Queen's University

Dr. Fabio Colivicchi

Professor, Department of Classics
LinkedIn profile for Dr. Fabio Colivicchi


I am a professor in the Department of Classics at Queen's University, where I teach courses of Archaeology, History, and Classical culture. I have a PhD in Greek and Roman Archaeology from the  Università di Perugia, an MA in Archaeology and History of Greek and Roman Art from the Università di Firenze, and most recently, a Post-Graduate Diploma in Classical Archeology from the Scuola di Specializzazione in Archeologia of Università di Firenze.

My research interests include Mediterranean urbanization and state formation; Greek colonies; Etruscans; pre-Roman cultures of South Italy; ancient imperialism; multiculturalism in the Roman empire; early and republican Rome. I have conducted research on many of the areas of ancient Italy, from the Greek colonies to the local cultures of the peninsula, which led me to appreciate their deep interconnection and the necessity of adopting a holistic approach.

I am currently researching new ways of looking at early Roman expansion: not in military terms only, but primarily as a large scale peninsular and then Mediterranean phenomenon of formation of a territorial empire based on integration, synergy, and access to power for the incorporated communities. In this research archaeology has an explosive potential to change traditional historical narratives.

One of my current projects, titled “Diverging Trajectories,” links my interests in urbanization and ancient imperialism. With my colleague Myles McCallum of Saint Mary’s University we have organized a series of international scholarly meetings on the relationship between Roman conquest and urban culture in Italy. The project will result in an edited book covering all of Italy.

I have authored several books, articles, and contributions to volumes, and conducted numerous excavations and field surveys in various regions of Italy, including the Caere Excavation Project which is an archaeological excavation of an Etruscan city in central Italy. The excavation also gives my students a tremendous opportunity for experiential learning and professional training, not only for the development of future classicists, but also for the acquisition of highly valuable skills and competencies that are transferrable to a broad range of other fields.


Most Recent Project

Le strutture orientalizzanti della Vigna Marini-Vitalini

Cover for "Caere orientalizzante: Nuove ricerche su cittĂ  e necropoliIn this book chapter, I present the results of new research on the least known aspect of Caere, its urban architecture. The volume is the first of the series 'Studia Caeretana’, which is dedicated to the Etruscan city of Cerveteri (ancient Caere), and stems from the collaboration between the Istituto di studi sul Mediterraneo antico and the Musée du Louvre.

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Other Projects

  • Examination and Analysis of Etruscan Wall Paintings at Caere, Italy

    Three wall paintings discovered in the ancient city of Caere near Rome Italy, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.In 1983, the excavation of the ancient city of Caere near Rome, which became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004, led to the unearthing of an underground sanctuary dating from the early third century BC. Known as the ‘Hypogaeum of Clepsina’, it consists of an underground room decorated with frescoes, drawings and inscriptions. The initiation of a new excavation campaign at Caere in 2012 provided the opportunity to study this rare example of Etruscan wall paintings of a non‐sepulchral nature from the Hellenistic era. The paintings were documented, photographed and samples were removed for analysis using a combination of scientific techniques.

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  • Banqueting and Food

    Cover for the book Estrucology about the history and development of Estrucan culture.Banqueting and Food is a chapter in the volume Etruscology (editor, Alessandro Naso), which provides an overview of the history of Etruscology and its development.

    Archaeological evidence and imagery give a dear picture of the development of banqueting as a social arena and, from the Orientalizing period, a status symbol for the elite. However, everyday diet of the Etruscan population, in particular middle and lower social classes, was most likely much more basic. 

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  • Mithras in the Mundus (Mithras in Caere)

    Sculpture from Roman Empire relating to the mystery religion MIthraismThis paper was presented at the conference Symposium Peregrinum 2016, Tarquinia: The Mysteries of Mithras and other Mystic Cults in the Roman World, in Tarquinia-Vulci-Marino, Italy.

    The hypogaeum of Clepsina in the urban area of Caere has been the object of much debate in the last few years, but has been considered primarily in relation to the transformation of the ancient Etruscan city into a Roman praefectura in 273 BCE. Among the inscriptions traced in the later phase of usage of the hypogaeum is a sketch that has been often identified as the chariot of the Sun.

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  • New excavations in the urban area of Caere (2012-2014)

    Cover of Mouseion: Journal of the Classical Association of CanadaExcavations conducted by Queen’s University in the central area of the Etruscan city of Caere, near the so-called hypogaeum of Clepsina, have brought to light a sequence of phases indicative of a longer and more complex history of urban occupation at the site than previously thought. The earliest stratigraphic evidence uncovered so far dates to the Late Iron Age, followed by an Orientalizing building with wall paintings, an important Archaic phase, and a large-scale renovation datable to the 3rd century BC.

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  • Craftsmanship and Identity in the Hellenistic Funerary Reliefs of Naples: An Archaeological and Archaeometric Analysis: Craftsmanship and identity in the Hellenistic funerary reliefs of Naples

    Photo of Hellenistic reliefs made from Paros and Carrara marble. Seven Hellenistic stelae with Greek inscriptions found in the ancient city of Naples, were examined minero-petrographically (by optical microscopy on thin sections and XRD on powder) and geochemically (by stable isotope ratio analysis) in order to determine the provenance of the constituent marbles. 

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