Building archaeology

The research methodology will implement a multidisciplinary and multi-scalar approach through the meeting of two disciplines which have been widely developed in Italy and in France over more than 30 years of research activities in the field: the so-called archeologia dell’architettura and the archéologie du bâti (i.e. building archaeology)[1]. One of the strengths of the research proposal is precisely to combine and use in tandem the basic methods of these two disciplines. On the one hand, the archeologia dell’architettura, born in Italy from the study of building techniques, applies the theoretical principles of archaeological stratigraphy of the soil to the study of surviving buildings. On the other hand, the archéologie du bâti is linked to a strong French tradition of studies on the anthropological aspects of production cycles focused on the social and economic contexts of ancient societies. Both disciplines have in common the principle of reconstructing the history of existing buildings by using direct observations of the building themselves.

Thanks to this methodological approach, consisting of a combination of stratigraphic, anthropological and socio-economic methods, we will study the distribution and transmission of building techniques (masonries, doors and windows, arches, etc. ) in the ancient world by replacing the consolidated and widely diffused “stylistic-analytical” approach, which is based on stylistic comparisons of the exterior aspects of a building. The application of digital methods of architectural analysis and survey to the research work will be a fundamental part of the research methodology.

[1] Archaeological research applied to standing structures was developed in the late 1970s in Italy thanks to initial studies carried out by Tiziano Mannoni, and later methodologically codified especially by PARENTI R. and BROGIOLO G.P. in the early 1980s. The method has different names and methodological applications throughout Europe: Building Archaeology in the UK, Bauforschung in Germany, Arqueología de la Arquitectura in Spain. The so-called archéologie du bâti was developed in France with the studies of Christian Sapin (CNRS, Lyon) in the late 1970s and subsequently developed by ARLAUD C. and BOURNOUF J. and REVEYRON N., focused in particular on Medieval archaeology.

Cite this blog post
Piero Gilento (2017, December 17). Building archaeology. ACTECH. Retrieved June 15, 2024, from

Piero Gilento

Marie Skłodowska Curie Postdoctoral research fellow at Paris 1 - Panthéon Sorbonne

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Piero Gilento

Marie Skłodowska Curie Postdoctoral research fellow at Paris 1 - Panthéon Sorbonne

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