Italian Artist in Residence and Experimental Archaeology on Decorating Ancient Greek and South Italian Ceramics

April 17, 2023


Within the framework of the A.G.A.T.H.O.C.L.E.S. Project (EU funded - Marie Sklodowska-Curie Global) led by Marco Serino (Dipartimento di Studi storici, Università di Torino), a new amazing collaboration has started with Roberto Paolini alias Pithos Ancient Reproductions. Prof. Serino is holding the outgoing phase of his 3-year project at the Laboratory for Traditional Technology under the supervision of Prof. Eleni Hasaki (School of Anthropology and Classics).

Mr. Paolini received his apprenticeship at Cerveteri, and since 2007 he has run his own business. He has led several educational workshops both in major Italian museums (such as National Etruscan Museum of Villa Giulia, Rome, National Archaeological Museum of Umbria, Perugia, National Archaeological Museum of Napoli) and in educational exhibitions in Europe (Archaeological Museum of Marseille, France).  He was also featured in educational videos produced by the National Etruscan Museum of Villa Giulia and in documentaries by the Italian National Broadcasting Organization (RAI). The British Museum (London, UK) and the National Archaeological Museum of Spina (Ferrara, Italy) has recently bought two several of his pieces for tactile experiences in their educational programs. It is the first US visit for Mr. Paolini. 

From April 14-28, 2023, Mr. Paolini will work for two weeks on experimental archaeological sessions at the University of Arizona (Tucson), at the Laboratory of Traditional Technology to better understand the technological procedures and the artisanal gestures of the ancient Greek and South Italian red-figure vase painters. All the experimental sessions are coordinated by Prof. Marco Serino and Prof. Eleni Hasaki who will work with Roberto Paolini  on South Italian red-figure vase replicas and on Greek figured vase replicas respectively. 

The Laboratory for Traditional Technology  (LTT) will be open daily from 9:00 am-5:00pm for all visitors to interact with Mr. Paolini. We encourage all faculty to share this opportunity with their classes and schedule class visits during April 14-28. Around the Rincon High School in Tucson under the leadership of Art Teacher Amy Wood, has already undertaken a semester long project on ceramics inspired by Mr. Paolini's visit and they plan to attend in person his decorating sessions. LTT’s resident potter Cynthia Jones has provided valuable assistance with this visit. 


 Wednesday, April 19, from 10:00am- 1:00pm at the Women’s Plaza, a Community Workshop and Exhibition entitled “Artisanal Gestures and Tools of Ancient Greek Vase Painters” will be held. Mr. Paolini will be demonstrating the decoration on Greek and South Italian vases. Current research by Prof. Hasaki and Prof. Serino will be presented in posters, as well as research undertaken at the University of Turin by Drs. Elisa Ercolin, Diego Elia, Patrizia Davit, Monica Gulmini. The replica of an ancient Greek potter’s wheel will also be on site.

Thursday April 20, 12:30-1:45pm, Open Lab will also be held in Haury 125. 2:00-3:15pm, Scientific Colloquium, in Haury 129 “Technology and Experimental Archaeology of Red-Figure Pottery Production in Ancient Greece and Italy” with Eleni Hasaki, Marco Serino, and Roberto Paolini in conjunction with Prof.  François Lanoë’s Anthropology core class ANTH 235 (Principles of Archaeology).

All activities have received additional funding from the School of Anthropology, the Department of Religious Studies and Classics, and from a Local Society Incentive Grant awarded by the Archaeological Institute of America to the AIA Tucson Society

We will be sending more updates of Mr. Paolini’s visit and the progress of the research through the Anthropology Newsletter and through the websites of A.G.A.T.H.O.C.L.E.S project and the Laboratory for Traditional Technology