L-ANT/08 - 9 CFU - 2° Semester

Teaching Staff


Learning Objectives

The course aims to provide the basic knowledge related to the debate on Christian and medieval archeology and to the main problems of archaeological research, to reflect on the methods of construction of the archaeological source and on the complexity of historical reconstruction processes starting from the use of archaeological sources in comparison with the documentary sources. In particular, the course aims to provide basic knowledge on the main monumental contexts, on the architectural heritage on the themes of figurative culture in relation to the development and organization of Christian communities and the phenomena of transformation of late antiquity. The main themes of the formation of medieval landscapes will also be taken into consideration, with particular reference to the transformations of the rural and urban contexts of medieval Italy: the birth of the village, the fortification, the formation of the medieval city.

Guided tours of the catacombs of Syracuse and the main monuments of Christian and medieval Catania are planned.

Course Structure

Frontal teaching e guided tours at the main monuments and archaeological area (36h) and practical exercises (18h) of classification of archaeological material (TMA, drawing) conducted at the depots of the Superintendence BB.CC.AA. of Catania.

Detailed Course Content

  1. Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages: periodisation, istoriographic debate and historical profile
  2. Christian and medieval archaeology: history of studies and perspectives of research in Italy.
  3. Archaeology and material culture: the construction of archaeological data
  4. The formal language of late antiquity. The birth of an early Christian art.
  5. Christian cemeteries. Development of the catacombs. The martyr cult
  6. From the domus ecclesiae to the Christian basilica.
  7. La civitas christiana: urban transformations between the Late Antique and the High Middle Ages.
  8. The rural landscape in Italy. The role of monasteries
  9. L’incastellamento

Textbook Information

R. Francovich, D. Manacorda (a cura di), Dizionario di archeologia, Bari 2000, s.v. Cultura materiale, Medioevo, Archeologia e storia dell’arte, pp. 99-104; 305-318.

V. Fiocchi Nicolai, Archeologia medievale e archeologia cristiana: due discipline a confronto, in S. Gelichi, Quarant’anni di Archeologia medievale in Italia, numero speciale di Archeologia Medievale 2014, pp. 21-31.

F. Bisconti - O. Brandt (a cura di), Lezioni di Archeologia Cristiana (Sussidi allo studio delle antichità cristiane, 27), Pontificio Istituto di Archeologia Cristiana, Città del Vaticano 2014, pp. 1-636.

A. Augenti, Archeologia dell’Italia medievale, Roma – Bari 2016, pp. 1-184.


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All the books listed in the programs can be consulted in the Library.

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