I am the Principal Investigator of HIDDEN FOODS. After my PhD in Prehistoric Archaeology (2010) I moved to Cambridge as a Marie Curie Fellow at the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research and after I became Senior Research Associate at the Department of Archaeology. I am currently Associate Professor at Sapienza University of Rome where I also lead the DANTE laboratory for the Study of Ancient Diet and Technology. I am interersted in prehistoric foragers diet, technology and symbolism by analysing use-wear and micro remains preserved on prehistoric artefacts and human dental calculus.
My research interests are in European and Near Eastern Prehistory and archaeological theory. I have studied in particular the culture change from foraging to farming in the Balkans, writing about the issues of social memory and cultural identities in the past. In particular my research have focused on the prehistoric record of the Danube Gorges region of north-east Serbia where I researched the Mesolithic-Neolithic site of Vlasac and the Palaeolithic deposits of Tabula Traiana Cave and Dubocka Cave. Other projects I am involved in focus on the Late Pleistocene and Early Holocene forger land-use strategies in Montenegro. My contribution to the HIDDEN FOODS project involves selection of samples for radiocarbon dating, analysis and contextualization of the dating results and subsequent interpretation.
As an archaeobotanist, I study the macro remains found in archaeological deposits. In the HIDDEN FOODS project, my task is to sample archaeological sediment, use the manual flotation technique to extract the plant macro remains, and subsequently examine them under the microscope to identify plant finds from Palaeolithic and Mesolithic contexts. Previously, I studied various Neolithic sites, discovering the innovations produced by the advent of agriculture. Bronze Age contexts were also the subject of multiple researches, especially regarding new techniques related to agricultural practices. The application of Archaeobotany to any chronological context also allowed me to devote myself to the study of classical, late antique and medieval contexts to get a complete picture of the history of the plants used in ancient times.
I am a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow working on the MEDICAL project. My research, through the analysis of dental calculus, explores the medical care offered to people who experienced leprosy and lived in leprosaria in Northern Europe during the medieval period. I am a bioarchaeologist interested in palaeopathology, dental calculus analysis, ancient diet and medical remedies. In 2015 I obtained a PhD in Biological Anthropology at the UAB (Spain) with a research project focusing on a large medieval cemetery in Mallorca. Since then, I have collaborated with the UAB and Durham University (UK) on dental calculus analysis and 3D modeling reconstruction of human skeletal remains. In 2018 I was appointed as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of York where I studied dental calculus from Neolithic burial sites in Alsace (France).
I am a paleogenetics and I use ancient DNA to address questions about past human and animal populations. I received my PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Rome Tor Vergata in 2008. From 2009 till 2016, at the Centre for Archaeological Science of the University of Leuven (Belgium), I investigated the domestication of pigs and cats, and the demographic changes in an ancient population from a Roman city in Turkey (Sagalassos). In 2016 I joined the CEES of the University of Oslo, where I conducted metagenomic analysis to investigate Yersinia pathogens (Yersinia pestis and Yersiniam ruckeri), and the oral microbiome of ancient baboons. I joined the HIDDEN FOODS project in November 2018 to invesitgate the oral microbiome of ancient humans through ancient DNA analysis in dental calculus samples.
I am a post doc researcher at the DANTE - Diet and Ancent Technology laboratory. My research interests include flaked and non-flaked stone tool technology and use. I am also interested in the development of qualitative and quantitative techniques for the study of ancient stone tools biographies. I received my PhD from Tel Aviv University in 2020, with a research priject focising on the technology and use of Quina scrapers at the Middle Pleistocene site of Qesem Cave (Israel). I joined the HIDDEN FOODS team in 2017, where I started developing a new methodological framework for the study of ground stone technology based on the combination of 3D modelling, spatial analysis, surface metrology and qualitative analyses of use wear and residues.