A Forum for Late Ancient and Early Medieval Barbarian Archaeology



In the face of numerous conspicuous recent archaeological discoveries and the increasingly interdisciplinary nature of international research – which is ever more open to new analytical methods and lively debate on interpretative approaches that can stimulate or condition the assessment of data – in Italy the archaeology of the Barbarian peoples is often seen as a rather fragmentary, heterogeneous field of study, perhaps even not very rigorous or innovative.

And yet specialized skills are being developed and refined over time, with research projects centred on cutting-edge methods and new views of settlement, socio-economic and resource exploitation dynamics – from a perspective of global archaeology, but which retains (as far as possible) populations’ ethnic and cultural components.




An up-to-date understanding of the Barbarian cultures and kingdoms in Italy in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages, focused on material evidence and in line with a Europe-wide research framework, calls for closer ties and more frequent discussion between research institutes, and institutions responsible for heritage tutelage and public dissemination.

We propose to create a new interface for reporting and discussing novel developments and interpretations, specialist consultancy, the presentation of projects and innovative analytical methods, as well as coordinating archaeological reviews and commentaries. Our intention is to promote interdisciplinary exchange and collaboration, facilitate access to the advice of internationally renowned specialists and encourage the spread of scientific data.




The more structured activities will include:

  • annual meetings and the publication of proceedings;
  • publication of the series “Barbarian Archaeology”;
  • participation in excavation and research projects; 
  • collaboration in the organization of exhibitions and conferences and in the study and publication of archaeological sites;
  • meetings at archaeological sites and architectural monuments;
  • on-line reporting of main events and discoveries in Italy and overseas.

Events will be organized by Barbarian Archaeology’s Specialist Committee. Proposals and collaboration requests may be made by all interested archaeologists.


Long-term objectives


The purpose of this initiative is to promote greater interaction within the field of Barbarian Archaeology and an increasingly higher quality of research, through a network of specialist consultancy and the transmission of new methods and thematic approaches. It will also provide a base for nation-wide projects and facilitate involvement in international projects.



The initiative is promoted by the Milan Catholic University of Sacred Heart, in collaboration with the Cividale del Friuli National Archaeological Museum.