Field School Instructors and Project Leaders

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Gary D. Farney (Co-Director) is an Associate Professor of History at Rutgers University-Newark. His research focus is on ancient Italian group identity, including the Sabines, and the formation of Roman identity from the various Italic groups. Before this field school, he operated the Rutgers Summer Program to Greece for six years (2005-2010) (
Dylan Bloy (Co-Director) has a PhD in Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology from Bryn Mawr College. He has not only participated in a half-dozen excavations in Italy and Greece, but has taken a leadership role in several (including the villa excavations at Ossaia de la Tufa in Cortona).
Candace Rice (Co-Director) has a PhD in Roman Archaeology from the University of Oxford and is currently a Lecturer in Classical Archaeology at the University of Edinburgh. She has worked in a supervisory role on excavations in Tuscany, Molise and Lazio, as well as in France and Tunisia. Her research focuses on maritime trade and regional economic development in the Roman Mediterranean.
Tyler Franconi (Co-Director) holds a DPhil from the University of Oxford in Roman archaeology. He is currently a lecturer in Classics and a researcher with the Oxford Roman Economy Project at the University of Oxford. He has excavated at a number of sites in Italy, Tunisia, and the USA and specializes in the documentation of archaeological finds. His research focuses on the economic and environmental history of the Roman Empire.
Federica Pollari (Assistant Director) got her master's degree in Classical Archaeology at the University of Rome - “La Sapienza”.  Her thesis was on the function and the decorative program of the so-called Auditorium of Maecenas on the Esquiline Hill. She is continuing her research on Roman wall paintings, especially in its relationship with residential housing, including urban and suburban contexts. Currently, she is working on urban excavations in Rome, and she is  continuing her studies at the Scuola di Specializzazione di Trieste.
Giulia Masci (Project Manager) has a PhD from the University of Turin. Her primary research interests  include  the  formation  of  Sabine  identity  and  the  concept  of  “Romanization.” Her  family-home is in the Upper Sabina Tiberina where she has conducted much of her research. She is currently working as Project Management Support Assistant, The Science Museum, in South Kensington, U.K.
Ian Travers (Cultural Heritage Manager) is a cultural heritage consultant with a proven background in the management of archaeological projects and conservation programs. He is also the President of Australia-ICOMOS. He has worked as a field archaeologist across four continents, and is adept at bringing this experience to bear in an academic training environment. Ian's work also involves the wider presentation and interpretation of cultural heritage, and he aims to impart a solid understanding of field methods within the wider context of cultural resource management.
Kimberly "Max" Brown (Trench Supervisor), of the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, has participated in over a dozen field-archaeology projects around Italy and the Mediterranean, many in a leadership role, with a particular emphasis on both field and geophysical survey.
Matt Notarian (Digital Recording Supervisor) PhD U. of Buffalo, has participated in a number of archaeological projects in Italy, Greece and the USA. His research focuses upon the archaeology and survey of Rome’s countryside, particularly the capital’s influence upon regional development. He is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor of Classics at Hiram College.
Amanda Klein (Field School Supervisor and Assistant Conservation Supervisor), a history teacher at Saddle Brook High School, received her MA in History from Rutgers-Newark. She has received a grant from the Association for the Study and Preservation of Roman Mosaics to continue doing conservation work at Vacone (2014). She also has received a Bergen County (NJ) Historic Preservation Award for her work in Preservation Education (2016). Amanda is an alum of the Rutgers Field School from 2012 and 2013, and she has been involved with the UST Project since then.

Devin L. Ward (Osteology Supervisor) has a MPhil in Biological Anthropological Science from the University of Cambridge.  She was an intern on the field school in 2013, writing her BS (hons) thesis on the human skeletal remains, and returned in 2015 to continue osteological and zooarchaeological work. Devin is currently a PhD student in Evolutionary Anthropology at the University of Toronto studying variation in the modern human inner ear, and is also associated with the bioarchaeological project “Death on the Rock” in Gibraltar (UK). Devin is an alum of the Rutgers Field School from 2013, and has returned to Vacone since 2015.
James Page (Trench Supervisor) is a graduate student at the University of Edinburgh. He has excavation experience at the sites of Trellech, Vindolanda, and Grumentum, and has worked with the Upper Sabina Tiberina Project at Vacone since 2015. His main research interests include the archaeology of the Roman rural economy and the Upper Tiber Valley.

Chelsea Blake (Conservation Supervisor) is finishing her master’s degree in Conservation of Archaeological and Museum Artefacts at the University of Durham. Holding degrees in History, Classics, and Archaeology she has worked as a conservation intern with York Archaeological Trust on projects such as the Jorvik Viking Center, the Swash Channel Wreck, Star Carr, and the HMS Colossus. Chelsea is an alum of the Rutgers Field School from 2014.


Andrew McLean (Trench Supervisor) has an MScR Degree in Classics from the University of Edinburgh. His master’s research focused on specialisation in the economy of Roman Italy. He has supervised at a number of research excavations with different projects in Italy, and has been working for commercial archaeology units in the UK since graduating in 2016
Alessandro Pintucci (Digital Recording Supervisor) got his MA and Scuola di Specializzazione degrees at the University of Rome “La Sapienza” in “Rilievo e Analisi tecnica dei Monumenti antichi” (archaeological drawing and technical analysis of ancient structures). He earned a PhD in Ancient Topography with a research project about the archaeological map of the municipal territory of Palestrina. In 2004 he founded Confederazione Italiana Archeologi, the first Italian professional association of archaeologists, that he now leads. In 2015 he founded the journal EXNOVO – Journal of Archaeology, and he is member of the editorial board. He has worked as a field archaeologist since 2001 with experiences in Italy, Greece, and Turkey. This is his first season at Vacone.

Alessandra Ricci (Assistant Digital Recording Supervisor) is finishing her master's degree at the university of Siena where she worked and studied at the Technology Lab for Medieval Archaeology (L. I. A. A. M.). She took her bachelor degree in Christian and Late Antique Archaeology at the University of Bari. She has worked as trench supervisor in some classical and medieval excavations around Italy, and will be assisting with survey and digital recording operations at Vacone. She worked at Vacone in a similar capacity in 2016.

Erin Irwin (Assistant Trench Supervisor) has recently finished her undergraduate degree in History and History of Art at the University of Edinburgh. She excavated at Vacone in 2015 and 2016, and has also taken part in the Caspian Gates excavation located in Dariali Gorge, Georgia.

Giulia Bellato (Conservation Assistant) has just finished her undergraduate degree in Ancient and Medieval History from the University of Edinburgh, and is about to start her master’s degree in Conservation of Archaeological and Museum Artefacts at the University of Durham. Giulia has taken part in the excavations at Vacone since 2015. She has also been working as a volunteer conservation assistant for the Centre for Research Collections of the University of Edinburgh for the past two years.”

Lauren MacGregor (Finds Assistant) is currently undertaking her masters degree in Classics at the University of Edinburgh, already holding her undergraduate degree in Ancient History and Classical Archaeology from the same institution. Her masters is research will focus on the room decoration (mosaics, wall paintings, stuccoes) of the villa at Vacone. Lauren worked at Vacone in the summer of 2016.