Foto del docente

Simone Mantellini

Senior assistant professor (fixed-term)

Department of History and Cultures

Academic discipline: L-OR/16 Indian and Central Asian Archaeology and Art History

Curriculum vitae

Current Research Focus

My main interests concern Landscape Archaeology with special focus on water management and hydraulic works in ancient societies. Other interests cover the interaction between man and environment (Geography, Ecology, Anthropology, and Ethnography), the research methodology, the documentation of the archaeological record (field survey and excavation), as well as Remote Sensing and Geographic Information System (GIS) applications. Main research and projects extend from the Mediterranean to the Near East and Central Asia, covering chiefly extreme or marginal ecological contexts (steppe and deserts).

Languages: Italian, English, Russian (Fluent/Conversional); French, Spanish (Basic/Functional)

Academic Appointments

2014-present Research Fellow, Department of History and Cultures 2014, University of Bologna

2010-2014 Post-Doc Researcher, Department of Classics, University of Rome Sapienza

2005 Fellowship, Department of Archaeology, University of Bologna

Teaching Activities

2003-present Supervisor for the GIS Laboratory and Landscape Archaeology, Department of History and Cultures, University of Bologna

2014-present Summer School on Roman Hydraulics, University of Padova

2008 Teaching Assistant, Faculty for the Conservation of the Cultural Heritage, University of Bologna

2002-2003 Scuola Superiore di Studi sulla Città e il Territorio, University of Bologna


2009 Ph.D. in Archaeology University of Bologna, Department of Archaeology

2000 M.A. cum laude University of Bologna, Faculty for the Conservation of Cultural Heritage,

Archaeological Field Projects

2001-present Samarkand and Its Territory, Samarkand Region (Uzbekistan), Project Co-Director (since 2009), Kafir Kala excavation Co-Director (since 2005), Survey Team Leader (2001-present)

2013-present Turco-Italian Project at Karkemish Höyük (Turkey), Area N Supervisor (2013-2014), Survey Team Leader (2015)

2010 Ebla Chora Project (Syria), Remote Sensing, GIS, and Survey Team Leader

2003-2004 Late Antique Bath at Sibari (Italy) – Topography Team Leader

1997-2001 Archaeological Map of Pantelleria Island (Italy), Survey Team Member (1997), Lago di Venere excavation Assistant Supervisor (1998), Survey Team Leader (1999-2001)

2006-2007 Shaduf. Traditional Water Techniques: Cultural Heritage for a sustainable Future. (Syria), INCO-UNESCO Project, Survey Team Leader

2004-2005 Study of the Etruscan water tunnel of San Potente (Tuscania, Italy), Topographer and GIS Team Leader

2004 Excavation of the École Française de Rome [] at the Gallo-Roman settlement of Thèrouanne (Pas de Calais, France), Topographer and GIS Team Leader

2003-2004 Excavation of the École Française de Rome [] at the Late Antique Bath of Sibari-Parco del Cavallo (Italy), Topographer and GIS Team Leader

2002 Experimental Archaeological Project “The Magan Boat” (Ravenna, Italy), team worker

2001 Medieval aqueduct of Corleone (Palermo, Italy), Topographer and survey Team Leader

1998-2001 Joint Hadd Project (Sultanate of Oman), excavation and survey, student

1998 Bronze Age Terramare of Montale and Casinalbo (Modena, Italy), excavation, student

Professional Services

Peer-Reviewer for the journals Eurasiatica and Ipotesi di Preistoria

Grant Reviewer for the National Center for Science and Technology Evaluation, Kazakhstan

Grants and Fellowships

2005 Junior Researcher, Department of Archaeology, University of Bologna

2001-2002 SPINNER Global Grant "Interventions for human resources qualification in the research and technological innovation sectors


2002 ARES – Company for Archaeological Services Founder

1999 Speleology license

Undergraduate Students Supervision

2014 Camellini, Stefano (MA, University of Bologna) on Remote sensing analysis in the Samarkand Region (Uzbekistan)

2012 Campana, Ivan (MA, University of Roma Sapienza, cum laude and award) on Umayyad hydraulic structures in Jordan

2011 Codini, Giorgia Benedetta (MA, University of Bologna, cum laude), on Archaeological survey in Samarkand (Uzbekistan)

di Cugno, Serena (MA, University of Bologna, cum laude and award), on Excavation 2007-2008 at Kafir Kala (Samarkand, Uzbekistan)

Sedda, Elisabetta (MA, University of Bologna, cum laude) on GIS and spatial analysis of Nuraghi Bronze Age settlements (Sardinia, Italy)

Tamburrino, Eugenio (BA, University of Bologna, cum laude and award) on Roman aqueduct of Ravenna (Italy)

2009 Bonvicini, Michele (BA, University of Bologna, cum laude) on Palaobothanic remains from Kafir Kala (Samarkand, Uzbekistan)

2009 di Cugno, Serena (BA, University of Bologna, cum laude) on Archaeological map of Sant’Arcangelo di Romagna (Italy)

Invited Lectures

2013.03 Napoli (ITA) Università di Napoli “L’Orientale”, Ciclo conferenze dottorali

“Dinamiche insediamentali, occupazione del territorio e rotte commerciali nell'antica Samarcanda”

2009.12 Torino (ITA) Università degli Studi di Torino, Dipartimento di Studi Storici

“Il Progetto Archeologico Italo-Uzbeko a Samarcanda 2001-2009”

Torino (ITA), Museo di Antichità di Torino

“Archeologia della Via della Seta nell’Oasi di Samarcanda”

2009.07 Berlin (GER), Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities, Turfanforschung

“Settlement Dynamics and Irrigation Systems in Samarkand Oasis”

2009.06 Bologna (ITA), Alma Mater Studiorum – University of Bologna Conferenze sugli scavi del Dipartimento di Archeologia

“Città e nomadi in Asia Centrale (Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan)” (w/ G. L. Bonora, M. Tosi)

2009.03 Matera (ITA) Università della Basilicata, Scuola di Specializzazione in Archeologia

“Samarcanda e il Suo Territorio. Risultati e prospettive della Missione Archeologica dell'Università di Bologna”

2008.04 Florence (ITA) Università degli Studi di Firenze, Dipartimento di Storia, Archeologia, Arte e Spettacolo

“Dalla Carta Archeologica allo studio del popolamento: la missione archeologia italiana Samarcanda (Uzbekistan)”

Conferences, Workshops and Meetings (*Invited, **Organizer)

2015 * Paris (FRA), 4-5 June, Collège de France, Chaire Histoire et Culture de l’Asie Centrale Pré-Islamique, Journées d’étude ‘En hommage à Pierre Gentelle (1933-2010): nouvelles recherches sur l’irrigation en Asie centrale et dans les zones voisines’ – Paper title: “Irrigation systems in the Samarkand floodplain: a geo-archaeological approach” (w/ V. Picotti)

* Fognano (ITA), 15-16 May, Polo Universitario di Asti – Studi Superi, BiostAT – Scuola di Alta Formazione Statistica, Workshop ‘Statistica e Scienze Umane: un colloquio’ – Paper title: “Dalla Carta Archeologica allo studio delle dinamiche insediamentali su scala regionale: il caso di Samarcanda (Uzbekistan)”

* Bologna (ITA), 9-10 February, University of Bologna International Colloquium ‘Urbanized Landscapes of Early Syro-Mesopotamia and Prehispanic Mesoamerica’ – Paper title: “Cities, settlements and water: a perspective from Central Asia”

2014 Basel (SWI), 9-13 June, 9th International Congress on the Archaeology of the Ancient Near East (ICAANE) – Poster title: “K-Dig. An integrated GIS tool for recording and managing an excavation, its environment, and 3D data” (w/ N. Marchetti, S. Bassetto, G. Luglio)

* Samarkand (UZB), 15-16 May, Uzbek Ministry of Culture and Heritage International Conference ‘The historical heritage of scientists and thinkers of the medieval East, its role and importance for modern civilization’ - Paper title: “Cultural Heritage and Settlement Dynamics in Samarkand Oasis: the Archaeological Map of the Middle Zeravshan Valley”

* Bologna (ITA), 5 May, University of Bologna – Department of History and Cultures WorkshopDocumentare l’Archeologia 4: Strumenti e metodi per la costruzione delle banche territoriali’ - Paper title: “Insediamenti e risorse, archivi reali e ricognizioni archeologiche in Siria. Il GIS per lo studio del territorio di Ebla-Tell Mardikh dall’età del Bronzo all’epoca romana”

* Lyon (FRA), 29-30 April, CNRS-MOM Séminaire ‘ANR PaléoSyr/PaléoLib. Analyse des territoires, Traitement et exploitation des données archéologiques’ - Papers title (2): “Ebla Chora Project: Goals, Methods, Datasets”; “Archaeological assessment and preliminary analysis in the Eblaite chora”

2013 * Matera (ITA) 21-23 November, UNESCO International Conference The Landscape of the Caves - Paper title: “The hidden lanscape of Pantelleria Island. Underground water cisterns between ancient and modern times”

2o12 * Ravenna (ITA) 22-23 November, Annual Meeting of the Italian Association for the Study of Central Asia and Caucasus (ASIAC) - Paper title: “Archeologia della Via della Seta: città e campagna nel territorio di Samarcanda” (w/ M. Tosi)

Bern (SWI) 8-10 November, International Conference ‘High resolution satellite imagery - the magnifying glass for science’, Bern University - Paper title: “The archaeological landscape of the Eblaite Chora: a first assessment by using high- resolution satellite imagery” (w/ N. Galiatsatos)

* Ravenna (ITA) 16-17 July, University of Bologna – Department of Archaeology Workshop ‘Qanat and Falaj. Origin and development for a history of irrigation in the Ancient Orient’ – Paper title: “The origin of the ancient irrigation canals in Samarkand Oasis (Uzbekistan)

Warsaw (POL) 30 April-4 May, 8th International Conference on the Archaeology of the Ancient Near East (ICAANE) - Paper title: “Tell Mumbatah Area and the Eastern Limit of the Territory of Ebla” (w/ M. G. Micale)

2011 * Samarkand (UZB) 4-5 October, UNESCO-ICAAS International Scientific Conference ‘Culture of the Asian People along the Great Silk Road’ - Paper title: “Kafir Kala - ancient city on the Great Silk Road”; Chair: Third Session

* Pantelleria (ITA) 11-14 May, International Workshop ‘Antike und modern Wasserpericherung’ – Paper title: “Ancient Water Supply in Pantelleria Island: a Survey of the Bottle-Shaped cisterns”

* Ravenna (ITA) 22 March, University of Bologna – Department of Cultural Heritage Seminar ‘Sulla Via della Seta: Giornate di studio sul mondo Iranico e le civiltà vicine’ - Paper title: “La missione Archeologica dell’Università di Bologna a Samarcanda (Uzbekistan)”

2010 * Bologna (ITA) 14 December, University of Bologna ALMA Heritage Science IRT – Annual Assembly – Paper title: “Samarkand and Its Territory. A Multidisciplinary Approach for Reconstructing the Landscape and Human Settlements in the Middle Zeravshan Vallery (Uzbekistan)” (w/ M. Tosi)

* Rome (ITA) 13-14 May, 5th Italian Conference on Ethnoarchaeology ‘Ethnoarchaeology: Current Research and Field Methods’ - Paper title: “L’Etnoarcheologica come strumento di comprensione del record archeologico: alcune considerazioni dal complesso altomedievale-islamico di Kafir Kala (Samarcanda, Uzbekistan)” (w/ S. di Cugno)

 * Ravenna (ITA) 30 March, University of Bologna – Department of Cultural Heritage International SeminarNuovi sguardi sull’Asia Centrale’ – Paper title: “La missione archeologica italiana a Samarcanda (Uzbekistan). Risultati e prospettive”

2009 Wien (AUT) 15-20 April, European Geoscience Union (EGU) General Assembly - Poster title: “The origin of the Dargom canal in the oasis of Samarkand (Uzbekistan). A new scenario from geoarcheological data” (w/ V. Marconi, V. Picotti, G. Gabbianelli, M. Tosi)

Milano (ITA) 19-21 February, La città e le Reti. IV Congresso dell’Associazione Italiana di Studi Urbana – Paper title: “Il sistema di irrigazione di Samarcanda (Uzbekistan). Un approccio multidisciplinare per lo studio della gestione idrica e del territorio”

2008 ** Ravenna (ITA) 18 December, University of Bologna – Department of Cultural Heritage Seminar ‘Esplorazioni nel complesso altomedievale di Kafir Kala (Samarcanda, Uzbekistan)’. Risultati delle campagne 2005-2008 e nuove prospettive di ricerca – Papers title (2): “Dinamiche insediamentali e sistemi d’irrigazione nella Samarcanda altomedievale” (w/ B. Rondelli); “Nuovi risultati dallo scavo della cittadella di Kafir Kala”

Levico Terme (ITA) 27-28 June, Associazione per lo Studio in Italia dell’Asia Centrale e del Caucaso, II Convegno Nazionale – Paper title: “Sistemi tradizionali per la gestione del territorio e delle risorse nell’oasi di Samarcanda”

Budapest (HUN) 2-6 April, ‘On The Road To Reconstructing The Past’ 36th Annual Meeting on Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology (CAA) – Paper title: “Analytical Approach for understanding the Hydrographical Landscape. A Case-study from Samarkand” (w/ B. Rondelli, S. Stride)

2007 * Berlin (GER) 28 November, Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities-Turfanforschung Workshop 'Sogdiana'– Papers title (2): “Water management in the ancient Middle Zeravshan Valley” ; “The medieval fortress of Kafir Kala at the Southern Gate of Samarkand”

Paestum (ITA) 15-18 November, X Borsa Mediterranea del Turismo Archeologico – Paper title: Un’Archeologia per la Promozione Turistica: il Caso di Samarcanda

* Paris (FRA) 7-9 November, Collège de France International Conference ‘Islamisation de l´Asie centrale. Pratiques sociales et acculturation dans le monde turco-sogdien’ – Paper title: “The Sogdian Fortress of Kafir Kala: Archaeological Evidences from the New Excavation (2005-2007)” (w/ A. E. Berdimuradov, D. Giorgetti)

Ravenna (ITA) 7-9 July, Association for Studies and Research on the Early Civilization in the Middle Asian Intercultural Space (MAIS), First Meeting – Paper title: “Early Developments in Central Asian Irrigation: Case Studies from Murghab Delta (Turkmenistan) and Middle Zeravshan Valley (Uzbekistan)” (w/ B. Cerasetti)

** Ravenna (ITA) 29 June, University of Bologna – Department of Archaeology Workshop ‘Ravenna e Samarcanda. Da antiche capitali del passato alla nomina nel Patrimonio Mondiale dell’UNESCO’ – Paper title: “Samarcanda e il Suo Territorio” (w/ F. Franceschini, B. Rondelli)

* Samarkand (UZB) 24-26 May, Uzbek Academy of Sciences ‘The role of Samarkand in the History of World Civilization. International Scientific Symposium devoted to the 2750th anniversary of the city of Samarkand’ – Paper title: “Kafir Kala. The Rural Residence of the Rulers of Samarkand” (W/ A. E. Berdimuradov, B. Matbabaev)

** Ravenna (ITA) 23-24 March, University of Bologna – Department of Archaeology International Workshop ‘Large Irrigation Works and Urban Growth in the Archaeological Record of Central Asia’ – Paper title: “The Hydrographical Landscape in the Middle Zeravshan Valley: the Case of Samarkand and its Surroundings” (w/ F. Franceschini, B. Rondelli)

* Bologna (ITA) 15 March, University of Bologna – Department of Archaeology Workshop ‘Il mondo di Erodoto: dove l’Occidente e l’Oriente di incontrano’ – Paper title: “Samarcanda e il suo Territorio. Risultati e Prospettive della Missione Archeologica dell'Università di Bologna nella Media Valle dello Zeravshan” (w/ F. Franceschini, B. Rondelli)

2006 * Barcelona (SPA) 14-15 December, University of Barcelona International Symposium ‘Silk Road in the Digital Era’ – Papers title (2): “The Sogdian Fortress of Kafir Kala” ; “The Traditional Knowledge World Bank Project”

Iraklio (GRE) 28-30 October, 1st IWA International Symposium ‘Water and Wastewater Technologies in Ancient Civilizations’ – Paper title: “Water Cisterns Survey in Pantelleria Island”

Amman (JOR) 17-18 July INCOMED Project ‘SHADUF. Traditional Water Techniques: Cultural Heritage for a Sustainable Future’ 2nd Internal Meeting Papers title (3): “New technologies application in the study of the archaeological landscape. Some case-studies of ancient hydraulic systems”; “The water cisterns of Pantelleria”; “A preliminary survey of the water tunnel (qanat) of Qara (Syria)

Rome (ITA), 17-19 May, Italian Conference on Ethnoarchaeology, 4th meeting – Paper title: La comprensione delle dinamiche insediamentali centroasiatiche verso lo studio dei sistemi d’irrigazione: forza-lavoro, tempistica e aspetti logistici per la realizzazione di Large Collective Works (w/ S. Malgora, M. Tosi)

San Juan (Puerto Rico, USA) 26-30 April, Society for American Archaeology, 71th Annual Meeting – Paper title: The Mother of All Riches. Scaling the Political Complexity of Ancient Societies in Terms of Work Forces and Labor Organization” (w/ S. Malgora, M. Tosi)

Frascati (ITA) 23 April, INCOMED Project ‘Foggara. Inventory, analysis and enhancement of traditional water techniques of European and Saharan drainage tunnels’ 3rd Meeting – Paper title: “Il cunicolo di San Potente: un approccio multidisciplinare per una nuova metodologia di studi” (w/ L. Caponetti, C. Giontella)

** Ravenna (ITA) 21-23 January, University of Bologna – Department of Archaeology International Workshop ‘Satellite Imagery and Archaeological Landscape: Applications, Limits and Possibilities for Future Research’ – Paper title: “Understanding the Hydrographic Network and Landscape Transformations trough Remote Sensing Analysis: the Case of Samarkand and Its Territory” (w/ B. Rondelli, S. Stride)

2005 ** Ravenna (ITA) 1-3 December, Annual Meeting of the Italian Association for the Study of Central Asia and Caucasus (ASIAC) - Paper title: “Il contributo dell’archeologia a Samarcanda: strumenti e prospettive per un approccio territoriale, tra recupero e pianificazione” (w/ F. Franceschini, B. Rondelli)

Rome (ITA) 21-23 September, ‘Iranian Identity in the Corse of History’ International Conference of the Societas Iranologica Europaea – Paper title: “Fluctuations in the Alluvial Lowlands of Middle Asia: Field Survey and GIS Application in the Murghab Delta and in the Middle Zeravshan Valley (1990-2005)” (w/ B. Cerasetti, F. Franceschini, B. Rondelli, M. Tosi)

2004 Rabat (MAR) 16-19 December, XVI Convegno Internazionale ‘L’Africa Romana’ – Paper title: “L’insediamento tardo antico della Baia di Scauri a Pantelleria; alcuni dati preliminari” (w/ L. Abelli, R. Baldassari, D. Sami, S. Tusa)

Bologna (ITA) 18-21 May, II Convegno Nazionale degli Studenti in Archeologia ‘Nuove prospettive e finalità nello studio dei contesti archeologici’ – Paper title: “La Fortezza Sogdiana di Kafir Kala nella Media Valle dello Zeravshan (Samarkand, Uzbekistan)”

Bloomington (IN, USA) 3 April, The Eleventh Annual Central Eurasian Studies Conference – Paper title: “Origin and Development of Waterways in the Middle Zeravshan Valley According to Recent Archaeological Investigations: An Example of the Dargom Canal”

* Rome (ITA) 23-24 March, École française de Rome – Symposium [] – Paper title: Le Terme di Sibari-Thurium in Epoca Tardoantica (w/ R. Biundo, M. Brando, S. Mantellini, G. Noyè)

2003 Napoli (ITA) 27-29 May, I Convegno Nazionale degli Studenti di Archeologia ‘Teoria e Pratica nell’Analisi e Interpretazione della Cultura Materiale Antica’ – Paper title: “Strategie e Metodi per la storia del popolamento nella Media Valle dello Zeravshan” (w/ B. Rondelli)

* Padova (ITA) 4 July, University of Bologna Workshop ‘Archeologia e Sviluppo’ – Paper title: “La ricognizione archeologica della Media Valle dello Zeravshan: l’entroterra di Samarcanda” (w/ B. Rondelli, M. Tosi)

2001 * Roma (ITA) 9-10 July, International Conference ‘Arid Lands in Roman Times’ – Paper title: “La gestione delle acque a Pantelleria in Età Punico-Romana” (w/ V. Castellani)




Books Edited

In press S. Mantellini Ancient Irrigation System of the Aral Sea Region, translated and edited books from “Drevnie orositelnye systemy priaralya” by B. V. Andrianov (Moskow 1969), Harvard University - American School of Prehistoric Research Monograph, Oxford: Oxbow. To appear in Fall 2015

Article in Journals

in press * S. Mantellini “The implications of water storage for human settlement in Mediterannean waterless islands: The example of Pantelleria”, Journal of Environmental Archaeology. Available at

accepted * S. Mantellini, S. di Cugno, R. Dimartino, A. E. Berdimuradov “Change and continuity along the Silk Road in Samarkand Oasis: the Islamic occupation on the Citadel of Kafir Kala”, Journal of Inner Asian Art and Archaeology, Vol. 7, eds. J. Lerner, L. Russel-Smith, S. Stark. To appear in Autumn 2015.

accepted * I. Campana, S. Mantellini “"Water management systems in Umayyad Jordan: a first assessment" to appear in Water History in winter 2015-2016.

Article in Proceedings and Edited Volumes

in press * S. Mantellini “GIS and remote sensing for a preliminary assessment of the archaeological landscape in the Eblaite chora (Syria)”, Archeologia e Calcolatori 26. To appear in Fall 2015.

In press S. Mantellini, A. Berdimuradov “Cultural Heritage and Settlement Dynamics in Samarkand Oasis: the Archaeological Map of the Middle Zeravshan Valley”, in The Historical Heritage of Scientists and Thinkers of the Medieval East, its Role and Significance for Modern Civilization. Proceedings of the International Conference (Samarkand, 14-15 May 2014). Ed. A. Abduvakhitov. ISBN 978-1-908106-45-2