The Project

VoicesOfVenice develops a new archaeological viewpoint, integrating modern debates on ecological degradation and anthropological theory of materiality to reassess the process of Europeanization through the formation of new settlements in the Venetian lagoons at the end of the Roman period.

The project focuses on the transformation of settlement and societal structures from Late Antiquity to the Early Middle ages. During this critical period of flux between the ancient Roman to new medieval phases, it is possible to study how ethnic and social groups developed a new geography of Europe and how new political systems and different trade networks shaped present-day Europe.

In this regard, Venice is an ideal case study as it is representative of both the Mediterranean region and central- northern Europe. Similarly, its unique relationship with the lagoon environment, and the richness of archaeological data illustrating both antique and medieval times, underline the value of Venice’s origins as an ideal “research laboratory‟ for early European society. Further, perhaps more than any other region, the north Adriatic area could be the most profitable for studies of the Carolingian and Arab worlds, between Classic and Christian societies, involving southern and northern economies.

VoicesOfVenice's training aimed to bring completely novel perspectives to the interpretation of archaeological dataset. The human-ecological relationships that underpinned the rise of Venice has formed the core of the project. VoicesOfVenice emphasizes the social aspect of the materiality of the past, simultaneously measuring its legacy in the present.

 The project shifts from current practice where Italian and European post-classical material culture (archaeological assemblages) has been used to reinforce historical models. By giving special attention to the physical processes in which the “things‟ of the past (not only artefacts, but also landscapes, taphonomies, infrastructures, technologies etc., have been exposed, archaeological and environmental data has been interrogated to better assess how ancient and present societies have been entrapped” to maintain and sustain a very specific material world.

Last update: 20/08/2019