73761 - Late Ancient and Medieval Archaeology

Academic Year 2022/2023

  • Moduli: Maria Cristina Carile (Modulo 1) Debora Ferreri (Modulo 2)
  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures (Modulo 1) Traditional lectures (Modulo 2)
  • Campus: Ravenna
  • Corso: Single cycle degree programme (LMCU) in Conservation and restoration of cultural heritage (cod. 8616)

Learning outcomes

At the end of this course students know the most important and the newest historical-archaeological and artistic frameworks of history, archaeology and artistic culture (architecture, excavations, sculptures, iconographical and stylistic features) from the 5th-6th century to the 12th century.

Course contents

This course has two parts, one general and one monographic, addressed by the lecturers within both modules. It will include:

  • 16 hrs of in-class lecture in which the forms of settlement  between Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages will be addressed (with particular regard to the encastellation), observing the historiographical debate;
  • 40 hours of on site teaching at the Rontana castle site (8 hours a day for five days):  the mornings will be spent directly confronting the archaeological evidence (from the masonry to  stratigraphy); in the afternoons there will be practical activities, including excavation, survey and study of the finds.

This experimental formula will allow students to benefit from a unique experience, which cannot overlap with other courses, and to achieve teaching and training objectives easily and effectively.
The course is linked to some of the lecturers' research and includes the possibility for students to participate in archaeological excavations and the study of artefacts from the Late Antique and Medieval contexts.


General introduction (for all students):

Enrico Cirelli, Archeologia e cultura materiale nel medioevo, BUP, Bologna, 2020.

Recomended readings (mandatory for non-attending students):

Lorenzo Tanzini e Francesco Paolo Tosco, Un Medioevo mediterraneo, Carocci editore, Roma, 2020.

Monographic course: Castles in Medieval Italy (for all students):

Aldo Settia, Castelli medievali, il Mulino, Bologna, 2017.

Recomended readings (mandatory for non-attending students):

Enrico Cirelli, Debora Ferreri, Vivere e morire nel castello di Rontana. Lo sfruttamento del gesso in un castello di fondazione medievale, in Lo sfruttamento del gesso in un insediamento di fondazione medievale nella vallata del Lamone, in LUCCI S., PIASTRA S. (a cura di), I gessi di Brisighella e Rontana, Memorie dell’Istituto Italiano di Speleologia s. II, 28, pp. 545-568.


Debora Ferreri, Enrico Cirelli, Le trasformazioni della vallata del Lamone e dei passi Appenninici tra Esarcato e Regno d’Italia nel Medioevo (VI-XII secolo), in Medioevo nelle valli. Insediamento, società, economia nei comprensori di valle tra Alpi e Appennini, a cura di Federico Marazzi e Chiara Raimondo, Volturnia edizioni, 2019, pp. 101-117.

Teaching methods

The course is structured in frontal lessons, on site work,  direct examination of the archaeodogical evidence and discussion of the data presented with the students. Study of the finds (in the laboratory) will also be offered. 

Assessment methods

Oral examination on the contents of the classes (for attendants) and the recommended readings (for those who will not be able to follow the classes). Following the Alma Mater's guidelines, notably:

  • the demonstration of an organic vision of the themes addressed in class or in books indicated in the reading list as well as of the critical use, command of oral expression and specific vocabulary, will be assessed with marks of excellence (28-30).
  • mechanical and/or mnemonic knowledge of the subject, scarce ability of synthesis and analysis and/or the use of a correct but not always appropriate vocabulary will lead to discrete assessments (23-27).
  • training gaps and/or inappropriate vocabulary - even in conjunction with a minimal knowledge of the subject - will lead to marks that will not exceed the minimum grade (18-22).
  • training gaps, inappropriate vocabulary, lack of command of the bibliography discussed within the course will lead to negative evaluations.

Teaching tools

During the lesson, archaeological contexts and themes will be presented through simple slides and with handouts that are available to non-attendants on Virtuale.unibo.it.

Office hours

See the website of Maria Cristina Carile

See the website of Debora Ferreri