Quaternary, prehistory and archeology

Master's degree programme

General information

Disciplinary areaScience
Duration 2 years - 120 Credits
Admission Accesso Libero No limited access
Language Taught in Italian
Teaching method Lectures
Regulation Main Teaching Regulations


This second-cycle degree responds to a demand for broad-based knowledge in the analysis of human evolution of a biological and cultural nature, through the development of skills in methodology, paleo-environmental studies, prehistory, and archeology. The objective is to provide the most comprehensive and in-depth learning possible to carry out this study by using a multidisciplinary approach, which combines an historical-humanistic and a technical- scientific perspective. Traditionally, these two areas are studied separately; today, however, there is an increasing need to use converging and complementary operational and research techniques. The strength of this degree program lies in its interdisciplinary focus, which today is an important element in the study of ancient history.

Course content

Prehistory and archeology are based on historical/literary knowledge (necessary for the interpretation of the cultural component of human evolution and its subsequent history), as well as scientific knowledge (necessary for the interpretation of the historical environment and the analysis of prehistoric and archeological sites). This interdependency permits the acquisition of knowledge for the reconstruction of ancient natural environments (human paleontology, chronology, evolution of flora and fauna, archeometry, Quartenary geology), human history (in its material and non-material manifestations, from the Paleolithic Period and the Middle Ages), topography, and the form and organization of settlements, and material testimonials (articles and artifacts). The combination of all these components will permit students to understand the fundamentals of ancient knowledge through a historical examination of documentation from the past, through rich learning opportunities consisting of hands-on fieldwork (excavations), and the study of problems connected to the scientific publication and promotion of cultural heritage.

Career options

The program prepares students for the following professions: paleontologists, anthropologists, archeologists, museum curators and conservationists, officials on supervisory boards. Other career opportunities include the following professions: managers or specialized technicians in public institutions for the promotion of cultural and natural resources; managers of scientific and archeological museums or parks; researchers in or on behalf of public and private organizations; and programmers and managers of excavations. Graduates can also work in the following sectors: preparation of predictive maps of local archeological risks and potentials to be used in urban planning and the planning and execution of public works; bibliographic, geo-iconographic, historical, and archival research; consulting in the field of impact assessment with respect to archeology and the historical landscape; cataloguing, archiving and the management of databanks; preparation of projects for research, documentation, recovery, conservation, promotion and enjoyment of the archeological and prehistoric heritage; planning and coordinating educational programs in museums; writing in specialized and scientific publishing; planning and managing professional training courses for the promotion of culture sponsored by public organizations.

More information

Course Director
prof. Carlo Peretto
e-mail carlo.peretto@unife.it
dott.ssa Marta Arzarello
e-mail marta.arzarello@unife.it

The course is managed by the Department of Chemical and Geological Sciences