Meet Our Lecturers

Lorenzo Nigro (Rome 1967), MA, PhD, Associated Professor of Near Eastern Archaeology (since 2002), is the Coordinator of the Oriental Section of the Department of Sciences of Antiquities of Rome “La Sapienza” University (Faculty of Letters and Philosophy). He has participated in several archaeological expeditions in the Near East and the Mediterranean (among which the most renowned are Tell Mardikh/Ebla, in Syria, in 1989-1997, and Tell es-Sultan/Jericho in Palestine as co-director, in 1997-2000). He is presently the Director of Rome “La Sapienza” Expedition to Motya (a Phoenician city in Western Sicily), and the Director of Rome “La Sapienza” Expedition to Palestine & Jordan, which is carrying on systematic excavations at Tell es-Sultan/ancient Jericho in Palestine, where excavations were resumed in 2009, and at the Early Bronze Age (3rd millennium BC) fortified city, previously unknown, of Khirbet al-Batrawy (2005-2011), in the northern district of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

Lorenzo Nigro is a skilled field archaeologist with a wide experience of Levantine and Mediterranean archaeology. He has written 13 monographs on the archaeology of Palestine (Palatial Architecture, Jericho and Jerusalem), Syria, and the reports of excavations at Motya, Khirbet al-Batrawy and Jericho, and more than 150 articles on Levantine, Phoenician, Mesopotamian and Egyptian archaeology and art history, ranging from palatial and temple architecture, pottery chronology, Levantine and Iranian metallurgy, Sumerian and Akkadian art, Phoenician stratified ceramics, history of excavations, etc.  He is founder and Editor of two series of monographs: Rome “La Sapienza” Studies on the Archaeology of Palestine & Transjordan (ROSAPAT; 7 volumes) and Quaderni di Archeologia Fenicio Punica (QAFP, 6 volumes, including excavations reports Mozia X, Mozia XI, Mozia XII, Mozia XIII).  He has taught in the Lateran University (Rome, 1996-2000) and he has been Invited Professor of Biblical Archaeology at the Pontifical Biblical Institute (Rome, 2000-2006). 

Dr. Nigro has been the Curator of the Near Eastern Department (Reparto Antichità Orientali - Museo Gregoriano Egizio/Egyptian Museum) of the Vatican Museums (1998-2005), gaining deep experience in restoration, management and development of archaeological heritage.  He took part in and organized numerous international congresses, conferences and workshops, among which are the First International Congress on the Archaeology of the Ancient Near East (1ICAANE, Roma 1998); the international Conferences held in Jericho in February 2005 and April 2008 by the Palestinian MOTA-DACH and Rome “La Sapienza” University on “Archaeology, sustainable development and tourist valorisation of the archaeological site of Tell es-Sultan/ancient Jericho”. He was a member of the steering Committee of the Sixth International Congress on the Archaeology of the Ancient Near East held in Rome in May 5th - 10th 2008 (6ICAAN); of the congress “Lebanon Symposium” devoted to the enhancement of Lebanese Archaeology and Cultural Heritage, held in Beirut in November 5th-9th 2008; and of the “Second Lebanon Symposium”, October 2012).  He is a member of the Counsel for the International Relationships of Rome “La Sapienza” University.

Dr. Nigro received the “St. Damasus Scholar” Award by the Carsten Niebhur Institute of Archaeology of Copenhagen University as “Young Archaeologist” in 1999 for the excavations at Jericho. In 2010, due to the discovery of the Palace of the Copper Axes in Khirbet al-Batrawy, he received the “Premio Provincia Capitale 2010” and the “Premio Colosseo 2010” awards, as an Italian/Roman who distinguished himself abroad, and the “Sapienza Ricerca 2010” award, as outstanding researcher of Rome “La Sapienza” University.  In 2011 he was awarded National Funds for Relevant Researches (PRIN) for the topic “The Seven Plagues: Catastrophes, Earthquakes, Inundations, Famine, Epidemies, and War in Palestine and Egypt during Pre-Classical periods: an overview of historical and archaeological sources”.

Lorenzo Nigro is presently experimenting with new approaches on the archaeology of the Mediterranean on the island of Motya, where he coordinates an interdisciplinary Laboratory of emerging sciences applied to innovate archaeology with the use of drones, sensor nodes, 3D simulators, etc.

His motto is: “patience, prudence and perseverance”.

Lorenzo NIgro is an AIA Kress Lecturer for 2015/2016

John Oakley is Chancellor Professor and Forrest D. Murden Jr. Professor in the Department of Classical Studies, College of William and Mary in Virginia. He received his degrees from Rutgers University, and his interests are in Greek art and archaeology, Greek vase-painting, and Roman sarcophagi. He has conducted fieldwork at Wroxeter and Kelvedon in England, the Via Gabina in Rome, and Corinth and Khania (Crete) in Greece. Professor Oakley was the Mellon Professor at the American School (2005-2008), an NEH Fellow, an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow at Wuerzburg, a Mellon Fellow at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and is a Corresponding Member of the German Archaeological Institute. Among his books are monographs on the Phiale Painter, Achilles Painter, Athenian White Lekythoi, and Attic Roman mythological sarcophagi, and current publications include The Greek Vase -- the Art of the Storyteller (British Museum Press 2013), and Athenian Potters and Painters, volumes I -- III (co-editor for volumes I and II, Oxford University Press 1997, 2009, and 2014).

John Peter Oleson is the University of Victoria Distinguished Professor in the Department of Greek and Roman Studies at the University of Victoria.  He holds his degrees in Classics and Classical Archaeology from Harvard University, and his areas of specialization are ancient and maritime technology and archaeology (particularly ships, harbours, and water-supply systems), and the Roman Near East.  He was Co-Director of the Caesarea Ancient Harbour Excavation in Israel, Director of the Humayma Excavation Project in Jordan, and Co-Director of the Roman Maritime Concrete Study.  He has received numerous awards and honors for his work, and has published 13 books and over 75 articles and chapters.  His main recent  publications include Building for Eternity: The History and Technology of Roman Concrete Engineering in the Sea (Oxford, 2014).

Nassos Papalexandrou is Associate Professor with the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Texas at Austin.  He holds his degrees from Princeton University (Ph.D.) and the Kapodistrian University of Athens, and his areas of specialization are Greek art and archaeology, the Orientalizing phenomenon, and Mediteranean Archaeology.  He has excavated on Crete, Naxos, and Cyprus, and is working an several research projects on the use and importation of trypod cauldrons.  His first book, The Visual Poetics of Power: Warriors, Youths, and Tripods in Early Greece, was published in 2005, and he is currently working on a second book that explores the role of monsters in the arts and rituals of Early Greece.

Professor Mike Parker Pearson is Professor of British Later Prehistory with the Institute of Archaeology, University College London.  He holds his degrees from Cambridge University (Ph.D.) and the University of Southampton (B.A.); he is a past Inspector of Ancient Monuments for English Heritage.  His research interests include Neolithic and Bronze Age Britain and Europe (particularly funerary analysis and the Beaker People), Madagascar and the Indian Ocean, and public archaeology and heritage.  He is the Principal Investigator of a number of major research projects, including the Stonehenge Riverside Project (2004-2009) and the current Stones of Stonehenge Project; his recent publications include Stonehenge: exploring the greatest Stone Age mystery (2012).  Professor Parker Pearson was an AIA Kress Lecturer for 2011/2012, and is the inaugural Kress Alumni Lecturer for 2015/2016.

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