Barbarian Archaeology Meetings (“Incontri per l’Archeologia barbarica”) are held annually at the Catholic University of Sacred Heart in Milan or at important archaeological or museum locations.
They offer a forum for information and debate on themes, data and methods relevant to the material remains left by the Germanic peoples in Italy, the various population components, and the complex transformation processes present in the peninsula during Late Antiquity and the Early Medieval period.
The meetings feature debate between specialists from different Italian heritage institutions and research institutes – and provide unpublished overviews and presentations by scholars from abroad about research north of the Alps.
They are advised and curated by the members of the Specialist Committee.
Periodically, members of the research group contribute to the organisation of Conferences.
Grosseto (Tuscany), Maremma Museum of Archaeology and Art, 26-27 May 2023.
Curated by Gian Pietro Brogiolo, Carlo Citter, Caterina Giostra, Chiara Valdambrini
The conference proposes a reconsideration of structural aspects concerning the allochthonous component and the Lombard kingdom in Italy, with connections to possible earlier settlement locations in present-day Germany and Hungary. The discussion of broad themes follows the exhibition ‘A Middle Land. The Lombards and the Birth of Tuscany’ (MAAM in Grosseto, July 2021 – January 2022), which aimed to update the framework of knowledge and findings concerning Longobard Tuscia. The event is coordinated with the conference ‘In the Footsteps of the Lombards between Marche and Umbria. Ascoli, Castel Trosino, Spoleto” in memory of Lidia Paroli (Ascoli Piceno, 4-6 May 2023) (see “Other activities, in this web site).
Milano, Catholic University (online), 9th December 2022 (13st January 2023)
Curated by Daniel Winger, Edeltraud Aspöck, Caterina Giostra
Reopening of tombs has long been defined with the terms of sacrilege, raid, robbery or plundering, with an exclusively negative and illicit meaning. Now, people tend to speak of “reopening graves”, “secondary interventions” or “manipulations”. Multi-layered characteristics lead to a multi-level consideration of intentions and historical actions, positive or negative, legal or illegal.
The international meeting aims to reflect on this complexity. Case studies and interpretations from various areas of barbaric Europe (and beyond) will be compared to define archaeological indicators and possible historical meanings for a complex, widespread and significant phenomenon.
(picture: Graves 561 and 562, Kolbsheim (Bas-Rhin, Alsace, France) – © Antea Archéologie)
Milan, Catholic University, 10th Septemper, 2021, online.
Curated by Elisa Possenti
The presence of Barbarian populations in Italy and neighbouring regions in the 4th and 5th centuries is a key aspect for understanding the many complex transformations undergone by the West, still politically centred on the Roman Empire. From an archaeological perspective though, the appropriate categories to use in tracing the presence of these new peoples – who arrived from lands beyond the limes but had been in contact with late Roman material culture for centuries – remain problematic. This difficulty is felt particularly in Italy, where attention has only recently been paid to this issue.
The aim of the meeting is to take stock of the archaeological research tools available to shed further light on the presence of these inhabitants, in part thanks to comparison with specialists from countries where this topic has been debated for several decades. In addition, some overviews and particular cases relating to Italy will be presented.
Cairate (Varese), Auditorium – ex-church of Santi Ambrogio e Martino, 21st September 2019
Curated by Gian Pietro Brogiolo and Paola Marina De Marchi
In the hinterland of the Western Roman empire’s ancient capital, on routes connecting the Po Plain and the main Alpine passes, there are numerous attestations of centres of power, fiscal properties, great monasteries and Longobard and Frankish potentes.
On the basis of new data and interpretations – and by means of comparison with other Italian contexts – this meeting offers a reflection on Early Medieval power structures in the Milan area, an emblematic territory for understanding settlement and control dynamics in the Longobard kingdom.
This will be followed on 22nd September by a visit to the archaeological complex of Santa Maria Assunta monastery, Cairate (Varese), and the excavations on the site of Torba (Varese).
Milan, Catholic University, 18th May 2018
Curated by Caterina Giostra
The migrations of the Barbarian peoples – the nature and formation of these gentes, their possession of specific cultural identities and their interactions with the local population – are among the most controversial and debated issues in European medieval history.
The results of palaeogenetic and isotopic analyses conducted on burial grounds attributed to the Longobards in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Italy are discussed.
The surprising results are consistent with the migration path from central-northern European regions to Italy recounted in written records left by the Longobards. The importance of biological relationships in the social structure of these communities emerges strongly; they were composed of two main genetic groups, with specific cultural correspondences. Women’s mobility, in terms of exogamy, is also demonstrated. These are important new data for reconsidering old questions.
Milan, Catholic University, 15th May 2017
Curated by Caterina Giostra
The programme focuses on recent excavations of rural, urban and castrum settlements, often in connection with power centres, important for the systematic investigation of large areas using interdisciplinary methods.
Milan, Catholic University, 2nd May 2016
Curated by Caterina Giostra
The first section, Graveyards and rural settlements, describes new sites, with reflections on important aspects of more traditional Longobard culture; the second, Castra, towns and places of worship, considers more mature and integrated settlement structures and religious manifestations investigated by recent excavations and research.