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Bucher-Loewenstein Pledge Provides $100,000 For Museum Internships

A pledge of $100,000 for museum internships in Italy has been made by Suzanne Bucher in memory of her husband Robert Loewenstein [a.].  The internships will be used in connection with the Cetamura excavation field school and the Florida State University Study Abroad Program in Florence.


This generous gift of internships provides students with experience visiting and evaluating great museums in Florence and participating in the planning for opening a museum for Cetamura, which may happen in the near future.  Museum Designated in Gaiole – Cetamura del Chianti Excavations and Research.  They are tasked with designing and mounting an exhibition in the FSU Study Center, in the new Fine Arts Gallery of the Palazzo Bagnesi in Florence. To fill out their experience and training for museum work, they excavate at Cetamura for 4 weeks where they handle and study artifacts that are freshly excavated. They are also trained to give presentations of the site and of museums.

The Internships for the summer of 2022 will cover all expenses for the combined Cetamura-Florence program, a value of  $8085. The awards will continue over a 5-year period until 2026. For further details, see Bucher-Loewenstein Internship.


Suzanne Bucher has spent her life making art. She experiences the world with the eye of an artist and the hand of a maker. In a wonder filled dialogue with the visual world she asks: “What is it? How was it made and why?” Her questions and insights have supported creativity in all those around her, in the sciences and the arts.

By funding the Bucher-Loewenstein Museum Internship in Classical Archaeology, Suzanne creates the opportunity for future archeologists to ask these very questions about objects and materials of the past. These artifacts inform the understanding of life in the past but can also inspire art that is created in the present. Suzanne’s art has often expressed this connection and helping students to discover more about the look and feel of the past brings her artistic journey full circle. 


Dr. Robert Loewenstein was an astronomer at the University of Chicago’s Yerkes Observatory in Williams Bay, Wisconsin, from 1974 to 2014. His scientific work focused on measuring the amount of infrared light from planets and galaxies.  His creative energy was directed at solving difficult technical problems to advance the burgeoning field of infrared astronomy.  Bob passed on earlier this year, in 2021.

Bob was a founding member of the “Yerkes Infrared Group”, astronomers who pioneered the use of aircraft to fly high above the water vapor in the atmosphere to better detect the infrared light that was revealing unknown objects in our galaxy and beyond. This exciting new search for infrared signals took him to the South Pole where he helped to found CARA, the Center for Astrophysical Research in Antarctica. The Center for Astrophysical Research in Antarctica – NASA/ADS (

During his expeditions to the South Pole scientific station, Loewenstein developed software needed for instrument control and for data analysis in this groundbreaking research. He built systems that allowed astronomers at the South Pole to communicate across the globe before the advent of satellite networks.

Extending this interest in communications he was one of the first scientists to remotely control a large ground-based telescope over the internet.  He is honored by having a mountain named for him, Loewenstein Peak, in Victoria Land of Antarctica.

Bob was an enthusiastic science communicator and believed public outreach was important for all ages. He had varied interests including, art, music and movies.

Bob and Suzanne shared a love of nature that took them outside in all seasons and all over the world. They always found ways to bring others along on their great adventures [b.].


Suzanne Bucher first began to sponsor students with scholarships to the Cetamura program in 2014. 

The first recipient was an undergraduate student, Cheyenne Tempest, in 2014.  Cheyenne received her B.A. in Classical Archaeology and Anthropology from FSU in 2015.  After a stint working for PaleoWest in Colorado, she has entered the M.A. program in Anthropology and Archaeology at the University of Colorado in Denver.  She says regarding the B-L scholarship:

“I was the first recipient of the Bucher-Loewenstein Scholarship in 2014 and I will always be so thankful for their generosity and support! The funding from this scholarship allowed me to put years of education into practice and achieve a lifelong goal and dream. I got to be an archaeologist. It also allowed me the opportunity to travel internationally and see wonderful sites; the experience I gained at Cetamura greatly prepared me for my work in archaeology and without the support of the Bucher-Loewenstein Scholarship, my participation would not have been possible and I will forever be so thankful for their contributions and the impact it had on this first-generation college graduate [c.].”

In 2015, the second recipient of the B-L Scholarship was Rachel Wood, a graduate student.  Rachel completed her MA in Classical Archaeology in 2018 and is enrolled in the Ph.D. program in Archaeology at UCLA.  In her summer as a B-L scholar, she was put in charge of a trench in which was found the greatest of all discoveries of Cetamura, a cache of 194 silver coins of the Roman Republic recently featured in an exhibition in Siena as the Treasure of Chianti. Treasure of Chianti: Silver Coinage of the Roman Republic from Cetamura del Chianti – Cetamura del Chianti Excavations and Research

Here is what Rachel says about the B-L scholarship:

“The Bucher-Loewenstein scholarship that I received in 2015 provided me with an amazing opportunity, and I will always be grateful that I received it. Without the scholarship, I would have never been able to go overseas on my first excavation or discover my love for archaeology and, especially, fieldwork. Receiving the scholarship and excavating at Cetamura helped cement my future in archaeology and academia.”


The Medieval Castrum

In the last 4 years (2015-2019), much of the focus at Cetamura has been on the area on Zone I around Well no. 1, in an attempt to learn more about the surroundings of the Etruscan well [a.].  So far in trenches both north and south of the well, the new revelations have to do with the medieval castle.  It has become clear that documents of the 12th century from the Badia a Coltibuono that refer to the site of “Civitamura”  as a castrum relate  to extensive and often very substantial foundation walls of a castle. A striking find within the castrum trenches in 2019 was the jaw of an equine, seemingly intentionally deposited next to an area of firing activity, perhaps a hearth or forge [b.].  A recent internet article provides a  narrative for the 12th century situation:

New drone photos from 2019, made by Devid Savegnago, show the foundation walls of the castrum very clearly [c.].  

North of the well, the work continues to seek to define a huge cavity carved down into  the bedrock, which may be a quarry (perhaps of Etruscan times).  It contains a massive fill certainly of Roman and medieval material, and probably of Etruscan as well.  So far it has revealed evidence of two phases of the castrum [d.].

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