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Dr Carmen Esposito

Project PI

Carmen Esposito (PhD 2021, Queen’s University Belfast) is interested in human mobility in early Iron Age Italy, exploring the Villanovan phenomenon of pre-Roman Italy through material culture, osteology, and multi-isotope analysis. She was a Rome Fellow at the British School at Rome (BSR), working on the osteological collection of the Iron Age necropolis of Fermo at Museo delle Civiltà from January to June 2023. Carmen was previously a PDRA at Cardiff University working on the FeastNet project on multi-isotope analysis of animal bones from the British Bronze–Iron Age.

Prof Stefano Benazzi

Project Supervisor

Stefano Benazzi is full Professor in physical anthropology at the University of Bologna, with special interest in paleoanthropology, bioarchaeology and biomechanics. He is particularly interested in the latest period of human evolution (Middle and Upper Palaeolithic periods), the appearance of modern humans in Europe and the demise of Neandertals. Since teeth are the most frequent human fossil remains found in the archaeological record, he is particularly focused on developing computer-based methods for dental morphometric analysis, which are suitable in paleoanthropology for taxonomical assessment. He uses virtual approaches and geometric morphometric methods for the purposes of bone reconstruction and shape analysis of skeletal remains. He finds the relationship between function and morphology in primate dentition very intriguing and he wants to address this issue by means of finite element methods and macrowear analysis.

Prof Wolfgang Müller

Project Co-Supervisor

Wolfgang Müller is Professor of Geology and Palaeoenvironmental Research. Prof. Müller is a leading expert in the field of palaeoenvironmental reconstructions, using (isotope) geochemical proxies analysed at high spatial resolution in key ‘archives’ such as teeth or marine organisms. This is evidenced by 25+ relevant international publications within the last 5 years, regular keynote invitations at international conferences and recent invited paper submissions. He also holds a joint appointment with the Senckenberg Research Institute in Frankfurt.

Dr Luca Bondioli

Project Collaborator

Luca Bondioli is a Bioarchaeology and Prehistory adjunct professor at the University of Padua. He directed the Servizio di Bioarcheologia at the Museo delle Civiltà (Rome) between 1986 and 2020. His main interests are advanced methods in skeletal biology, image analysis, digital radiography, micro CT measurements with both conventional X-ray and synchrotron light sources, dental histology, high spatial resolution biogeochemistry, and the application of statistical and mathematical methods in archaeology and anthropology. He has authored over 150 articles in Italian and international journals and has carried out field missions to Iran, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Eritrea.

Dr Richard Madgwick

Project Collaborator

Richard Madgwick is a Reader in Archaeological Science at Cardiff University. Richard is an osteoarchaeologist who uses macroscopic, microscopic and molecular methods in the analysis of animal and human remains. His research focuses broadly on reconstructing human-animal relations and with a particular interest in the analysis of feasting and mobility and the pre-and post-depositional treatment of human and faunal remains. Much of Richard research centres on the later prehistory of Britain and north west Europe.

Dr Alessia Nava

Project Collaborator

Alessia Nava is a Biological Anthropologist specialized in dental histology, with particular attention to the early phases of human life. During her career, she explored several dimensions of palaeoanthropological research, from archaeology and palaeoanthropology to cutting-edge technologies applied to archaeological and fossil human specimens. In the last few years, she developed histologically-defined elemental and isotopic analyses of dental enamel through LA-(MC)-ICPMS, aiming at disentangling at the high spatial resolution the mineralization patterns of human dental enamel and the dietary and mobility patterns of past human populations. From the start of her PhD in 2014, she developed techniques for virtual histology of fossil and subfossil teeth at the SYRMEP beamline of Elettra Sincrotrone in Trieste.

Dr Melania Gigante

Project Collaborator

Melania Gigante (PhD 2019, University of Bologna, Italy) is a bioarchaeologist, currently a post-doctoral researcher (RTD-A) at the Department of Cultural Heritage, University of Padua (Italy). Her research focuses on chemical and histological analysis of inhumed and cremated human remains from archaeological skeletal collections. During her PhD she focused on the morphological, histological and isotopic analyses of cremated and inhumed remains from Pithekoussai (8th-1st cent. BCE, Ischia, Italy). Winner in 2023 of the MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowship with the project “GIRLS” at the University of KENT, exploring the evolution of human life history markers, and particularly age at puberty and first childbirth in ancient Italian societies.

Prof Alfredo Coppa

Project Collaborator

Highly qualified professor at the Department of History, Anthropology, Religions, Arts, Entertainment (SARAS) of the Sapienza University of Rome. His primary interests are in early Homo forms and skeletal collections, starting with the earliest anatomically modern forms of Homo sapiens, biological relationships between ancient populations through the joint analysis of dental morphology and ancient DNA in the Mediterranean basin, Italy, the Arabian Peninsula, Northern Africa, the Caribbean, and South America. His scientific activity is documented by 185 publications, among which over 40 are in high-impact peer-reviewed journals (e.g., Science, Nature, Nature E&E, Scientific Report, PNAS). Coordinator of the “Eritrean-Italian Danakil Expedition: Anthropo-Archaeological and Geo-Paleontological Mission” in Eritrea. Responsible for a Research Unit of the Finalised Project “Beni Culturali” of the C.N.R., and for seven Projects of National Interest PRIN. Coordinator of two European Projects (CHERK and CHERM) in the framework of the Sixth Framework Programme (Specific Measures in Support of International Cooperation or INCO, FP6-2002-INCO-MPC/SSA-2), and one in HORIZON 2020 project ARIADNE plus . Responsible for various anthropo-archaeological missions in the Dominican Republic, Tunisia, Cuba, Sultanate of Oman, Eritrea, Yemen, Sudan, Morocco, and Pakistan, as well as in Italy. Visiting Professor at the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Musée de l’Homme, Paris and the Universidad del Altiplano in Puno (Peru). Adjunct Professor at McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada.

Prof Simon Stoddart

Project Collaborator

Simon Stoddart is Professor of Prehistory at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of Magdalene College, Cambridge. He is a landscape archaeologist who has worked for forty years in the Mediterranean, including the Upper Arno Valley (Casentino), the Gubbio Valley (Umbria), Nepi (Lazio), Troina (Sicily), Tarquinia and Malta, as well as on the Scottish island of Lismore. He has increasingly collaborated with archaeological scientists to enhance knowledge of the ancestry, mobility and diet of animals and humans, most notably in Malta, Tarquinia, Lismore and Gubbio, seeking to add deeper understanding of the relations of animals and humans to their environment, often working with data recovered over thirty years earlier.  His major monographs include: Territory, Time and State (1994), Power and Place in Etruria (2020) and Temple People (2022).

Dr Alessandra Sperduti

Project Collaborator

Alessandra Sperduti is a bioanthropologist currently head of Servizio di Bioarcheologia at the Museo delle Civiltà (Rome) and adjunct professor at the University “L’Orientale” of Naples. She works on the analysis and interpretation of skeletal samples from archaeological contexts, from protohistoric to medieval times. She is the author of 81 publications focusing on funerary behaviors, paleodemography, paleopathology, occupational activities and lifestyles, migration and mobility, as well as theoretical aspects of anthropological research and the development of new analytical methodologies.

She is also involved in projects focusing on science dissemination and has published articles on “Science & Society”. 

Prof Marco Pacciarelli

Project Collaborator

Marco Pacciarelli is Full Professor of Prehistory and Protohistory at the University of Naples Federico II. He has investigated several aspects (chronology, landscape and settlements, economy, exchanges, necropoleis, social structure, rites and cults, etc.), also through interdisciplinary collaborations, of the societies of the Copper, Bronze and Iron Ages of peninsular Italy. He has carried out archaeological excavations and surveys in Emilia-Romagna, Marche, Tuscany, Latium, Campania, Calabria. He has published about 240 articles (15 of which are in press) and three monographs, which include: Torre Galli. La necropoli della prima età del ferro (scavi Paolo Orsi 1922-23) and Dal villaggio alla città. La svolta protourbana del 1000 a.C. nell’Italia tirrenica.

Dr Flavia Trucco

Project Collaborator

Flavia Trucco was an archaeological officer at the Pigorini Museum (1984-1991) and at the Superintendence for Southern Etruria (1991-2019). Her work was particularly focused on the archaeological protection of the territory and the experimentation of digital systems for the enhancement of cultural heritage. Her main research area is Italian protohistory, with a special interest in investigations related to cremation burials from the Late Bronze Age to the Early Iron Age. Starting from 1996, she promoted the study of biological remains, especially skeletal remains, found during excavations and conducted numerous radiocarbon dating analyses on contexts she excavated. She has authored over 100 articles in Italian and international journals dedicated to Tyrrhenian and Ionic protohistory. She has conducted research missions in southern and central Italy as well as in Greece.