Master Class: Records & Archives for History & Archaeology: Assessing Some Case Studies on Sicily (1861-1945)
Can we 'excavate' in the archives for history and archaeology? Digging up records is an inexpensive process which allows us to obtain fresh data on past excavations and reconstruct historical events precisely. Recent research has opened a new door in the study of the discipline of archaeology, since substantial series of records have remained unknown until now. However, tracing, copying and assessing documents is essential to disclose many aspects of forgotten excavations, museum management and complex social contexts.

What can Italian archives tell us about the history of archaeology in Sicily? The scope of Crisà's master class is to assess a series of case studies on Sicilian archaeology, in particular regarding the post-Unification era (1861-1918) and World War 2 (1940-45), two essential periods of the island's history. The first saw the birth of discipline of archaeology and new state museums, while in the second national and regional authorities protected antiquities under threat of bombing and destruction. In his class, Crisà will provide a brief outline on the historical background, which helps us to better contextualize these events. Second, he will examine a series of case studies on Tindari (Messina) and Palermo analyzing archival documentation. Lastly, such information is beneficial to fully understand the social contexts in which archaeology impacts locally, regionally, and nationally, including the economic effects and benefits.


About the speaker:
Antonino "Nino" Crisà is an archaeologist, historian and numismatist and current Marie Curie Skłodowska Research Fellow at Ghent University (ERC project: Cultural Heritage in Danger: Archaeology and Communities in Sicily during the Second World War (1940–45)). He previously worked as a research fellow at the University of Warwick, exploring ancient token production in Hellenistic and Roman Sicily (2016-19). Crisà has been trained at the University of Milan (BA 2004, MA 2007) and Leicester (2012-16) where he obtained his Ph.D. archaeology and also worked as a classics teaching assistant. As a field archaeologist, he excavated in Sicily (Tindari), Sardinia (Nora), northern Italy (Adria, Bagnolo San Vito, Bergamo, Calvatone, Casale sul Sile, Milan) and Syria (Palmyra).

His publications explore numismatics and the history of archaeology and cultural heritage in Sicily between late nineteenth and early twentieth century (antiquarianism, coin collectors, excavations, archives and museum collections). He has recently discovered and analysed new archival records about the safeguarding of antiquities, archaeological and numismatic collecting, impact of archaeology on local communities in northern Sicily during the Bourbon (1816-60) and post-Unification (1861-1918) periods. Two books convey this long-standing research.

In 2006, he won the Italian National Competition for Young Numismatists (Cronaca Numismatica) (Vicenza) for best numismatic paper, and in 2015 he was awarded the Memmo Cagiati Prize for excellent numismatic essays at the XV International Numismatic Congress (Taormina).   


Free and open to the public; students are encouraged to attend. Lunch is included, RSVP is required.     

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