Academic year
2022/2023 Syllabus of previous years
Official course title
Course code
FM0022 (AF:378725 AR:216506)
On campus classes
ECTS credits
Degree level
Master's Degree Programme (DM270)
Educational sector code
2nd Semester
Go to Moodle page
The course is part of the archaeology group courses and is part of the area of ​​medieval archaeology, such as Post Medieval Archaeology, Medieval Topography and Late Ancient and Early Medieval Archaeology, integrating and completing the students' knowledge, deepening specific themes from time to time.
For the academic year 2022/2023, the course in Medieval Archaeology sp. will be dedicated to material culture, recycling and reuse.
It will be a moment of advanced training in the use of archaeological sources for the study of the Middle Ages. In particular, the role that objects can play in the construction of a historical interpretation will be analyzed, considering objects as a product of manufacturing, an index of economic relations, and, finally, as a manifestation of social dynamics in their context of use.
Expected results
Attendance and active participation in the activities (lectures, thematic in-depth seminars, laboratory) and individual study will allow:

1. Knowledge and understanding
- research methodologies applied to the study of material culture in the medieval context
- main classes of materials used in medieval archaeology research
- geography and chronological classification of the main material types

2. Ability to apply knowledge and understanding
- how to frame classes and types of materials chronologically, with particular reference to glass and ceramics
- how to conduct an analysis of intra and inter-site exchanges

3. Judgment skills
- how to formulate hypotheses and argue dynamics of development and diffusion of objects and ideas
- develop a critical approach to the evaluation of alternative hypotheses.

4. Communication skills
- To be able to describe objects and related ideas with technical language, appropriate terminology and in a critical way.

5. Learning skills
- Knowing how to critically consult the bibliographic tools useful for dealing with in-depth studies and sector studies.
Attendance of Medieval Archaeology I is a prerequisite. Alternatively, basic knowledge of archaeology (methodology) and medieval history is recommended.
The course will analyze the role that objects can play in the construction of a historical interpretation, analyzing them as a product of a manufacturing, as an index of economic relations, and, finally, as a manifestation of social dynamics in their context of use. Part of the course will be dedicated to the archaeology of production and to the different types of artifacts (in particular ceramics and glass). If possible, some meeting will take place at the Medieval Archaeology Laboratory, with view and analysis of some objects.
Some case studies will be illustrated, describing the biography of the objects and emphasizing the point of view of the users of the artefacts, those who have used those objects, attributing a meaning to them.
Special attention will be given to cases of recycling and reuse, a practice widely used in the past but rarely embedded into models of the economy.
Required texts
(When possible the texts will be available in Moodle)

Gelichi, S., 2011. La cultura materiale, in: Riccardo Francovich e i Grandi Temi Del Dibattito Europeo. pp. 27–32.
Holtorf, C., 2002. Notes on the life history of a pot sherd. Journal of Material Culture 7, 49–71.
Berti, G., Gelichi, S., 1995. Mille chemins ouverts en Italie, in: Le Vert et Le Brun. Marseille, pp. 129–164.
Berti, G., Gelichi, S., Mannoni, T., 1997. Trasformazioni tecnologiche nelle prime produzioni italiane con rivestimenti vetrificati -secc. XII-XIII, in: La Céramique Médiévale En Méditerranée. Aix-en-Provence, pp. 383–403.
Ferri, M., Moine, C., 2014. L’Isola di domani. Cultura materiale e contesti archeologici a San Giacomo in Paludo (Venezia). All’Insegna del Giglio, Firenze. [specialmente pp. 12-19 e 180-211]
Ferri, M., Moine, C., 2016. Definire lo spazio e organizzare la mensa.: Il Trecento a Venezia. Archeologia medievale 43, 79–96.
Stiaffini, D., 1999. Il vetro nel medioevo. Tecniche strutture manufatti. Roma. [pp. 27-137]
Gelichi, S., Negrelli, C., Ferri, M., Cadamuro, S., Cianciosi, A., Grandi, E., 2017. Importare, produire e consumare nella laguna di Venezia dal IV al XII secolo. Anfore, vetri e ceramiche, in: Adriatico Altomedievale (VI-XI Secolo). Scambi, Porti, Produzioni. pp. 23–114. [Invetriate altomedievali pp. 76-81; Vetro pp. 51-55 e 82-88]
Ferri, M., 2015, Le due sponde dell’Adriatico. Circolazione dei materiali vitrei tra XV e XVI secolo, Ca’ Foscari, Venezia e i Balcani. Atti del II Convegno di Studi Balcanici (Venezia, 9-10 dicembre 2013), Venezia, Edizioni Ca’ Foscari - Digital Publishing, pp. 35-46.
There will be two complementary ways of exam.
During the course, one or two short papers will be assigned (to be uploaded to the e-learning platform).
At the end of the course, an oral exam will discuss the short papers with some open questions about acquisition of the fundamental knowledge of the discipline and to test the argumentative and synthesis capacity and the scientific lexicon.
The final grade is given by the evaluation of the participation during classes, the evaluation of the short papers and the skills demonstrated during the oral exam.

Non-attending students are invited to agree on the exam program with the teacher.
First part of the course (lessons 1-6 approx): articles and materials discussed during classes will be available in Moodle.
Moreover, some meeting, if possible, will be held at the Laboratory of Medieval Archaeology where archaeological materials will be analyzed.
Second part of the course (lessons 7-10 approx): seminar lectures with active participation of students based on assigned texts.

This part of the course is also part of the oral examination program.

The evaluation will be composed of: participation in lectures, especially seminar lectures, which are highly recommended for everyone, even those who are not required to present that day.
Please, contact the teacher for further info on supplementary activities of the Medieval Archeology Laboratory (excavations, study of materials).

This subject deals with topics related to the macro-area "Circular economy, innovation, work" and contributes to the achievement of one or more goals of U. N. Agenda for Sustainable Development

This programme is provisional and there could still be changes in its contents.
Last update of the programme: 17/06/2022