prior to the Tuition deadline as listed above under “Course Details.” A $200 late fee will be added to all accounts not paid in full by the Tuition deadline.

Early Decision Enrollment (Nov 1, 2019 through Jan 10, 2020): A reduced, nonrefundable $300 deposit fee is required to secure a seat in the program. This deposit is part of the total Tuition and NOT in addition to it.

Regular Enrollment (Jan 11, 2020 through payment deadline): A nonrefundable $500 deposit fee is required to secure a seat in the program. This deposit is part of the total Tuition and NOT in addition to it.

Late Enrollment (payment deadline forward): A nonrefundable $600 deposit fee is required to secure a seat in the program. In addition, a $200 late fee  will be added to all accounts not paid in full by the Tuition payment deadline.

Withdrawal & Cancellation Policy: If you paid the deposit fee but did not cancel your participation by the Tuition payment deadline, you are legally responsible for the full Tuition regardless of attendance at any IFR program. Please carefully read our Withdrawal & Cancellation Policy for further information.

Credit Card Processing Fee: A 2.5% processing fee is automatically incurred for all credit/debit card/online payments.

Academic Credit Opt Out: Students who wish to participate in an IFR field school without earning academic credit units may do so and receive the following discounts: $300 off a full program (4 or more weeks in length) or $200 off a short program (2-3 weeks in length).

Trip Cancellation Insurance: The IFR does not provide trip cancellation insurance. Read this Wall Street Journal article about travel insurance — it may help in making a decision whether such insurance is for you. If you do wish to purchase such insurance, Insure My Trip or Travel Guard are two possible resources you may wish to explore.


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

Please hold purchasing your airline ticket until six (6) weeks prior to departure date. Natural disasters, political changes, weather conditions and a range of other factors may require the cancellation of a field school. The IFR typically takes a close look at local conditions 6-7 weeks prior to program beginning and makes Go/No Go decisions by then. Such a time frame still allows the purchase of deeply discounted airline tickets while protecting students from potential loss of airline ticket costs if we decide to cancel a program.

Students should plan to arrive at the Aeroporto di Palermo Falcone e Borsellino (airport code PMO) on Sunday, May 26, 2019. If you are departing from the United States please note that travel to Europe 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.

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, 22 June, 2019. 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

The IFR primary concern is with education. Traveling and conducting field research involve risk. Students interested in participating in IFR programs must weigh whether the potential risk is worth the value of education provided. While risk is inherent in everything we do, we do not take risk lightly. The IFR engages in intensive review of each field school location prior to approval. Once a program is accepted, the IFR reviews each program annually to make sure it complies with all our standards and policies, including student safety.

Students attending IFR international programs are covered by a comprehensive Health Insurance policy that includes physical illness or injury, mental or chronic conditions. No deductible and 100% of costs are covered up to $250,000. In addition, we provide Political and Natural Disaster Evacuation policy, which allow us to remove students from field school location if local conditions change. Our field school directors are scholars that know field school locations and cultures well and are plugged in into local communities and state institution structures.

Students attending IFR domestic programs (within the US) must have their own health insurance and provide proof upon enrollment. IFR field school directors are familiar with local authorities and if in need of evacuation, local emergency services and/or law enforcement will be notified and activated.

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

Call us at 877-839-4374 or email us at if you have questions about the safety of any particular program.