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"Stone-working across the ancient Mediterranean. Building techniques, artisans and cultural identities: a view from North Africa"


"The proposed research concerns a multi-disciplinary study of stone-working techniques in the ancient Mediterranean starting from an archaeological analysis of built structures. In particular it focuses on the so-called opus Africanum, a group of masonry techniques characterised by vertical frameworks of stone blocks. It arrived in North Africa as a consequence of the Phoenician colonisation, and thereafter spread through the Mediterranean basin, especially to Italy, Spain and France. Its attestations from the late Punic age (2nd c. BC) until the end of the Roman period (5th c. AD) will be analysed with the objectives of understanding how ancient technology spread in the ancient world, what were the political and socio-economical conditions that allowed its diffusion as well as the role of artisans and patrons, and how we can extract information on their cultural identity through building techniques. The Applicant proposes to carry out a two-year research period at the UMR 8546 of the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris, where a team working on the Archaeology of Construction is leaded by the Applicant’s supervisor. Combined with the Applicant’s own experience, this will allow the further development of a new methodological approach for studying ancient architecture and for integrating archaeology, anthropology, geology, and seismology. A database on building techniques will be developed together with custom-made free software to obtain 3D realistic models of ancient monuments based on digital pictures, from which points-clouds with RGB values can be processed. This project will be of mutual benefit for the Applicant and the Host organisation, and will enhance EU scientific excellence through new agreements with North African institutions for new fieldwork projects. Dissemination of results by scientific publications and organisation of a workshop will stimulate the creation of a researchers network working on the topic of this project in the Euro-Mediterranean area"

Call for proposal

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EU contribution
€ 250 659,00
75230 Paris

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Ile-de-France Ile-de-France Paris
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Anne Cormier (Ms.)
Total cost
No data