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Department of Archaeology


The project Science @ Tarquinia aims to provide the complementary scientific support for the long-standing study of the ancient Etruscan city of Tarquinia by the University of Milan. This Unesco World Heritage site is well known for its magnificent painted tombs, its city walls, the Temple of Ara Regina and the monumental zone where the University of Milan has worked for over 30 years. The collaborative work (which started in September 2019) includes flotation, micromorphology, AMS dating, isotopic analysis and aDNA. The sedimentary geology of Tarquinia has proved very beneficial in providing good preservation of the chemical signatures, leading to striking new information on the diet, mobility and biological character of the ancient populations of this coastal city. The work is supported by the University of Milan, international funds of the University of Cambridge and the McDonald Institute.

The Tarquinia @ Science project is closely integrated with the E4 Project (comparing Etruria, SW Germany and Denmark in the first millennium BC) of the CRC1266 at the University of Kiel, bringing the following scholars into collaboration: Oliver Nakoinz (Kiel), Cheryl Makarewicz (Kiel), John Meadows (Kiel), Victoria Alliata (Kiel), Camilla Zeviani (Cambridge).


Recent publication:

Bagnasco, G., Marzullo, M., Cattaneo, C., Biehler-Gomez, L., Mazzarelli, D., Ricciardi, V., Müller, W., Coppa, A., McLaughlin, R., Motta, L., Prato, O., Schmidt, F., Gaveriaux, F., Marras, G. B., Millet, M. A., Madgwick, R., Ballantyne, R., Makarewicz, C. A., Trentacoste, A., Reimer, P., Mattiangeli, V., Bradley, D. G., Malone, C., Esposito, C., Breslin, E. M. & Stoddart, S. 2024. Bioarchaeology aids the cultural understanding of six characters in search of their agency (Tarquinia, ninth–seventh century BC, central Italy). Scientific Reports 14 (1): 11895.


Team Members

Project lead for Milan and overall director

Giovanna Bagnasco


Simon Stoddart (Cambridge)

Giovanna Bagnasco (Milan)

Matilde Marzullo (Milan)

Cristina Cattaneo (Milan)

Giulia Brioschi (Milan)

Ornella Prato (UCL)

Frijda Schmidt (Cambridge)

Rachel Ballantyne (Cambridge)

Charly French (Cambridge)

Federica Sulas (Cambridge)

Molly Sheldrake (Cambridge)

Laura Motta (Michigan)

Fanny Gaveriaux (Rome)

Angela Trentacoste (Kiel)

Wolfgang Müller (Frankfurt)

Paula Reimer (Queen’s Belfast)

Carmen Esposito (Queen’s Belfast)

Rowan McLaughlin (British Museum)

Caroline Malone (Queen’s Belfast)

Dan Bradley (Trinity College, Dublin)

Emily Breslin (Trinity College, Dublin)

Valeria Mattiangeli (Trinity College, Dublin)


McDonald Institute

AHSS International Research Strategy Working Group (IRSWG) (Matching funding from the University of Milan and the University of Cambridge) 2019-2022

Project Lead

Project Tags

Environment, Landscapes and Settlement
Rethinking Complexity
Periods of interest: 
Copper/Bronze Age
Iron Age
Other Late Prehistory
Geographical areas: 
Research Expertise / Fields of study: 
Museum Studies
Material Culture
Human Population Genetics
Human Population Biology and Health
Biomolecular Archaeology
Built Environment
Artefact Analysis & Technology
Archaeological Theory
Field Methods
Environmental Archaeology, Geoarchaeology, and Landscape studies
Cultural Heritage
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