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A.G.A.T.H.O.C.L.E.S. The ‘Archaeology of Gesture’: Apprenticeship, Tools, Hands, Organization, Collaborations, Learning Experience and Social Network Analysis


A.G.A.T.H.O.C.L.E.S. is an innovative approach that allow us to switch our perspective from an ‘archaeology of production’ towards an A.(rchaeology) of G.(esture): A.(pprenticeship), T.(ools), H.(ands), O.(rganization), C.(ollaborations), L.(earning) E.(xperience) and S.(ocial Network Analysis).
The project aims to explore training models and collaboration networks in one of the most dynamic industries of the ancient Classical World: the pottery productive tradition. For this purpose, For this purpose, the ceramic industry is the most common reality in the ancient world to address issues of knowledge transfer, gender division and mobility.
Nowadays, the study on craftsmen’s mobility needs to shift towards the analysis of hidden ancient gestures and technological procedures. Numerous technological aspects related to the ancient artisanal ‘hands’ and tools, usually invisible to the naked eye, can now become visible thanks to advances in archaeometry, computational-imaging and other innovative toolkit this project intends to adopt through an highly-interdisciplinary approach, which also include forensic and experimental archaeology).
Digital humanities is also involved. In particular, Social Network Analysis can deeply innovate the methodologies used to identify workshops and provide new procedures to define groups, relationships, dependencies, and elements that can explain the organization of a complex productive network such as that of ceramic industry.
Moving across from microscopic analyses to macroscopic data-processing (related to the ancient dynamics of apprenticeship), the project specifically focuses on the case-study of red-figure workshops in Southern Italy and Sicily (5th-4th century BCE). These ateliers are ideal to investigate learning experience and collaboration by focusing on five key aspects: a) collaborative patterns within the workshop; b) collaborative patterns with other workshops; c) age and gender differentiation of workforce; d) workers’ mobility; and e) capacity of cultural adaptation.

Field of science

  • /humanities/history and archaeology/archaeology/archaeometry

Call for proposal

See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

MSCA-IF-GF - Global Fellowships


Via Giuseppe Verdi 8
10124 Torino
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 269 002,56

Partners (1)

United States
660 S Mill Avenue Centerpoint 312
85281 Tempe
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments