Location of event (if online/distance learning please specify): Altamura - Gravina in Puglia, Italy
Fornello Patrimonio Rupestre
Sustainable Preservation Project
Fieldwork, study, research and hands-on cultural landscape conservation and restoration.
Dates: 18 - 29 August, 2020
Place: Altamura- Gravina in Puglia, Italy
Deadline to apply: 30 June 2020
The Fornello Sustainable Preservation Project focuses on the rupestrian site in its early days of research and cultural landscape conservation. The program is an opportunity to experience and learn a wide spectrum of aspects and scientific disciplines involved in cultural heritage preservation. The workshop also stimulates conversations and ideas around sustainable preservation, aiming towards a positive impact of these programs on local communities.
Fornello is a historical site near Altamura, in Puglia Region, Italy, made up of a Byzantine fresco cave, 12 additional cave dwellings and evidence of a settlement dating to the 3rd century B.C. The ancient settlement includes a shepherd's house that dates to the 1700's and dry-stone courtyards that outline a pre-existing sheep farm. It is one of the most interesting Byzantine and historically important sites in the Murgia region of Puglia. The frescoes are comprised of three layers that date to 1100, 1200, and 1350. The fresco paintings document a link and a time in history when Byzantine communities spreading from the Balkans were establishing themselves in Puglia in the rupestrian settlement.
Throughout the course of the 2020 workshop session, we will work to:
▪ archaeological investigation and documentation of the areas an the features of the site subject to restoration and/or reconstruction work;
▪ stabilize cave entrances and the natural skylights made by the original inhabitants of the rupestrian site using natural material as tufa blocks and lime base mortar;
▪ build the wood shelves and the door of the cheese aging cave;
▪ reconstruct and restore the dry-stone-wall of the site;
▪ introduction to the practices of fresco restoration and the history of Byzantine frescoes;
▪ clear caves and landscape of brush and rock debris.
During the sessions, participants will be given instruction on archeological methods, techniques, and documentation while operating in a historical site.
On-site activities are essential to the conservation plan and integrate the local shepherds’ community sharing their knowledge and expertise of cheese making.
The workshop includes excursions and visits to historical sites, town and museums of the region to learn and understand the local history and culture.
Maximum capacity: 14 participants.
Shepherds in the Cave - Documentary featuring the Fornello Project: https://redmammothmedia.com/shepherdsinthecave/