Fabrizio Ducati

Postdoctoral Fellow


Frontiers Inside Roman Sicily: Culture, Economy and Society between Late Antiquity and the Early Byzantine Period (FIRS)

Horizon Europe - Marie Curie postdoctoral fellowship - Global Fellowship.

The Late Antique and Early Byzantine periods are crucial ones for the understanding of Sicily's socio-economic and cultural evolution from Antiquity to the Middle Ages. Recent research has shown that the island still played its centuries-old role then as a Mediterranean linchpin, and this realization has awakened scholars' interest for a period that has been dogged by an adverse historical bias (one of perceived ‘decline and decadence’) for a long time. A raft of new data from archaeological excavations and field surveys have sketched the outlines of the nuanced complexities of Sicilian society and its vibrant economy at this period, and its integration into multiple Mediterranean trade routes. Despite some progress overall, delay in the publication of old excavations, the paucity of syntheses available, and the difficulty in accessing existing datasets, are a hindrance to resolving some key problems about

this important transitional phase in Sicilian history. For this reason, many scholars believe that a new multidisciplinary analysis of the period is essential. The FIRS project therefore focuses on four key sites in western Sicily, investigated during the second half of the 20th century but largely unpublished. These comprise the rural settlements of Campanaio and Castagna and the port cities of Palermo and Lilybaeum (Marsala). By analysing the quantity of material culture from the excavations and exploring the distribution of artefacts at a micro-regional scale, we aim to investigate the many and various causes that triggered changes in trading patterns, social behaviour, and cultural practices between the 5th and the 7th centuries AD.


Research Classification

Research Methodology

Integrated approach (archaeology & archaeometry) applied to the analysis of material culture
IT solutions applied to the cultural heritage
Spatial analysis and network analysis

Research Options

I am available and interested in collaborations (e.g. clusters, grants).
I am interested in and conduct interdisciplinary research.
I am interested in working with undergraduate students on research projects.

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