Dr Thea Ravasi
Visiting Lecturer (Archaeology)


  • PhD in Roman Archaeology, Perugia State University, Italy (2010)
  • 3 years Postgraduate Diploma in Classical Archaeology (Distinction), Milan State University, Italy (2004)
  • PG training course on database applications for archaeology Milan Università Cattolica, Italy (2000)
  • 4 years Degree in Classics and Archaeology (First-class honours), Milan State University, Italy (1998)

Previous Positions

  • Museum Curator, Museo Civico di Crema, Italy (2004-2010)
  • Undergraduate Instructor, Milan University, Italy (2002-2005)
  • Senior educational officer, Milan Archaeology Museum (1999-2003)
  • Archaeology Cooperative member S.C.A., Milan, Italy (1996-2003)

Honours and Awards

  • 2006-2008, University of Perugia. Full three-years scholarship to attend doctoral research
  • 2002-2004, University of Milan. Full three-years scholarship to attend the Postgraduate School in Classical Archaeology 

Roman sculpture and architecture: aesthetics, and control

I am interested in the relation between sculpture and architecture and the disposition of sculptures as part of the planning projects of Roman imperial residences. My doctoral research focused on the criteria underlying the placing of statues and sculptural groups in niches and other architectural features within Hadrian's Villa (Tivoli, Rome) and examined the relationship between sculptures and the function, morphology and hierarchy of built spaces within the Villa. 

Some of the results from my research are published in Ravasi T. 2013, "The aesthetics of display in Roman sculpture", Destrée P., Murray P. (eds), A Companion to Ancient Aesthetics (Blackwell Companions to the Ancient  World), John Wiley & Sons Inc.


Subterranean archaeology and the Lateran 

As part of my interests in Roman architecture I am particularly happy to be involved in the research project under the basilica of St. John Lateran in Rome, directed by Ian Haynes (Newcastle University, UK) and Paolo Liverani (Universita' degli Studi di Firenze, Italy) and supported by the British School at Rome. The project aims to investigate the Roman structures that lie below the Lateran basilica and that comprise among others the earlier phases of the basilica and baptistery, a bath complex, extensive parts of the Castra Nova of the equites singulares, a fort built to house the Imperial Houseguard, and below the Castra, the remains of a luxury residence decorated with fine frescos and marble veneers. As part of this project I am coordinating, along prof. Ian Haynes, the organization of the workshop Subterranean Archaeology in Italy (The British School at Rome, 8 June 2012).  

Romanization and economy in Northern Italy

Rhodian amphora stamp fro CremonaMy research also focuses on broader transformations in the Roman economy as suggested by changes in the distribution and consumption of oil, wine and ‘garum’ fish sauce  across Northern Italy, from the Republican age to AD 2C. I am preparing an article on the early Romanization of Italy, entitled Beyond military strategy. Roman trade and the early colonization of Cisalpine Gaul, to be submitted to the Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology.

I have published extensively on roman trade and economy in the Po valley and I am currently studying the Roman republican and early imperial amphorae found in the Roman colony of Cremona. I am preparing a book chapter for a publication edited by Arslan E., Pitcher L., Volontè M., Gli scavi di Piazza Marconi a Cremona, to be published in Atti dell'Accademia dei Lincei in 2013. The paper aims to invesigate the role played by the newly settled colonists of Cremona in establishing a new trade system in the very heart of the Po plain, contributing to the dramatic change of both material culture and taste and dietary habits in the area, previously occupied by people of Celtic origin (See more).

Logboats and river archaeology between Adda and Oglio rivers (Italy) 

(2006-2010 - Principal investigator)

Research and conservation project for the archaeological collection of logboats at the Museo Civico di Crema e del Cremasco in collaboration with the Archaeology Heritage Regional Board of Lombardy. Aim of the project was to reconstruct the historical significance of the only surviving archaeological evidence of fluvial navigation along Adda and Oglio rivers. Major output of the project was the setting of a permanent exhibition at the Museo Civico di Crema e del Cremasco in 2010.   

The setting of Roman small settlements (Italy) 

(2000-2007 - Fieldwork supervisor, Milan University, Italy)

Long-term excavation project of the Roman vicus of Calvatone-Bedriacum, near Cremona, Italy. The excavation focused on the area occupied by the Domus del Labirinto, built in the C 1BC and rebuilt during the Augustan age with lavishly decorated walls and opus signinum floors. The house comprised two triclinia, small rooms and open courtyards.


Roman colonies and urban landscapes (Italy) 

(1999-2005 - Fieldwork supervisor, Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici della Lombardia, Italy)

The research comprised the mapping of the archaeological records and the setting up of a GIS within the conservation project of the colony of Cremona (Northern Italy). The project aimed at the reconstruction of the original forma urbis of the colony. An accurate study, recording and geopositioning of all the archaeological evidence provided the reconstruction of the blocks and the road distribution within the city. It was also possible to locate the position of the Po river at the time of the foundation of the colony, in 218 BC.



Undergraduate Teaching

Classical Art from Greece to Rome (CAC1012)

Archaeology of the Roman Empire (ARA2091)

Postgraduate Teaching

Graduate Seminar in Roman Archaeology (ARA8050)