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An overview of our history and activities

The department of History and Cultures ( Archaeology, Anthropology, Oriental studies, Geography and History) was established in 2012 with the merging of five Departments: Archeology, History, Anthropology, Geography, Paleography and Medieval studies, Ancient History and part of the Oriental studies Department.

The Department’s research strengths and its teaching and learning offers cover a wide variety of geographical places, many areas and themes across anthropology, archaeology, geography, history and religious  studies, from prehistory to the contemporary world, within a rich multidisciplinary environment.

Department research areas includes: 

  • Political, economical, institutional, social, religious, military and cultural history, history of ideas and history of political thought;
  • deciphering, interpretation and editing of documents and texts, taking into consideration their form of conservation and transmission;
  • the archaeology and history of settlements and material culture;
  • cultural anthropology and ethnology, human geography, economy and politics.

The research and teaching activities cover many areas, among which:

- archaeological research from prehistory to medieval times in Europe, the Mediterranean, Middle East, Central Asia, the Americas with particular attention to the prehistoric and protohistoric settlements, rural and urban settings in ancient and medieval times, social and economic aspects, the artistic and artisan productions.

- Historical research concerning ancient, medieval, modern and contemporary times, the western world and the African and oriental civilizations, with particular attention to epigraphy, numismatics, papyrology, paleography, archive sciences; political, economic, social, cultural, military history, International relations, gender studies, history of religions, historiography models. The research expands over various spatial dimensions of historical systems;local, national, regional, global and looks at different dimensions, from material culture to critical theory.

- Anthropological research through site work and historical anthropology, with particular interest in the analysis of the sociocultural dynamics on a local and global scale, political and religious processes and medical institutions in various contexts from Africa, America, Asia and Europe both modern and contemporary.

- Geographical research with particular attention to the context of human geography and the various approaches:  historical, urban, economic, political, geographical and linguistic; cartography (from historical cartography to the GIS) and spatial analysis.

Several Interdisciplinary research groups and centers connect researchers, graduate and PhD students within a wide network of international relations, offering a stimulating research and learning environment.