School of History, Classics and Archaeology

Staff Profile

Dr Francesco Carrer

NU Academic Track Fellow (NUAcT)


I received a bachelor’s degree in Archaeology from the University of Padova in 2004. I obtained a master’s degree at the same University in 2007, with a thesis on prehistoric and protohistoric archaeology. I then moved to the University of Trento in 2008 for my PhD in the Department of Humanities. Here, my research project addressed the issue of the integration of ethnoarchaeological interpretation and spatial analysis in the study the pastoral landscapes in the eastern Alps (Trentino province, Italy). Between June 2012 and May 2013 I was Post-doctoral research fellow at the Department of Humanities of the University of Trento, with a project focused on the archaeological survey and spatial analysis of prehistoric and historical sites in the uplands of San Vito di Cadore (Eastern Italian Alps). 

In June 2013 I was Marie Curie research fellow at the Department of Archaeology of the University of York. My research project (EthWAL) used archaeological and ethnoarchaeological methods to investigate how pastoral groups shaped their seasonal landscapes in the Western Italian and French Alps. Between 2015 and 2019 I was a Research Associate at the McCord Centre for Landscape of Newcastle University. In the last four years I have been working  on Historic Landscape Characterisation and GIS-based landscape analysis in Turkey (CHiLaT), and I have coordinated fieldwork projects in the Italian Alps (UPLanD and ALPES). I have also contributed to training undergraduate and postgraduate students in the use of GIS and spatial analysis for archaeological research.

My main research interests are in landscape archaeology and ethnoarchaeology, mountain archaeology, spatial analysis and computer modelling. I am specifically interested in seasonal pastoralism, from an ethnographic and an archaeological perspective, and in the development of GIS applications for analysing long-term socio-ecological dynamics.

My current NUAcT project (PLAS) aims at assessing the long-term impact of pastoralism on marginal landscapes and environments. In order to achieve its goals, the PLAS project will use a transdisciplinary methodology, combining computational modelling, palaeoecology, ethnography, GIS, landscape assessment and participatory approach. Case-studies from Italy, Turkey and the UK have been selected for this project.

Area of expertise

  • Landscape archaeology
  • GIS and spatial analysis
  • Computer modelling
  • Later pre-history
  • Ethnoarchaeology
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PLAS - Pastoralism and Landscape Sustainability: a long-term perspective (2019-2024)

Funding: NUAcT fellowship

PECUS - European Landscapes of Transhumance (2019-2021)

Lead Organisation: Universidad Pablo de Olavide (Spain)

Funding: Erasmus - Strategic Partnerships for Higher Education

ALPES - Alpine Landscapes, Pastoralism and Environment in val di Sole (2010 - ongoing)

CoI: Prof. D.E. Angelucci (University of Trento - Italy)

Funding: LEADER 4 funding, CAI "Terre Alte" small grants

Archaeological Investigations in the "Pra' Comun" Area - Giau Pass (San Vito di Cadore) (2019-2021)

CoIs: Dr. F. Cavulli (University of Trento, Italy), Prof. F. Fontana & Dr. D. Visentin (University of Ferrara, Italy

Funding: San Vito di Cadore City Council (Italy)


UPLanD - Understanding the Pastoral Landscapes of the Dolomites (2016-2018)

CoIs: Dr. F. Cavulli & Prof. A Pedrotti (University of Trento, Italy)

Funding: Parco Nazionale Dolomiti Bellunesi (Italy)

EthWAL - Ethnoarchaeology of Western Alpine upland Landscapes (2013-2015)

CoI: Dr. K. Walsh (University of York, UK)

Funding: Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship (FP7)

CEDNEA - Total Archaeology Project (2013 - 2015)

CoIs: Dr. F. Cavulli & Prof. A. Pedrotti (University of Trento, Italy), Dr. F. Fontana & D. Visentin (University of Ferrara, Italy)

Funding: San Vito di Cadore City Council (Italy)


CHiLaT - Cultural Heritage in Landscape: planning for development in Turkey (2016-2019)

PIs: Prof S. Turner (Newcastle University, UK), Prof E. Nurlu (Ege University, Turkey)

Round mounds of the Isle of Man (2016)

PIs: R. Crellin (University of Leicester, UK), C. Fowler (Newcastle University, UK)

Verifying the first evidence of dairy farming in the alpine region (2014-2015)

Coordinators: Dr. T. Reitmaier (Grisons Archaeological Office, Switzerland), Dr. O. Craig (University of York, UK)

"Le Vette" project (2014-2015)

Coordinators: Dr. F. Cavulli & Prof. A. Pedrotti (University of Trento, Italy), G. Fogliata (ARCA, Italy), P. Cesco Frare

Recording and analysing archaeological evidence in the uplands of San Vito di Cadore - Italy (2012-2013)

Coordinators: Prof. A. Pedrotti (University of Trento, Italy)

APSAT - Ambiente e Paesaggi dei Siti d'Altura Trentini (2008-2012)

Director: Prof. G.P. Brogiolo (University of Padova, Italy)