Apolline Project

illuminating the dark side of Vesuvius

Winter Work in the Lab: Pottery and Human Osteology


Overview of the Lab Sessions

The Apolline Project is involved in the study of artefacts and ecofacts from several sites in the environs of Vesuvius, thus it constantly seeks motivated archaeologists to train as specialists.

The Lab Sessions provide a solid foundation to the study of ancient pottery, architecture, environment, archaeozoology, and human osteology, in the hope of nurturing the most talented archaeologists by training them as specialists for long term work with the project.

Next Classes

The next course will take place from the 3rd to the 15th of January 2019 (all days but Sundays), for a total of 60 hours, and will focus on Roman ceramics and osteological finds.
The class is structured to introduce the participants to the study of archeological finds through an interdisciplinary approach based on focused lessons, practical work, and finds’ displays.
The course will be held from January the 3rd to the 15th 2019 in the Archeological Laboratory of the Apolline Project in Pollena Trocchia, near Naples (Italy).
The class is organised in two sections:
1 - Roman Imperial and Late Antique pottery;
2 - Osteological finds and Human osteology.


PART I: Roman Imperial and Late Antique pottery: (3rd-8th January)

Practical work:
  • Cleaning of artefacts;
  • Labelling;
  • Identification of pottery classes and types;
  • Entering data into forms and databases;
  • Drawing of artefacts.

  • Introducing the laboratory activities;
  • Pottery technology (forming, firing, decoration);
  • Roman Imperial and Late Antique Ceramics (pottery display);
  • African Red Slip Ware and Cooking Ware;
  • Roman Lamps.

PART II: Osteological finds and Human Osteology (9th-15th January)
Students will be instructed and immersed in the practical application of techniques used to correctly analyse human remains and will play an important role in helping to better understand the population of Campania area throughout the centuries. A normal day will begin with a formal lecture (1-2.5 hours) covering one specific topic of human osteology. Theoretical knowledge acquired in the morning will be applied to hands-on exercises using the actual bones from archaeological contexts.
The main skills you will learn are:
  • cleaning and correct handling of human remains;
  • skeletal elements and side identification;
  • determination of sex and age at death;
  • principles of identification of pathological conditions of bone;
  • identification of juvenile skeletal remains;
  • determining the minimum number of individuals in a commingled context;
  • calculation of robusticity and determination of stature from long bone measurements using various regression formulae.

The participation cost is 400 EUR (which approximately corresponds to 360 GBP) and covers accommodation and tuition.
The location can be easily reached with public transportation from Naples, but upon request a car transfer can be arranged - from Naples’ train station or airport - at an additional cost of 20 EUR.

Students who wish to stay on in the accommodation for 1 week before and/or after the lab session of choice, are able to do so at no extra cost (but have to verify with us the availability beforehand) and can profitably use the extra time to explore the archaeological museums and sites in the Bay of Naples.

Taking part

The contribution includes all tuition and accommodation. Beyond this the Apolline Project does not charge, and students will need to cover their own living costs and travel to Italy. The final deadline for applications is the 24th of December and those who apply will find out if they have been successful as soon as the minimum number of participant is reached.

Application process

The application process is easy and straightforward. Please follow this link and complete the electronic application.

To know more: