Corinna ROSSI

Role in ERC project: Principal Investigator.
Title and expertise: Architect and Egyptologist, Associate Professor of Egyptology.
Research interests: Corinna graduated in Architecture at the Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II and earned a PhD in Egyptology at Cambridge University under the supervision of Barry J. Kemp. She worked for many years on the relationship between architecture and mathematics in ancient Egypt, and developed a parallel interest in the antiquities of the Western Desert. In particular, she is interested in the large-scale strategy of occupation and exploitation of the area in the Roman period, with special attention to the mutual relationship and the desert tracks that linked the archaeological sites.
Personal webpages: Politecnico di Milano, Department ABC.

‘It’s not the years honey, it’s the mileage’ (Indiana Jones, Raiders of the Lost Ark)


Department ABC, Politecnico di Milano

Clementina Caputo

Clementina CAPUTO

Role in ERC project: Ceramologist.
Title and expertise: Research Fellow; Egyptian Ceramic and related object in Greco-Roman and Byzantine periods.
Research interests: Double PhD at the University of Salento (Lecce, Italy), in joint supervision with the University of Poitiers (France). 2015-2016, Post-PhD at the University of Salento (Lecce) focused on the study of the Greco-Roman ceramic from Soknopaiou Nesos/Dime. From 2016 to 2019, Post-PhD at Ruprecht-Karls-Universität in Heidelberg (Germany) in the framework of the project “Schreiben auf Ostraka im inneren und äußeren Mittelmeerraum” conducted under the auspices of the Sonderforschungsbereich 933 -Materiale Textkulturen (TP A09). Archaeologist and ceramologist, she has worked in Egypt since 2006. Her main research activities concern ceramics and, more generally, the material culture of ceramics in Egypt from the Hellenistic to Byzantine period. She takes part in the missions of Soknopaiou Nesos / Dime (Fayoum), Trimithis / Amheida (oasis of Dakhla), Bérénice (Eastern desert), Plinthine (Delta), and Tuna el-Gebel (Middle Egypt) as ceramologist.

She is the author of Amheida V. The House of Serenos. Part I: The Pottery (New York, 2020) and co-editor with Julia Lougovaya of Using Ostraca in the Ancient World. New Discoveries and Methodologies (Berlin/Boston/München, 2020).

‘I have always loved the desert. One sits down on a desert sand dune, sees nothing, hears nothing. Yet through the silence something throbs, and gleams…’ (Antoine de Saint-Exupéry)

Nicoleta De Troia

Nicoletta DE TROIA

Role in ERC project: Historian.
Title and expertise: Post-doctoral Fellow, history of Egypt’s Western Desert in the Graeco-Roman and early Islamic eras.
Research interests: Nicoletta graduated in 2014 at the Università Roma Tre and completed her PhD in 2019 at the University of Rome Tor Vergata. Her research focuses on the Greek and Latin sources for the history of the oases of the Egypt’s Western Desert, with a special focus on the interaction between Egypt and the nomadic populations that moved across the Sahara.

‘Zipp d pond ammantn ‘u mont’ (a stubborn small branch may hold a mountain, saying from Puglia).


Role in ERC project: Post-fieldwork processing and elaboration of 3D surveys.
Title and expertise: Engineer, Title A Researcher.
Research interests: Fausta graduated in Civil Engineering at the University of Salerno, specialized at the University of Valladolid and at the Fondazione Bruno Kessler and received a PhD in Architecture and Urban Phenomenology at the University of the Basilicata. She worked as research fellow at Department of Civil Engineering of the University of Salerno.
Personal webpages: 3D Survey Group

‘Vivere tota vita discendum est’ (Seneca, De brevitate vitae)

Francesca Lori

Francesca LORI

Role in ERC project: Computer scientist.
Title and expertise: Research Fellow, Bioinformatic, expert of web developing e graphic design.
Research interests: Francesca graduated in Bioinformatics at Bicocca University of Milan in 2010 and worked at the San Raffaele Hospital in Milan on statistical analysis of large amounts of data, genealogical trees and databases. She worked in the field of communication, gaining experience in digital communication, user interface, preservation of cultural heritage and museum installations.
Personal webpages: Linkedin Francesca

‘May the Force be with you’ (Star Wars)

Alessandro Mandelli

Alessandro MANDELLI

Role in ERC project: Surveyor, post-fieldwork processing and elaboration of data.
Title and expertise: Architect, Senior Specialist at ABC Department, expert of 3D survey and modelling.
Research interests: Alessandro obtained a Master Degree with honours in Architecture in 2011 and a PhD in Geomatics in 2016 at Politecnico di Milano. In 2012 he joined the 3D Survey Group as Research Fellow. He holds a piloting licence for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles since 2017. For the ABC Department he coordinates topographic, photogrammetric, laser-scanner and UAV surveys and participates in different architectural and archaeological projects in Italy and abroad.

‘If you have a destination, even the desert becomes a road’ (Tibetan saying)

foto profilo Andrea Pasqui


Title and expertise: PhD Candidate; virtual valorisation of archaeological remains, ancient philosophy
Research interests: Andrea got his master’s degree in architecture in Politecnico di Milano in 2019. His interests combine Ancient Architecture, Egyptology and philosophy within an interdisciplinary approach to the study of ancient societies. He joined the team in 2020 concurrently with the start of his PhD research concerning the virtual recontextualisation of archaeological remains.
Personal webpages: Linkedin Andrea

‘All men by nature desire to know’ (Aristotele)

Giovanni Battista CHIRICO

Role in ERC project: Hydrologist.
Title and expertise: Associate Professor in Hydrology at the Department of Agricultural Sciences of the University of Naples Federico II.
Research interests: Giovanni Battista’s primary ambition is to conduct research that can have a positive impact on the way we take care of water resources and the related ecosystems, and we cope with natural hazards triggered by extreme hydrological events. He believes that an optimal integration of hydrological observation and modelling systems can provide relevant results to those involved in policy and decision making processes for land and water management as well as drought and flood risk mitigation. The main research topics are: distributed hydrological modelling; soil hydrology; data assimilation.
Personal webpage: Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II

Francesco GIANNINO

Role in ERC project: Modeller.
Title and expertise: Researcher in Applied Mathematics in the Department of Agriculture Sciences at the University of Naples Federico II.
Research interests: Francesco’s research is mainly devoted to the design, development and analysis of mathematical models in biology. Methodological and computational aspects have been considered for several different applications, including model design, implementation and analysis in complex biological systems. Different mathematical modelling approaches can be used to simulate biological and ecological process: Francesco uses system dynamics and individual-based approaches to describe vegetation dynamics, plant-soil processes, and movement of predators.
Personal webpages: Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, Laboratory of Applied Ecology and System Analysis.


Role in ERC project: Head of the Environmental Unit.
Title and expertise: Full Professor of Applied and Environmental Botany, Director of MUSA – University of Napoli Federico II.
Research interests: Stefano has a wide experience in project management and coordination of several EU funded projects and National and Regional research programs. His research focuses on system dynamic modelling, individual plants and community dynamics modelling, fire ecology, litter decomposition and soil organic matter dynamics, plant-soil interactions and effects of disturbance.
In 2011 he was appointed directly by the Rector of the Università degli Studi di Napoli as Director of the museum center Musei delle Scienze Agrarie – MUSA, aiming at highlighting and enhancing the scientific, historic and cultural heritage of the Agricultural School of Portici.
Personal webpages: Università degli Studi di Napoli, Laboratory of Applied Ecology and System Analysis.


Role in ERC project: Botanist.
Title and expertise: Post-doc senior researcher at the Department of Agriculture, Responsible of the Laboratory of cartography – Section of Applied Ecology, Sessional Lecturer in Fire Ecology – ECDL-GIS instructor.
Research interests: Since 1997 Antonello has been involved in several EU and national research projects. He is a member of the organizing committee of international conferences and editor of workgroups and acts as a tutor in several master degrees, bachelor and post-graduate courses. His research focuses on landscape issue (Landscape planning, Land-use evolution and changes, photography applied at landscape studies), ecology (wildfires, slope stability), GIS, and historical cartography.
Personal webpages: Laboratory of Applied Ecology and System Analysis.

‘Even if we could turn back, we’d probably never end up where we started’ (Murakami Aruki, IQ84)

Consultants and Former team members



Cristiana ACHILLE


Mennat-Allah EL-DORRY


Francesco FASSI

3D field surveyor

Simone Galli

Simone Galli

3D field surveyor

Michela Morandi


Expert of 3D modelling


3D field surveyor


Computer Scientist

Ashraf SALEM


Egypt-based collaborators

Magdy ALY

Liaison Officer

Essam Harby SALAH

Chief Driver



CEO of Pan Arab Tours


Executive Assistant
Pan Arab Tours


Founder of Pan Arab Tours

erc logo

This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union's Horizion 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement n°  681673).