Academic Year 2020/2021 - 2° Year
Teaching Staff: Lucia ARCIFA
Credit Value: 6
Taught classes: 36 hours
Term / Semester:

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. With particular reference to Sicily , the course aims a knowledge of acculturation processes from the Byzantine to Swabian age and some archaeological sites and monumental complexes of particular relevance to measure the extent of these processes.

Course Structure


Archaeology and Medieval History: the framework; Christian Archaeology and Medieval archaeology: new researches in Italy; the bird of new type of religious building: civitas Christiana: the urban transformation; The rural landscapes and the 'incastellamento'; cultural changes in Sicily between Byzantine Ages and Swabian age: territorial dynamics and material culture

Detailed Course Content

The course aims

- to provide basic knowledge on the debate on the Medieval and Christian archeology and the main problems of archaeological research;

- to reflect on construction of the archaeological source and on the complexity of the processes of historical reconstruction from the use of archaeological sources in comparison with the documentary sources.

- with particular reference to Sicily, to provide knowledge of the processes of acculturation from the Byzantine age to age Swabian and some archaeological sites and historic buildings of particular importance to measure the extent of these processes.

Archeology and medieval history: the historical context; the characters of late antiquity; Christian archeology and medieval archeology: perspectives of research in Italy; the spread of Christianity: the birth of a new place of worship; the civitas christiana: urban transformations; the rural settlement: the fortification; acculturation processes in Sicily from the Byzantine period in the Swabian period: spatial dynamics and material culture

Textbook Information


1. 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.

Previous studies history

2. F. W. Deichmann, Archeologia cristiana, Roma, L’Erma di Bretschneider, cap. II-V, pp. 21-70.

3. P. Delogu, R. Francovich, R. Hodges, Archeologia Medievale (dossier), “Archeo” 77 (1991), pp. 52-101.

Early Christian Art

4. R. Bianchi Bandinelli, Roma. La fine dell’arte antica, Milano 1970, pp. 1- 83.


5. V. Fiocchi Nicolai, Origini e sviluppo delle catacombe romane, in V. Fiocchi Nicolai, F. Bisconti, D. Mazzoleni, Le catacombe cristiane di Roma. Origini, sviluppo, apparati decorativi, documentazione epigrafica, Regesburg 1998, pp. 6-69

Architecture: the bird of religious building L’architettura: la nascita dell’edificio religioso

6. A. Chavarria Arnau, Archeologia delle chiese. Dalle origini all’anno Mille, Roma 2014, pp. 11-153

Cities, castles and landscapes between Antiquity and Early Middle Age

7. A. Augenti, Archeologia dell’Italia medievale, Roma Bari 2016, pp. 4-184; 276-284

Cities and castles in Sicily

8.A. Vanoli, La Sicilia musulmana, Bologna 2012

9. L. Arcifa, La città nel Medioevo:sviluppo urbano e dominio territoriale, in L. Scalisi (a cura di), Catania: L'identità urbana dall'Antichità al Settecento, Catania, 2009, pp. 72-111.

10.A. Bagnera, From a small town to a capital: the urban evolution of Islamic Palermo (9th-mid 11th century), in A. Nef (ed.), A Companion to medieval Palermo. The history of a Mediterranean City from 600 to 1500, Leiden – Boston 2013, pp. 61-88.

11. L. Arcifa, Trasformazioni urbane nell'altomedioevo siciliano. Uno status quaestionis, in Paesaggi urbani tardoantichi. Casi a confronto, Atti delle VIII Giornate Gregoriane Bari 2016, pp. 31-40