Dr. Francesca Mazzilli: Uncovering Portugal’s Hidden Archaeological Gems

Ciao! I’m Francesca, an archaeologist educated in England and a proud Italian at heart. Currently, I’m working at the Institut für Klassische und Christliche Archäologie of the WWU Münster under the mentorship of Professor Dr. Achim Lichtenberger and I’m also part of the research cloud “Religious Landscapes and Environmental Devotion” within the research cluster “Religion und Politik. Dynamiken von Tradition und Innovation”. By being a member of this research cluster, I’m constantly broadening my understanding of the complex interconnectivity between religion and landscape in the ancient and contemporary world.

My research mostly focuses on cult places in Portugal and looks at them in relation to natural and infrastructural features like hilltops and settlements, as well as societal aspects such as the economy. At the centre of my research stands Garvão, a site in the southern part of the country, which I’m eager to visit for further investigations in collaboration with Portuguese archaeologists.

I’m very fortunate to have a career that lets me live out my love and curiosity for different cultures whilst travelling around the world. Plus, my job has taken me to unexpected places, like the realm of board games. Whilst I would’ve never thought it would be my thing, it’s now a fun hobby of mine where I can indulge my competitive side and have a blast taking down monsters!