Dr. Fabrizio Ducati
December 2022 - March 2023
Research Project: Cities of Sicily: the (r)evolution of urban spaces during the 5th century AD
Archaeology annually provides plentiful evidence outlining the complexity of Sicilian society and economy during Late Antiquity. Recent investigations mainly focused on the countryside, proving that the island is still a crossway for goods, people, and ideas moving along the Mediterranean. Instead, the evolution of townscape rests a little unknown, excepting a few cases. In Agrigento, we assist to a general decadence of public areas since the 4th century onwards and their reuse for the most various purposes: a warehouse takes the place of the gymnasium, the forum becomes an open-air dump, the thermal facilities are abandoned or devoted for other functions, and graves pierce the city walls. Similar transformations also affect private spaces, and the citizens gradually abandon a residential district, which loses its urban shape. Agrigento is an exceptional case, as the modern urban sprawl did not affect the ancient city area. The same does not apply to other crucial cities, including the ports, despite the information we dispose of allowing glimpses of similar processes. It is a still fragmentary and not exhaustive framework that needs a new synthesis and a broader reflection on the causes that triggered evident transformations in the most critical places for city life. For these reasons, this project wants to analyse Sicily's most relevant urban contexts according to a multidisciplinary approach and compare them with other Mediterranean cities where similar phenomena are evident. In this regard, we will pay special attention to a period that has been dogged by a negative historical bias for a long time: the 5th century AD.
Dr. Fabrizio Ducati is a classical archaeologist working on the Mediterranean during Roman times. His previous research investigated Roman and Byzantine Sicily's socio-economic background as part of a PhD jointly supervised by the University of Palermo and the University of Aix Marseille. His expertise in landscape archaeology and urbanism, GIS and other remote sensing technologies, CAD, and a variety of graphics software has proved to be an essential tool for completing his PhD (2020), and the fellowship he received from the École française de Rome (2018). All the international experience, including outside of Europe, has enhanced his competence in foreign languages and his transferable and complementary skills, enriching his collaboration network. His involvement in the international research program ATHAr-Maghreb (Histoire et Archéologie du Maghreb ancien) and other fieldwork in Tunisia gave him a good awareness of the principal archaeological contexts of several cities as well as rural areas. They also provided excellent opportunities for cooperation with the Institut National du Patrimoine de Tunisie and the Universities of Sfax and Sousse. He also cooperates with the Universität Graz (Ostia), the University of Arizona (Sicily), the Escuela de Estudios Árabes de Granada (Sicily), and The British Columbia University (Sicily). As a result, he has acquired scientific and ethical rigour, a great awareness of various methodological approaches, total involvement in interdisciplinarity, and a strong propensity for teamwork. Fabrizio was an adjunct professor at the University of Palermo (2020-2021), where he organised a workshop on Roman pottery for graduate students. He has published in scientific peer-reviewed journals and proceedings of international conferences.
Ducati, Fabrizio / Romano, Eleonora, eds., (2022), Lilibeo e il Mare. Progetto scuola museo 2021-22, Trapani: Litotipografia Grillo.
Ducati, Fabrizio / Capelli, Claudio (2021a), “Analyzing African Red Slip wares in Sicily: a first overview from Cignana and Himera surveys”, OTIVM 10.
Ducati, Fabrizio (2021b), “La Σελινουντία δυσχωρία: διὰ τῶν στενῶν, per ipsas fauces. Dalle fonti alle nuove proposte di identificazione sul terreno”, Journal of Ancient Topography 31, 263-272.
Ducati, Fabrizio (2020a), “Fluttuazioni commerciali tra nord Africa e Sicilia meridionale: il VI e il VII secolo d.C. Cignana come caso studio”, Mare Internum 12, 85-97.
Ducati, Fabrizio / Polizzi, Giovanni (2020b), “Fornaci e produzioni del Golfo di Castellammare (Sicilia nord-occidentale)”, Mélanges de l'École française de Rome - Antiquité 132.2, 403-428.
Ducati, Fabrizio (2020c), “Sacelli dimenticati nell’area urbana di Akragas”, in: Monica De Cesare / Elisa Chiara Portale / Natascha Sojc, eds., The Akragas Dialogue. New investigations on sanctuaries in Sicily. Agrigento-Palermo, 29th September – 1st October 2016, Berlin: De Gruyter, 125-131.
Ducati, Fabrizio / Polizzi, Giovanni / Longo, Francesco (2019), “Note preliminari sul rinvenimento di un’area artigianale da Contrada Amone e sulla produzione ceramica nel bacino idrografico del fiume Nocella”, Notiziario Archeologico della Soprintendenza di Palermo 48, 1-15.
Ducati, Fabrizio et al. (2017), “Comunicazione e divulgazione della ricerca scientifica applicata all’archeologia: il punto di vista degli young researchers”, in: Elisa Chiara Portale / Giusj Galioto, eds., Scienza e archeologia. Un efficace connubio per la divulgazione della cultura scientifica, Pisa: Edizioni ETS, 163-168.