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Barbara Davidde Petriaggi

Underwater archaeologist, Head of research, designer and Project Manager

Barbara Davidde Petriaggi is Superintendent at Soprintendenza Nazionale per il Patrimonio Culturale Subacqueo [National Superintendence for Underwater Cultural Heritage]. Until 2020, she used to work as an archaeologist at the Istituto Centrale per il Restauro [ICR, Central Institute for Restoration, ISCR since 2008]. From January 2011 to December 2020 she led the NIAS – Nucleo per gli Interventi di Archeologia Subacquea ([Underwater Archaeology Operations Unit] of ISCR. Since 2010, she is adjunct professor of Underwater Archaeology at the Università degli Studi Roma Tre.

During her career, which began in 1987, she directed a number of underwater archaeological missions in Yemen and Oman, and participated in archaeological works at submerged sites in France, Libya and Italy. From 1992 to 1996, she worked at the Technical Services for Underwater Archaeology of the MiBAC (Italian Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities). Since 1997, as a member of NIAS at the ISCR, she participated in training activities for underwater restorers and in the experimental conservation and restoration of ancient artefacts of underwater origin.

Since 2011 she is carrying out her research activities leading the in situ restoration works for underwater cultural heritage as a part of the project called “Restaurare sott’acqua” which involved the Underwater Park of Baiae, the “wreck of the sarcophagi” in San Pietro in Bevagna, the “wreck of the cannons” in Cala Spalmatore – Marettimo Island, the lake of Bolsena, the Submerged Villa of Epidaurus in Greece.

Since July 2011, she is a designer, scientific coordinator and project manager for numerous national and international projects conducted by ISCR, including, but not limited to, the project PON “CoMAS” – In Situ Conservation Planning of Underwater Archaeological Artifacts, the European project SASMAP (Development of Tools and Techniques to Survey, Assess, Stabilise, Monitor and Preserve Underwater Archaeological Sites),  leading institution: The National Museum of Denmark (, Project UCRCA: Underwater Classical Antiquity Route in Europe. Funded by European Union call EASME/EMFF/2015, Project Visas. Virtual and augmented exploitation of Submerged Archaeological Sites. Funding institution: Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research (MIUR), Project ISCR – MUSAS – Underwater Archaeology Museums – Protection, enhancement and networking of underwater archaeological heritage (Campania-Calabria-Apulia)” funded by PON [National Operation Program] “Culture and Development” FESR 2014-2020. € 3.250.00,00, Progetto i-MareCulture Advanced VR, iMmersive serious games and Augmented REality as tools to raise awareness and access to European underwater CULTURal hEritage. EU PROJECT no. 727153. Funding Call: Horizon 2020-SC6-CULT-COOP-2016-2017, Progetto BlueMED- Plan/test/coordinate Underwater Museums, Diving Parks and Knowledge Awareness Centres in order to support sustainable and responsible tourism development and promote Blue growth in coastal areas and islands of the Mediterranean. Funded by EU, Project SIBILLA. Cloud-Based Integrated System for the protection and enhancement of cultural heritage. Project financed by the program H2020 PON [National Operation Program] “Business and competivity” FRES 2014-2020, Project MAGNA “On the route from Greece to Magna Graecia”, project funded by Call EASME/EMFF, Project DiveSafe Integrated system for scientific and environmental underwater surveys, with advanced health & safety features, funded by EC.

From 2010 to 2013, she was a designer and member of the work management team during the restoration of the House of the Mithraeum of the Painted Walls in Ostia Antica.

Since 2011, she is scientific officer and director of restoration works at the Roman Villa of Silin (Leptis Magna, Libya) within the framework of the international convention among ISCR, Department of Archaeology of Libya (DoA) and Università degli Studi Roma Tre.

Since 2011, she leads the training activities for technicians and restorers at the Department of Archaeology of Libya, which were organised by ISCR during the restoration works at Villa Silin, along with the course named “Conservation of movable property (on site/in museum/storage collection) in Libya” organised by ISCR together with UNESCO.

In June 2019, she was elected to the Scientific and Technical Advisory Body (STAB) of UNESCO for underwater cultural heritage, a panel that features 14 international experts coming from the 61 countries that have so far signed the Convention which officially came into force in 2009.

She is the author and co-author of more than 100 scientific and mainstream articles and, together with Roberto Petriaggi, she has published the book “Archeologia sott’acqua. Teoria e pratica”, Roma –Pisa 2007, Fabrizio Serra Editore.