Comacchio (Ferrara)

The Etruscan port of Spina

Archaeological mission coordinator/director

Andrea Gaucci

Research Area and ERC Panels

Starting date of the campaign and duration

Since 2020


Since 2020, the Chair of Etruscology and Italic antiquities has been active at the site of the port city of Spina with the aim of investigating the ancient settlement. The aim is to understand the urban grid of the settlement and to identify public and sacred infrastructure that will allow us to understand its institutional aspects.

In the years 2020-2021, thanks also to the European project VALUE, series of non-invasive surveys allowed the mapping of a 30 km2 area around the archaeological site. Fieldwork, geophysical and UAV (also with a multispectral sensor) surveys, together with all available archive documentation, offered an up-to-date framework of the archaeological palimpsest of the area, ranging from the Etruscan period to the contemporary age. Particular attention has been paid to the environmental aspects and changes in the landscape, strongly influenced by the activity of the river Po and more recently by land reclamation.

Since 2022, in addition to the non-invasive investigations, the archaeological excavation of a peripheral sector of the settlement has begun, with the aim of understanding the environment around the Etruscan city, its change over time and the relationship between this and the urban infrastructure.

The mission is part of the broader EOS - Etruscans on the Sea project of the Chair of Etruscology and Italic Antiquities.

The archaeological mission has the support of the Municipality of Comacchio and the Consorzio di Bonifica Pianura di Ferrara. The Université de Strasbourg and the CNRS (Dr. Ferréol Salomon), the British School at Rome (Dr. Stephen Kay) are also collaborating.

Information for students

Only students in possession of a certificate of attendance for safety courses in archaeological sites and a medical certificate for the archaeological job are admitted to the excavation. Participants are guaranteed accommodation and food (from Monday to Friday of each working week), while no refund is provided for travels.


The archaeological area of Spina