Piero Gilento

Piero Gilento
Piero Gilento
Chercheur associé

Adresse professionnelle
Bureau 263G
ArScAn – UMR 7041
MSH Mondes – Bâtiment René-Ginouvès
21 allée de l’Université
F-92023 NANTERRE Cedex
Tél. : 00 33 (0)1 46 69 25 21
Contact: pierogilento@gmail.com

ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9525-7292;
Lien Academia
Lien Linkedin


Post Doc Research Fellow under a Marie Sklodowska Curie Individual Fellowship (H2020-MSCA-IF-2015) Acronym: ACTECH / Project ID: 703829

Research areas

Geographical areas of interest

Northern and Central Jordan; Central and Southern Italy

Research themes

Building Archaeology and History of Buildings Techniques in Northern Jordan; Circulation and Transmission of Ancient Building Knowledge in the Mediterranean; Architectural Heritage Recording


I received a PhD in Archaeology at University of Siena (2013) with a research project on the study of Roman-Byzantine and Islamic architecture in Northern Jordan. I worked on various archaeological field projects in Italy and abroad: Greece, Turkey, Spain and Jordan and spent several months in European research centres like ENS-AOROC in Paris (2012), CSIC-HI in Madrid (2013) and the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science research centre in Berlin (2012). In 2015 and 2016 I collaborated as postdoc fellow with the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florence.
From 2009 to 2016 I collaborated as professional archaeologist with the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Tourism (MiBACT) in several projects of Preventive Archaeology and Archaeological Assistance on the post-earthquake reconstruction of L’Aquila and its municipalities.
In 2016 I founded SAXA, an Associated Study of Professional Archaeologists providing a wide range of activities for cultural heritage: management and consultancy, excavation and post excavation, recording of still standing structures, surveying, impact studies of contemporary infrastructures on cities and rural landscapes, both for the public than for the private sector.

key words: Building Archaeology, Urban Archaeology, Traditional Building Techniques, Archaeoseismology



  • 27/06/2013 – PhD – University of Siena
  • 08/7/2008 – MA in Archaeology – University of Siena
  • 07/11/2003 – BA in Ancient History and Archaeology – University of Perugia

Awards and fellowships

  • 2016: March 1 – April 30, Fellow at Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz / Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, Via G. Giusti 44, Firenze, for research activities in the group « Topologie del Terremoto » (Dir. Wolf).
  • 2015: January 8 – March 6 2015, Fellow at Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz / Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, Via G. Giusti 44, Firenze, for research activities in the group « L’Aquila as a Postcatastrophic City » (Dir. Wolf).
  • 2012: December 2-16. Two-week fellowship for research activities at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin in the framework of the Collaborative Research Centre 644 “Transformations of Antiquity” (Dir. Renn).
    January 7 – March 31. Three-month fellowship for research activities at Laboratoire d’Archéologie, AOROC, UMR 8546, ENS-CNRS, Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris (promoted by the University of Siena and the ENS-École Normale Supérieure) (Supervisor Hélène Dessales).
  • 2010: “DANIELA FUSARO” Fellowship for young researchers. (12 months, promoted by the Elwyn Cotton Foundation and Daniela Fusaro committee): http://danielafusaro.altervista.org/bando.html It is a prestigious and unique acknowledgement in Italy for young archaeologists under 33 years of age.
  • 2009: Fellowship from the University of Siena for the Building Archaeology in Jordan project (6 months, promoted by the University of Siena).
  • 2008: Erasmus Fellowship in the UPV, Universidad del Pais Vasco, Vitoria (University of the Basque Country), Spain. Work experiences during the Erasmus period: topographic and photogrammetric survey for the Santa Maria Church Restoration Project in Vitoria in collaboration with the “Laboratorio de Arqueología de la Arquitectura”, Spain. (10 months, promoted by the University of Siena).

Participation to Scientific Projects

  • Italy: -2006-2007: Capo Spartivento Survey (RC)-South Italy, Greek and Roman Period.
    Lago di Bracciano Survey, Lazio-Italy. Projects of Prof. Giuseppe Cordiano, University of Siena.
    -2009, excavation and 3D digital documentation of the “Janus arch,” Rome. Project of Instituto Arquelógico de Mérida, CSIC.
    – 2009-2016: preventive archaeology, archaeological excavations and documentation, recording of buildings in the post – earthquake reconstruction of L’ Aquila and its municipalities.
  • Spain:-2007-2008: participation in the excavation and topographic documentation activities of the Laboratorio de Arqueologia de la Arquitectura, University of the Basque Country, Vitoria. Documentation (3D modeling and photogrammetry) of the archaeological excavation in the Santa Maria Church of Vitoria/Gasteiz. Topographic and 3D surveys of the Maturana-Verastegui palace for the restoration of the building.
  • Greece: -2006, 2007, 2008: archaeological excavation and geological prospections at the site of Ephestia, Lemnos. Project direct by Prof. Emanuele Papi, University of Siena, in collaboration with SAIA, Scuola Archeologica Italiana di Atene and with the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  • Turkey:-2008: excavation, 3D and topographical survey at the archaeological site of Kyme, University of Calabria and University of Catania. On this occasion I made layout and signage panels for the path of the archaeological site.
  • Jordan: -2009, 2011, 2012 (Building Archaeology in Jordan project directed by Prof. R. Parenti, University of Siena): architectural, topographic and 3D survey of a complex site, Umm as-Surab (Mafraq), Northern Jordan in order to obtain a 3D model characterizing the building techniques and mapping the evolution phases of the site during the Nabataean, Roman, Byzantine and Umayyad periods. Study of Building Techniques and Building Materials.
    -2008, visiting of the Roman, Byzantine and Umayyad buildings in central Jordan.
    -2006, visiting of the Roman, Byzantine and Umayyad buildings in central Jordan.

Academic Experiences / Teaching Activities

  • June 15 – July 17, 2015- Taught a Practical course in archaeological excavation and documentation for a group of 40 American students (BA degree level) in the Ostia Antica – Parco dei Ravennati Project 2015 led by AIRC-American Institute for Roman Culture.
  • Academic year 2013 / 2014- Adjunct Professor at University of L’Aquila Faculty of Engineering- Dept. of Architecture and urbanism. Teaching activities for the course of History of Architecture I, responsible Prof. Simonetta Ciranna (60 hours).
  • Academic year 2013 / 2014- 4 hours course in the “Master di II livello” in “Miglioramento sismico, restauro e consolidamento del costruito storico e monumentale » at University of L’Aquila- Faculty of Engineering- Dept. of Architecture and urbanism. Title of the contribution: “ARCHEOLOGIA E ARCHITETTURA. Metodi di indagine e conoscenza del costruito storico per un progetto consapevole di miglioramento sismico”. Held on September 19, 2014.
  • June 25 – July 27, 2012- Taught a Practical course in archaeological excavation and documentation for a group of 32 international students (American and British) in the Ostia Antica Tor Boacciana Project 2012 led by AIRC-American Institute for Roman Culture.
  • Academic year 2009 / 2010- Building Archaeology tutoring at University of Siena. October/November 2010: a 55-hour course in 3D survey of historical buildings in Tuscany (Siena and Lucca) for 18 Italian and Spanish students pursuing a BA in Cultural Heritage Sciences at the University of Siena.
  • Academic year 2008 / 2009- Building Archaeology tutoring at University of Siena. The 30-hour course provided 15 Italian and Spanish students (BA and MA) with archaeological tools for understanding ancient buildings. The students were stimulated to observe historical, artistic and technical aspects of buildings in order to gain a good understanding of ancient architecture. I trained the students to use technical tools like the total station and computer drawings.

Presentations in Workshops and Conferences

  • 2015, March 6, Italy-Florence. International Conference at Kunhistorisches Institut in Florence: Dopo la Catastrofe. La storia dell’arte e il futuro della città. Title of contribution: Gestione e valorizzazione del patrimonio archeologico di L’Aquila e del suo territorio dopo la catastrofe. Da un’archeologia d’emergenza ad una pianificazione partecipata (invited speaker).
  • 2015, January 30, Italy-L’Aquila. Public Conference on Urban Archaeology in L’Aquila after the earthquake. Title of contribution: Dall’archeologia d’emergenza allo scavo programmato. Per un’ Archeologia Urbana a L’Aquila: «Porta Barete/Romana» (invited speaker).
  • 2014, April 11-12, UK-Cambridge. First Conference of the Construction History Society, Queen’s College, Cambridge. Title of contribution: A proposal for cataloguing the building techniques in Roman-Byzantine and Islamic Jordanian Hawrān. Stratigraphy and Chrono-typology: the Umm as-Surab village
  • 2014, February 19, Spain-Madrid. Seminar: Arquitectura y Decoración Altomedieval: De Jordania a Córdoba. Title of contribution: La chiesa dei Santi Sergio e Bacco, Umm as-Surab (Giordania). Risultati storico-costruttivi dall‘analisi archeologica degli elevati. (invited speaker)
  • 2013, December 16, France- Paris. Table-ronde doctorale organisée par la Mission archéologique française en Syrie du Sud. Title of contribution: An hypothesis for the architectural development of a domestic unit in the Umm as-Surab village (Jordanian Hawran). (invited speaker)
  • 2013, October 25, Italy-Padova. Seminar: Tecniche costruttive e cicli edilizi fra VI e IX secolo tra Oriente e Occidente- University of Padova. Title of contribution: Modelli edilizi e tecniche costruttive tra tardoantico ed età islamica in area siro-giordana. (invited speaker)
  • 2012, December 5, Germany-Berlin. Max Planck Institute for the History of Science research centre in Berlin. Presentation of the results and the methodology to the Department 1. Title of contribution: Between tradition and innovation. The transformation and circulation of Building Techniques of Southern Hawrān (Jordan) from the Roman period to the Early Islamic time. (invited speaker)
  • 2012, April 19, Italy-Bologna. Workshop-Documentare l’Archeologia 2.0-Bologna University. Title of contribution: Fotogrammetria, nuvole di punti e rischio sismico. Applicazioni e riflessioni su una metodologia di rilievo.-Photogrammetry, point cluods and seismic risk. Applications and reflections about a survey methodology (English translation from the italian). (invited speaker)
  • 2012, March 23, France-Paris. ENS-CNRS École Normale Supérieure-AOROC, UMR 8546. Workshop on Roman Building Techniques in the Mediterranean World. Title of contribution: Sicar and dbSite. The architectural GIS experiences of the University of Siena Building Archaeology Lab.
  • 2011, March 2-4, Italy-Trento. 4th International Workshop-3D-ARCH2011-3D Virtual Reconstruction and Visualization of Complex Architectures. Title of contribution: Three dimensional data and the recording of material structure.
  • 2010, September, 23-25, Italy-Gavi. International Meeting on Building Archaeology: Archeologia dell’ Architettura: Temi e prospettive di ricerca. Title of contribution: Orient and Occident: Continuity and Evolution Know-how from the 4th to the 9th Centuries, with Prof. Roberto Parenti. (invited speaker)



Five main publications

S. ANASTASIO, P. GILENTO, R. PARENTI, Ancient Buldings and Masonry Techniques in the Southern Hauran, Jordan, in Journal of Eastern Mediterranean Archeology and Heritage Studies, The Pennsylvania University Press, University Park, PA, n. 4.4, 2016, pp.299 – 320.

P. GILENTO, Ancient architecture in the village of Umm al-Surab, northern Jordan. Construction process and building techniques, a case study, in Syria, 92, Paris, 2015, pp. 329 – 360.

P. GILENTO, R. PARENTI, Modelli edilizi e tecniche costruttive tra tardo-antico ed età islamica in area siro-giordana, in Archeologia dell’Architettura XVIII 2013, pp. 24 – 44, Florence, 2014.

P. GILENTO, La Chiesa dei Santi Sergio e Bacco, Umm as-Surab (Giordania). Risultati storico-costruttivi dall’analisi archeologica degli elevati, in Arqueología de la Arquitectura, 11, Madrid-Vitoria, 2014 http://arqarqt.revistas.csic.es/index.php/arqarqt/article/view/166/192

R. PARENTI, P. GILENTO, Orient and Occident: continuity and evolution in construction know-how from the 4th to the 9th centuries. In Proceedings of “Archeologia dell’Architettura: Temi e prospettive di Ricerca”, Gavi 23 – 25 September 2010, in Archeologia dell’Architettura XV 2010, pp.181 – 195, Florence, 2011.