Usually on an annual basis, the Department of Ancient History organizes excursions for students of ancient studies and history, as well as interested students of related subjects. Destinations are ancient sites in the Mediterranean and in the region, as well as collections of ancient historical objects throughout Europe. Planned excursions are announced via the mailing list, in the newsletter of the Department of Ancient History, or in the University of Basel course catalog.

27 February - 5 March 2023

We will visit the Etruscan National Museum in Villa Giulia in Rome, the Etruscan cities of Tarquinia and Gravisca, the Etruscan necropolis in Norchia, in the land of the Falisci the excavations of Ocriculum and Falerii Novi, the Roman villa in Poggio Gramignano and in the Sabine mountains Reate/Rieti, the archaeological museum of Rieti, the Roman villas in Vacone and Cottanello, Forum Novum, the Baths of Titus and Vespasian, the excavations of Trebula Mutuesca and the museum in Monteleone Sabino, the Abbey of Farfa in Sabina and last but not least the Villa Adriana in Tivoli.

The excursion is based on the accompanying seminar in FS 2023 "Etruscans, Faliscans and Sabines - The Romans and their Neighbours from Mythical Beginnings to Late Antiquity".

The excursion is organised by Prof. Dr. Sabine R. Huebner.

Day 1

Tarquinia & Gravisca
Etruscan necropolis at Norchia

Day 2

Museum Ocriculum parco archeologico
Falerii Novi
Villa Romana di Poggio Gramignano

Day 3

Archaeological Museum of Rieti
Villa di Tito
Aquae Cutiliae
Terme di Vespasiano

Day 4

Roman villas at Cottanello, Vacone, and Torri in Sabina
the administrative centre of Forum Novum

Day 5

Trebula Mutuesca
Museum of Monteleone Sabino
Villa dei Casoni
Abbey of Farfa

Day 6

Hadrian's Villa

Day 7

Etruscan Museum in Villa Giulia


24-31 October 2022

The excursion followed the history of Rome from its beginnings through the Republic and Imperial period to Late Antiquity as reflected in its inscriptions. On an epigraphic walk through the city, we got to know the most important inscriptions of the Eternal City in an archaeological context, examined their source value as an important ancient means of communication and learned about their significance for the history of its inhabitants over the centuries. We encountered honorary inscriptions for famous Romans of the Republic and Imperial period, victory inscriptions on triumphal arches, building inscriptions on temples, funerary inscriptions of Roman emperors or Christian martyrs and apostles, but also for slaves and freedmen, which can still be found in situ on the Roman Forum, the imperial fora, the Colosseum, the Arch of Constantine, the Theatre of Marcellus, the Forum Boarium, the Arch of Argentaria or early Christian churches, or are exhibited in the Vatican or Capitoline Museums or the Baths of Diocletian.

Beforehand, the focus of the preparatory exercise was on gaining an insight into the Roman practice of inscription. Using selected examples, Latin inscriptions were examined as communication media that reveal a lot about Roman life and the different population groups. The students got to know the different classes of inscriptions, which include the dedication inscriptions on a temple, funerary inscriptions for a child, ownership inscriptions on a slave collar, graffiti on Pompeian house walls, stamps on clay tiles, bronze military diplomas and many more. The inscriptions were not only classified as text, but also in the context of their "monument" in the archaeological context. The students also got to know the most important tools for Latin epigraphy, the Leiden bracket system and the most important corpora, journals and digital tools of Latin epigraphy.

The excursion was organised by Prof. Dr. Sabine R. Huebner.

Day 1

Roman Forum
Arch of Septimius Severus
Temple of Saturn
Temple of Divus Vespasianus
Temple of Concordia
Porticus of Gaius and Lucius Caesar
Temple of Antoninus Pius
Atrium of the Vesta
Arch of Titus

Day 2

Porta Maggiore
Tomb of Eurysaces
Diocletian's Baths
Aurelian Wall
Trajan's Column
Mars Field
Column of Aurelius
Porticus Octaviae
Epitaph of Licinia Amias

Day 3

Ostia Antica
Isola Sacra

Day 4

Pyramid of Caius Cestius Epulo
Protestant cemetery and tomb of August Goethe
Santa Sabina all'Aventino
Monte Testaccio
Crypt of the Scipions at Porta San Sebastiano

Day 5

Arch of Constantine
Arch of Argentine
Forum Boarium
Pons Fabricius
Church of Santa Maria in Trastevere
Tomb of Aulus Larcius
Tomb of Brumasia
Musei Capitolini

Day 6

Hike on the Via Appia
Tomb of Caecilia Metella
Calixtus Catacombs
Inscription of Damasus for Eusebius


October 24-31, 2021

Today's Istanbul, as Greek Byzantium after its foundation by Doric Greeks in the 7th century BC, underwent a refoundation by Constantine as Constantinople to its heyday as "New Rome" from the 4th-6th centuries AD. Visits during the excursion included the Archaeological Museum, the Mosaic Museum, the Late Antique Forum, Hippodrome, the aqueducts and cisterns, the Theodosian fortifications, and important early church buildings (Hagia Sophia, Hagia Eirene, etc.).

Prior to the excursion, the preparatory seminar focused on the elaboration of the urban history of Byzantium/Constantinople from its beginnings to the 6th century A.D. This included the particular geographical location, architectural changes, the administration of the imperial headquarters in late antiquity, the infrastructure and supply of the city, the religious transformation processes, social classes, external threats, entertainment, education, culture, natural disasters and epidemics.

The excursion was organized by Prof. Dr. Sabine R. Huebner.

Day 1

Sergios and Bakchos Church (Small Hagia Sophia)
Hagia Sophia
Hagia Eirene
Great Palace Mosaic Museum

Day 2

Theodosius Forum
Beyazit Hamam Museum
Kalenderhane Camii
Valens Aqueduct
Polyeuktos Church
Markian Column
Pantokrator Monastery (Zeyrek Mosque)
Fatih Camii

Day 3

Theodosian Wall
Golden Gate
Theotokos Pege
Blachernae Wall
Blachernen Church (St. Mary of Blachernae)
Tekfur Sarayı (Porphyrogennetos Palace)
Chora Church
Pammakaristos Monastery

Day 4

Archaeological Museum (among others Alexander sarcophagus, Egyptian-Hittite peace treaty, lion panel from the processional road to the Ishtar Gate)

Day 5

Constantine Forum
Constantine's Column
Şerefiye Sarnıcı (Theodosius Cistern)
Binbirdirek Sarnıcı (Philoxenos Cistern)
Suleymaniye Mosque
Topkapı Sarayi
Gülhane Park
Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmed Mosque)

Day 6

Bosphorus boat tour to the mountain ruins Yoros Kalesi (passing Ottoman fortifications, i.a. Rumeli Hisarı)


October 06-12, 2019

To get a glimpse of ancient cultures, you don't have to look much further than the many museums across Europe: the UK and France in particular offer extensive collections of Greco-Roman artifacts from Egypt. The trip took students to collections in Manchester (Rylands Collection and Manchester Museum), Liverpool (World Museum), Oxford (Ashmolean Museum), London (British Museum and Petrie Museum), and Paris (Louvre).

The learning objective was to gain in-depth access to everyday life and culture of Egypt under Ptolemaic and Roman rule through the collections.

The excursion was organized by Prof. Dr. Sabine R. Huebner.


Manchester Museum (Behind-The-Scenes Workshop by Dr. J. Cromwell & staff)
University of Manchester (Apéro with Prof. Dr. C. Laes)
John Rylands Library
Castlefield Ruins



Liverpool World Museum (guided tour by curator Dr. A. Cooke)
Victoria Gallery & Museum (special exhibition: "Before Egypt")
Garstang Museum of Archaeology



Petrie Museum of Archaeology
British Museum (exclusive behind-the-scenes tour by curators Dr. E. O'Connell and M. Vandenbeusch)



Ashmolean Museum
Tour of University City by B. McDonald




February 16-23, 2019

The excursion included visits to important monuments and sites of the often legendary history of early Christianity: the Catacombs, the legendary tombs of the Apostles outside the ancient city walls at St. Peter's and S. Paolo fuori le Mure, early Christian churches such as San Clemente, Santa Priscilla, Santa Sabina, the Museo Pio Cristiano, the Arch of Constantine, and the Mausoleum of Santa Constanza.

The objective was to get to know the evidence of early Christianity in Rome, as well as to give an overview of the numerous remains of early Christian buildings.

The excursion was organized by Prof. Dr. Sabine R. Huebner.

Viale Fori Imperiali

Santi Cosma e Damiano
Arch of Constantis

Circo Massimo


Santa Sabina

Caracalla Themes

Santa Prisca

Roman Forum

S. Adriano
Carcer Tullianum

Palatino & Colosseum

San Teodoro
S. Anastasia
San Giorgio in Velabro


Museo Pio Cristiano
Necropolis under St. Peter
St. Peter


San Giovanni in Laterano
San Giovanni in Fonte
Scala Santa & Lateran Palace
Santa Croce in Gerusalemme

San Clemente


Santi Quattro Coronati
Santo Stefano Rotondo
Santi Giovanni e Paolo


Santa Maria Maggiore
Santa Pudenziana
Santa Prassede
San Pietro in Vincoli

Via Nomentana

S. Agnese
S. Costanza

Via Ostiense

San Paolo fuori le mura


Abbazia delle Tre Fontane


Santa Maria in Trastevere
San Pancrazio & Catacombs
S. Cecilia

16 - 23 June 2017

Campania felix - happy Campania - that's what Pliny the Elder called the region on the Gulf of Naples. Thriving cities, sophisticated Roman seaside resorts, luxury villas of the upper class, fertile soil, a mild climate and a rich cultural heritage dating back to the time of the Greek colonists characterized the area. Then, on August 24, 79 A.D., the catastrophe occurred that brought death and destruction to the region. The eruption of Mount Vesuvius extinguished all life and Pliny himself met his death.

The learning objectives were to gain a deeper understanding and a direct view of the history, art, culture and archaeology of the Roman cities of Vesuvius on the Gulf of Naples.

The excursion was organized by Prof. Dr. Sabine R. Huebner.


Forum Boarium
Casa del Fauno (site of Alexander mosaic)
Sanctuary of Apollo
Temple of Jupiter
Bakery of Popidio Prisco
Osteria of the Gladiator



House of Neptune and Amphitrite
College of the Augustals
"House of the Deer"
Casa Samnitica

Villa Oplontis

Museo Archeologico Nazionale Napoli


Villa Jovis

Villa Pausilypon


"Temple" of Diana, Mercury and Venus (ancient thermal baths)
Terme di Sosandra


First Temple of Hera
Second Temple of Hera (Temple of Poseidon)
Temple of Athena


June 15-21, 2015

The Romans began their first campaigns of conquest in southern Gaul around 125 B.C. But it was not until 58-51 B.C. that C. Julius Caesar gained full control of Gaul and adjacent territories and reported on it in his work De bello gallico ("The Gallic War") - Roman rule here was to last 500 years. The Druids were banned, the Celtic religion merged with the Roman one, and buildings such as amphitheaters or aqueducts throughout southern France (Nimes, Arles, etc.) attest to the high degree of Romanization.

The learning objective was to create an overview of the history of Roman Gaul from its conquest by C. Julius Caesar to the Christian late antiquity.

The excursion was organized bySabine Huebner andMatthias Stern.

Alesia | Alise-Sainte-Reine

MuséoParc Alésia
Mont-Auxois, remains of the Gallo-Roman city
Statue of Vercingétorix
Centre d'Interprétation

Lugdunum | Lyon

Odeon and theater
Gallo-Roman Museum

Vienna | Vienne

Archaeological Museum
Roman Theater
Forum with Temple of Augustus and Livia
Sanctuary of Cybele

Vasio Vocontiorum | Vaison-la-Romain

Amphitheater, Temple, Thermae, Maison du Dauphin
Roman bridge over the Ouvèze
Archaeological Museum

Arausio | Orange

Roman theater and archaeological museum
Arch of the city foundation

Avenio | Avignon

Pont du Gard

Colonia Augusta Nemausus | Nîmes

Maison Carrée
La Tour Magne

Arelate | Arles

Granite obelisk at the Place de la République
Copy of theVenus of Arles in the staircase of the Hôtel de Ville, Place de la République
Roman theater
Cryptoporticus and Roman forum
Baths of Constantine
Palace of Constantine

Glanum | Saint-Rémy-de-Provence

Archaeological excavations


Roman bridge
Mill site


Le Grau-du-Roi


September 29 - October 7, 2013

In 7 AD, Augustus divided the Italian peninsula into 11regiones - the so-called "Regio X" encompassed the area from Cremona and the Sebinus Lacus (Lake Iseo) in the west to Emona (Ljubljana) and Pola (Pula) in the east. This administrative division would last until the fall of the Western Roman Empire, nowadays the cities of this regio are spread over northern Italy, Slovenia and Croatia (Aquileia, Grado, Cividale, Trieste, Pula).

The excursion was organized by Sebastian Geisseler (University of Bern). The Ancient History Department of the University of Basel, led by Sebastian Schmidt-Hofner and Leonhard Burckhardt , was able to join the excursion.

Participating professors

Bern: Stefan Rebenich, Thomas Späth
Basel: Sebastian Schmidt-Hofner, Leonhard Burckhardt


Basilica of Santa Maria with mosaics and crypt
Early Christian sarcophagi and inscriptions
Museo Paleochristiano
Tomb Street
Ancient Port
Museo Archeologico Nazionale


Early Christian Basilicas
Sant'Euphemia, Lapidarium
Santa Maria delle Grazie


Tempietto Langobardo


Ara Pacis Mundi


Military memorial from the thirties


Duino (unscheduled)
Cenotaph of Winckelmann
Roman Theater
San Giusto
Ancient and Fascist Trieste
Concentration Camp "Risiera di San Sabba".




Euphrasius Basilica


Temple of Augustus
Sergian Arch
Roman Theater
Archaeological Museum


City complex of Palmnova