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Serena Sabatini


Department of Historical
Visiting address
Renströmsgatan 6
41255 Göteborg
Room number
Postal address
Box 200
40530 Göteborg

About Serena Sabatini

I am a scholar of European and Mediterranean Bronze Age, specialized in long distance trade and exchange, textile and metal production, burial traditions and issued of identity.

I received a Master Degree in European Protohistory (1999) from the University of Rome La Sapienza and a PhD in Archaeology (2007) from the University of Gothenburg. The PhD dissertation (House urns. A European Late Bronze Age Trans-cultural Phenomenon) provides a comprehensive and systematic analysis of the so-called Late Bronze Age North European house urns, discussing at the same time issues of transculturality and of the impact of long-distance relations on local practices.

In 2012, after a number of short terms research projects, teaching experience and maternal leave, I became a full time researcher at the University of Gothenburg in the project The Rise: Travels, transmissions and transformations in temperate northern Europe during the 3rd and 2nd millennium BC: the rise of Bronze Age societies (see below). Since then I have been involved in a number of international projects (see below). I also carried out a substantial teaching activity as lecturer in both Archaeology and Classical Archaeology and Ancient History at the Department of Historical Studies, University of Gothenburg (see below).

Current Research Projects

2020-2025. I am the PI in the project The missing link? Sardinia and the Bronze Age Metal Trade between Scandinavia, Atlantic Europe and the Mediterranean (Missing Link) financed by the Swedish Research Council. This project aims to investigate the role of Sardinia in the metal trade between Scandinavia, Atlantic Europe and the Mediterranean during the Bronze Age.

2020-2024 I am the Swedish representative in the Management Committee for the EuroWeb COST action CA19131 - Europe through Textiles: Network for an integrated and interdisciplinary Humanities (EuroWeb).

2017-2022. I am part of the international research team of the The Rise II project (Towards a new European Prehistory. Integrating aDNA, isotopic investigations, language and archaeology to reinterpret key processes of change in the prehistory of Europe) directed by Professor Kristian Kristiansen and financed by Riksbankens Jubileumsfond. I am primarily working with issues of social and cultural transformations throughout the Late Bronze Age in both the Mediterranean area and in Southern Scandinavia.

2018-today In 2018 together with a group of researchers at the University of Gothenburg I initiated the Understanding Urban Identities (UUI) project, the aim of which is to investigate the urban development in Southern Etruria over the long durée from the Bronze Age until Late Antiquity. The UUI is a research program (in progress) aiming to anchor the study of the broader historical processes with the archaeological record from the site of Vulci (Southern Etruria, Italy), which constitute the main focus of the UUI fieldwork activity.

Recently Concluded Projects

2016-2019. In 2015, Sophie Bergerbrant (University of Gothenburg), Karin M. Frei (National Museum of Denmark) and me submitted the project Bronze Age wool economy: production, trade, environment, husbandry and society (THESP) which was funded by Riksbankens Jubileumsfond. The project has been characterized by a completely new approach to the issue of wool production and trade which takes into account and explores the human animal relation and the complex interplay between environment, culture and society beyond wool economy. The main purpose of my contribution was to shed light on the significance of Bronze Age wool economy at both a macro and micro scale in particular drawing upon the well-documented material from northern Italy, which has been one of the case studies I investigated already within The Rise project.

2012-2016. Researcher within The Rise of Bronze Age societies project directed by Prof. Kristian Kristiansen and financed by an ERC advanced grant. The aim of my research was to examine evidence for textile production, use, and exchange in the Bronze Age with a particular attention to Southern Europe during the second millennium BCE. I investigated textile-related material culture from three different sites: Montale (Modena province), Italy, Midea, Greece, and Hala Sultan Tekke, Cyprus.


List of courses in which I work/worked as course coordinator (including teaching, examinations, coordination of seminars, and of student excursions):

  • Nordic and European Bronze Age
  • European and Mediterranean Bronze Age
  • Introduction to archaeology
  • Archaeology: Intermediate course - Archaeology and society
  • Children, Youth and Archaeology
  • Mediterranean Prehistory
  • Archaeology: Introductory course - Nordic Prehistory and Early history
  • Classical Archaeology and Ancient History: Intermediate course - Individual scientific assignment

List of courses in which I am/have been actively involved for specific sub-courses or classes:

  • Textiles in pre-modern societies
  • Archaeological fieldwork in the Mediterranean regions
  • Archaeology: Introductory course
  • Classical Archaeology and Ancient History: Intermediate course - Ancient Art and Archaeology
  • Classical Archaeology and Ancient History: Intermediate course - Individual Student essays
  • Classical Archaeology and Ancient History: Introductory course - Italic and Roman culture and society
  • Fashion and clothing history: from prehistory to 1900
  • Man and Sea: Historical and Archaeological Perspectiv