73761 - Late Ancient and Medieval Archaeology

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2021/2022

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

The course is structured into a general and a monographic section, addressed within both modules. The main themes and methodologies of Medieval Archaeology in Italy and Europe will be presented during the first section. Classes will therefore concern the different ways of living in the cities and the countryside from the first centuries of the Middle Ages to the threshold of the modern age (5th-15th c.); Archaeology of craftsmanship; production and building techniques. In a second section, specific insights on textile finds in relation to the evolution of funerary practices, from the 5th to the X12th century, will be carried out through to the study of material culture.

The course is linked to some of the professors' researches and foresees the possibility for the students to participate in the archaeological excavations and in the study of the finds of the late antique and medieval contexts they deal with.


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:

Students can choose one or two contributions in the following reading list and among further bibliography indicated in class, planning specific examination programs with the professors:

Irene Barbiera, Memorie sepolte: tombe e identità nell’alto medioevo, Carocci, Milano, 2012: chapters indicated during classes.

Silvia Lusuardi Siena e Caterina Giostra (a cura di), Archeologia medievale a Trezzo sull'Adda. Il sepolcreto longobardo e l'oratorio di san Martino. Le chiese di Santo Stefano e San Michele in Sallianense, Vita&Pensiero, Milano, 2012: chapters indicated during classes.

Debora Ferreri, La città dei vivi e la città dei morti. La ridefinizione degli spazi urbani e le pratiche funerarie a Ravenna e nel territorio circostante tra la tarda Antichità e l’alto Medioevo, in Hortus Artium Medievalium, 20.1 (2005), pp. 112-123 (https://www.academia.edu/8448206/D_Ferreri_La_citt%C3%A0_dei_vivi_e_la_citt%C3%A0_dei_morti_La_ridefinizione_degli_spazi_urbani_e_le_pratiche_funerarie_a_Ravenna_e_nel_territorio_circostante_tra_la_tarda_Antichit%C3%A0_e_l_alto_Medioevo ).


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 (https://www.academia.edu/13437275/VIVERE_E_MORIRE_NEL_CASTELLO_DI_RONTANA._LO_SFRUTTAMENTO_DEL_GESSO_IN_UN_INSEDIAMENTO_DI_FONDAZIONE_MEDIEVALE_DELLA_VALLATA_DEL_LAMONE).

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

Teaching methods

The course is structured in frontal lessons and discussion of the data presented with the students. Visits and seminars will also be carried out on the main sites mentioned during the classes or in-depth analysis of the materials in lab classes.


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