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Ms Micaela Sinibaldi 

  • Overview
Micaela Sinibaldi
Position:PhD Student in Archaeology

Academic History

I obtained my Laurea (BA and MA) degree at the University of Florence, Italy, Department of History (2002). I defended a thesis in Medieval Archaeology, entitled Characters and Forms of Settlement in the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem: the Contribution of Archaeology, a survey of archaeological literature of the Crusader Latin Kingdom, whose fieldwork in the Middle East has been funded by a fellowship of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

My education also included one year at the University of Siena, where I specialised in archaeological analysis of buildings, and one year in the U.K. at Royal Holloway College, University of London, where I took courses at the Department of History in Historical Archaeology, Archaeological Methods (Prof. H.Blake), and the Crusades and the Eastern Mediterranean (Dr. J. Phillips). In October 2008 I began my PhD at Cardiff University, which is funded by an AHRC award, and has also been supported by an Ursula Henriques Prize from Cardiff University.
I am currently engaged in my thesis fieldwork in Jordan, which has been sponsored by several fellowships and grants, including the American Center of Oriental Research and the Council for British Research in the Levant (British Academy). The current phase of my research is sponsored by the Palestine Exploration Fund.

PHD Research

Working title: Settlement in Crusader Transjordan, 1100-1189

The project comprises an archaeological study of settlements in Transjordan at the time of the twelfth-century Latin kingdom of Jerusalem. This theme is almost completely unexplored, and the aim of this research is to study settlement patterns within the framework of the archaeological and historical landscape of the kingdom as a whole.
Enough evidence has emerged in recent years to approach the selected subject; the study is based on a comprehensive analysis of available archaeological sources and on a revision of the older studies carried on until this moment.
The study has an emphasis on the Petra area, where a concentration of recent archaeological excavations has offered recent data to be included in this study.
The evidence collected includes results from excavation and survey materials, a study of the remaining structures and a study of pottery analysed from the chronological and socio-economic point of view. The archaeological study is matched to one of the historical sources, in order to obtain a comprehensive picture of Transjordan in the 12th century.

Start date: 2008
First Supervisor: Prof. Denys Pringle
Second supervisor: Prof. Ian Freestone


Sinibaldi, M., (in progress). The Pottery from the Middle Islamic, Late Islamic and Modern Periods, in P. Kouki and M. Lavento, Petra, the Mountain of Aaron. Vol. III. The Archaeological Survey.
Sinibaldi, M. and C.A. Tuttle. (in press). Brown University Petra Archaeological Project: 2010 Excavations at Islamic Bayda. Annual of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan, 55, 2011
Sinibaldi, M. 2010. Villages of Crusader Transjordan: A Survey of Archaeological Sources. Bulletin of Council for British Research in the Levant.
Sinibaldi, M.
2009 The Franks in Southern Transjordan and the contribution of Ceramic Studies. A Preliminary Report on the Pottery Assemblages of Bayda and Wadi Farasa, Annual of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan 53, 2009.

Sinibaldi, M.
2009  Twelve entries of artifact descriptions, in G. Vannini and M. Nucciotti (ed.), From Petra to Shawbak, Archaeology of a Frontier,  Florence, Giunti 2009.

Sinibaldi, M.
2007 Crusader Archaeology in Southern Jordan. American Center of Oriental Research Newsletter, n.18, Winter 2006.

Sinibaldi, M.
2007   The Artefacts of Area 6000 C. First Results. In Vannini, G. (ed.), Archeologia dell'insediamento Crociato-Ayyubbide in Transgiordania. Il progetto Shawbak, Archeologia Medievale 33, 2007.

Invited Lectures (selection)

Villages of Frankish Transjordan: Ceramic Production in the 12th century Settlements. ACOR Public Lecture, American Center of Oriental Research, Amman, Jordan (2010)

Settlements of the Crusader Period in Jordan: current results of archaeological research. Public Lecture presented at Dante Alighieri Society, Amman, Jordan (2010)

Crusader-period ceramics: the State of the Field and a Case Study of Transjordan: Three lectures presented at: The Archaeology, Material Culture and Art History of the Crusades: a Symposium, De Paul University, Chicago, Illinois; Missouri State University, Missouri; Whitman College, Washington State (2009)

The Shawbak Project, Dante Alighieri Society, Amman, Jordan (2007)

Characters of Settlements in the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem: the Contribution of Archaeology. Center of Archaeology, Columbia University, New York (2006)

Conference Presentations

Islamic Petra. A Ceramic Chronology for a Study of Settlement (poster session), The First Amsterdam Meeting on Byzantine and Ottoman Archaeology, 2011.

Frankish Settlements in Transjordan: Ceramic Studies and their Contribution to Settlement Topography. International Workshop, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary, 2008

The Franks in Transjordan: Observations on settlement topography and the contribution of Ceramic Studies. 10° International Conference on the History and Archaeology of Jordan, Washington D.C., 2007.

Project Participation

Before and after my degree, I have worked regularly on projects in Italy and Middle East, but I focused on the archaeology of the Crusader period and the Islamic period in Jordan. My research has been supported by grants of the Italian National Council of Research, which has funded my stay as a Visiting Scholar at Columbia University, New York (2006), and of the American Center of Oriental Research (2006 and 2007), which allowed me to spend research periods in Jordan.

I have participated in several field projects in Jordan, in particular on the archaeological investigations of the castles of al-Wu’Ayra and Shawbak in Jordan (University of Florence), where I worked on the excavation of the sites and analysis of pottery.

I worked as Curator of Artefacts from Jordan for the International Exhibition From Petra to Shawbak. Archaeology of a Frontier launched in Florence in July 2009, organised by the University of Florence and the Department of Antiquities of Jordan.

I am currently co-directing excavations at the site of Bayda, Petra region, for Brown University (Brown University Petra Archaeological Project), and I am collaborating with several projects in the Petra area for the analyis of ceramics, including the Bayda Documentation Project (American Center of Oriental Research); the Finnish Jabal Harun Project (Helsinki University); the International Wadi Farasa Project (Humboldt University, Berlin), and the project From Petra to Wadi Ramm (Institute Francais du Proche Orient).


My teaching activity started in 1999 as an instructor for the Comune di Sien, Italy, in a specialisation course on the archaeological analysis of frescoes and plasters at the Medieval restoration site of Santa Maria della Scala.

Since 2003 I have taught regularly archaeology courses in American College programmes, including courses on archaeological methods and on the archaeology of the Crusader period.

For the University of Florence, in 2008 I lectured to undergraduates on Pottery of the Crusader Period in Southern Transjordan, for the course of Medieval Archaeology. I also co-supervised a B. A. thesis on a medieval pottery assemblage in Petra.

In 2009 I lectured on Characters and forms of settlement in the Crusader Period: the contribution of archaeology to undergraduates at Whitman College, Washington State, U.S.A.

Since 2010 I lecture for undergraduates of De Paul University, Chicago, U.S.A., on The Crusader-period settlements in Southern Transjordan

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