Unearthing Ancient History in Tuscany

Archaeology & Culture

Unearthing Ancient History in Tuscany

What can we learn about Italy’s ancient people from the ruins they left along the coast of Tuscany? Help us dust off clues.

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The facts

Why the research is important

Why the research is important

The oldest features uncovered in Populonia date back to the seventh century B.C.: two mound tombs belonging to wealthy and powerful local families.

Populonia’s archaeological sites face threats from looters. Help researchers protect these invaluable remnants of the ancient world.

For hundreds of years, Populonia dominated the ironworks industry in the Mediterranean. The transfer of the city from Etruscan to Roman rule around 250 B.C. did not halt its metalworking activities; iron exports supported the Roman expansion in Africa, so the ruling class had important economic interests in the area’s industrial production and commerce.

To reconstruct the economic and social history of the city of Populonia, researchers must answer many complicated questions: When and where did iron smelting take place? How was the society of the city shaped by metalworking and trade? Who were the ancient people that lived and worked in the harbor, the mines, and the iron smelting industry?

Archaeological dig, Tuscany, Italy

Unearth artifacts and remove them for cleaning and study.

By joining this expedition, you’ll help fill in gaps in knowledge about the Populonia area from the Etruscan period (beginning in 800 B.C.) through the Roman period (beginning at about 250 to 200 B.C.) and up to the early Middle Ages (A.D. 600). The results will illuminate how the Etruscan and Roman economies operated and how the Romans exploited the natural resources of the territories they ruled. We still know little about the political, economic, architectural, and religious changes brought by the arrival of Romans in this part of the Tuscan coast—and your work will help us fill in the gaps and communicate to the public why sites like this are worth preserving.

About the research area

Baratti and Populonia Archaeological Park, Piombino, Tuscany, Italy, Europe & Russia

Daily life in the field


This is a summary:

The Scientists


Project Director, Archeodig

ABOUT Carolina Megale

Dr. Megale is an expert at unlocking the secrets that ordinary objects like pottery and bricks hold about the past.



Accommodations and Food

Accommodations and Food


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