This past summer students from Grove City College traveled to Sardina, Italy to participate in an archaeology conservation program. Dr. Mark Graham, professor of history at the College, helped to select and prepare five students, Sara Cammenga ’16, Geoffrey Hall ’17, Lacey Lobdell ’16, Vincent Michael ’17 and Eloise Smith ’17 for the experience.
The project was an inaugural international service-learning opportunity for both the students and faculty. Robert Nardi, one of Italy’s most accomplished conservation experts and the director of the Centro di Conservazione Archaelogica, invited Grove City to be a member of a three-college consortium, which includes Connecticut College and Randolph College.
“Aside from the educational and service-learning aspects of the ACI trip, I had the time of my life traveling and forging some of my best friendships. The program is a great way to meet fellow students who are interested in the classics, not just from Grove City, but from colleges across the country,” said Sara Cammenga ’16.
Participants spent the majority of their time in the small town of Cabras, on the west coast of Sardina, working to clean, conserve, map, and catalogue stone fragments from life-size statues that date back to well before the Greek archaic era. They began their work by learning about the importance of preserving cultural heritage, as well as practicing as the basic technique they would need to use throughout the excavation. Students also spent time getting to know the townspeople and immersing themselves in the local culture.
“The work of these students was exemplary. All of the affiliated conservation experts and professors associated with the program noted our students’ hard work, positive attitude, teachability, hardiness, consideration of others, and intellectual engagement,” noted Graham.
The project, “The Conservation of the Nuragic sculptures of Monte Prama,” was assigned the top award in the Conservation category by the European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage and Europa Nostra Awards. In addition, in June, the project won the overall “Public Choice Award,” the only one assigned out of the 28 winning projects by the same prize committee for the European Union.