Why Ex Novo?
Ex novo translates as “from scratch” and we have been hard at work creating a new archaeological journal from the ground up. We are archaeologists, researchers and heritage professionals, based in Italy, Germany, the Netherlands and UK, all sharing the same dream: engaging people with archaeology and archaeology with people.
Project image courtesy of Andrea Albini ('Informazioni' ©Copyright Andrea Albini).
Ex Novo is not just a scientific journal, we want it to be the open access space where archaeology meets the society, where academics and professionals communicate their research to a multidisciplinary audience and where archaeology lovers get involved with current issues on archaeological practice and its relation to society. More importantly, the Ex Novo website and its yearly reviews will contribute to build from scratch a new, more inspiring and publicly engaged generation of archaeologists and heritage professionals. The first issue of Ex Novo is ready to go online. We only need your help to make it happen!
Meet the Staff
As said above, the editorial board of Ex Novo is formed by archaeologists, researchers and heritage professionals. Originally we are all Italian, but trained in Italian as well as European universities, research institutions and archaeological sites. Some of us are based abroad (UK, Germany and the Netherlands), some in Italy, more specifically in Rome and Salerno, but keep traveling across Europe for research and work. Aside Martina, who’s writing, Ex Novo is made by:
Elisa Cella (Sapienza University of Rome, Etruscan-Roman Museum of Trevignano Romano, Rome Italy) lives and works in Rome as archaeologist and museum curator. She holds a PhD in Archaeology of Transformation Processes and has been post-doc researcher at Sapienza University of Rome. Aside her academic commitments, Elisa is member of the National Board of the Italian Confederation of Archaeologists (CIA) and has joined international surveys on archaeological professions such as OSAL and DISCO. She is currently an ICOM member and director of the Archaeological Museum of Trevignano Romano, a lovely town located on the north shore of Bracciano Lake (50 km north of Rome). Engaging the public with archaeology is her daily bread.
Maja Gori (University of Heidelberg) holds a PhD in prehistoric archaeology focusing on the Early Bronze Age Balkans. She works at the University of Heidelberg as postdoctoral fellow and, during the summer, at different excavations in Albania, Serbia and Greece. Her passion for the Balkans started during her undergraduate years, and exploded when she worked for 2 years as research fellow in the Republic of Macedonia-FYROM. This experience was crucial to become acquainted with the “dark side of archaeology” and the problems related to heritage and inter-ethnic conflicts. Since 2008 MG is working on the interactions of archaeology, national identity and political discourse in contemporary south-western Balkans, combining International Relations and Archaeology.
Paolo Pecci (University of Southampton) lives and works in Campania and is specializing in Maritime Archaeology. He got his BA in Naples studying Far East Archaeology, but after two years of underwater excavations in Japan, he decided to get deeper in the topic and completed a Master's Degree in Maritime Archaeology at the University of Southampton. He's been working in Italy, Japan, Montenegro and is now coordinating an International Research project on Maritime Cultural Landscapes and Identities across the Mediterranean Sea.
Alessandro Pintucci (Sapienza University of Rome), lives and works in Rome, he holds a MA degree in Roman architecture and archaeological graphical documentation and is now completing his PhD on the reconstruction of the ancient Roman town of Praeneste. He is a specialist in graphical documentation and GIS recording, afterbeing involved ininternational projects in Turkey and Greece. He currently cooperates with several projects led by both universities and the Archaeological Service of the city of Rome. He is also co-founder and President since 2011 of the Italian Confederation of Archaeologists (CIA) that was recently involved into the International survey project DISCO (Discovering Archaeologists of Europe 2014) and in which Alessandro acted as national coordinator.
We all travel a lot, for fieldwork, conferences or just getting in contact with each other. The passion for our work bring us together, but this time, instead of sharing just among us our experiences and ideas on how archaeology should engage more with society, we decided to make them accessible to a wider public, creating Ex Novo.
We do believe that…
Archaeologists play a fundamental, though not always acknowledged, role in our society. From discovering bits and pieces of past communities, to understanding long socio-historical processes, the greatest responsibility in terms of interpretation, protection and valorization of the archaeological heritage - in order to make it relevant to contemporary society - rests on our shoulders. Question is, are we up to the task? More importantly, are we fully aware of the task?
As archaeologists, we have chosen not to ignore such questions. In times of growing threat to world heritage and changes in its definition and purposes, it is of pivotal importance to take stock of the situation and reassess archaeological theory and practice in relationship with the needs of contemporary society. We firmly believe that archaeology should engage more directly with the present and the public, breaking the traditional academic isolation and opening the discussion on best practices to all parties involved.
What we want to achieve
We thought that the best way to bridge the gap between archaeology and the crowd was to create an open access journal, where archaeologists could engage themselves with the community connecting archaeology to the current cultural debate. And we created Ex Novo.
Imagine Ex Novo as a two-way street: on the one hand, everyone who’s passionate about archaeology can directly get involved into the most current issues in the field, having an insiders’ view of what is hot now in archaeology. On the other hand, archaeologists and heritage professionals will profit from the feedback of readers, visitors and users, becoming more aware of their role in contemporary society and more active in communicating archaeology.
How do we do it?
The website of Ex Novo is now under construction. Alongside the web version, lighter and more interactive, there will be also a yearly (which we hope will soon become half-yearly) issue in real paper! To finalizing both, we need your support. Maintaining and keeping up-to-date a website has its costs, but the heaviest financial burden comes with the printed version of the journal and its distribution. The annual issue of Ex Novo will be edited and printed in Italy, where publishing a journal from scratch entails copyright, taxation, inscription to the public registry and several other ‘start up’ expenses that we hope to cover thanks also to you backing us up!
What's inside the first issue...
The annual issue of Ex Novo will focus on one theme, which will be explored by presenting different case-studies. The first issue is concerned with quite a challenging topic, that is “The impact of the Fall of Communism on European Heritage”, and it results from a session held at the 2014 Meeting of the European Association of Archaeologists in Istanbul. Proceedings are edited by Valerie Higgins (the American University of Rome) and Maja Gori. Here the contributors we have lined up for the opening issue of Ex Novo:
- Dana Phelps (Stanford University) Heritage for Development, Multiethnic Communities, and the Case of Butrint National Park on the Albanian-Greek Border
- Francesco Iacono (University of Cambridge) and Klejd L. Këlliçi (University of Tirana), Exploring the public perception of Communist Heritage in Post-communist Albania.
- Valerie Higgins (The American University of Rome) Are We Still Illyrians?
- Elisa Cella (Sapienza University of Rome/ Etruscan Roman Museum of Trevignano), Maja Gori (University of Heidelberg), Alessandro Pintucci (Sapienza - University of Rome), Archaeology in the Adriatic. From the Dawn to the Sunset of Communist Ideologies.
- Elisa Cella (Sapienza University of Rome/ Etruscan Roman Museum of Trevignano), Maja Gori (University of Heidelberg), Alessandro Pintucci (Sapienza - University of Rome) The trowel and the sickle. Italian archaeology and its Marxist legacy
- Giulia Vollono (University of Sheffield) Exploring approaches to Italian Early Medieval Archaeology in post communist Europe.
Ex Novo online and printed out...almost there!
We are now starting up the Ex Novo website (domain has been purchased already) and we plan to have it up and running by the end of February. The first issue is ready, all articles have been collected and we are now in the process of reviewing them. With your support we are confident that we'll be able to publish Ex Novo 2016 yearly review by the end of July!
A huge thank you to all of you!
And now the fun part, your rewards! Well, we tried to select some special items for our supporters, including the exclusive Ex Novo tote-bag, music and custom pieces of art!
Donations of 10 euro or more will have the opportunity to get closer to the pop-icon of all archaeologists: prof. Indiana Jones! We will make it possible for our donors to download for free the ukulele cover version of the famous John Williams Indiana Jones theme, rearranged and played by the great internationally appreciated artist JonTom. He agreed on make accessible to Ex Novo supporters of the perfect soundtrack adding his personal, Hawaiian touch that reminds us of the sunny shores we can only dream of while digging! This will certainly put you in the right to mood to dive into archaeology with us!
If you have ever wondered what real archaeologists do when not dealing with excavations, archives, storerooms and museums, here is the answer...we play music, rock music, and we play it loud! As reward for donation up to 20 euros and more you will discover how a prehistoric archaeologist does sound! Our friend and colleague dr. Andrea Schiappelli, drummer of the rock band Laviàntica, decided to support Ex Novo, providing our donors with three original songs from their album 'Clessidra'. That rocks!
If you will go for a donantion of 30 euro or more, you will have the chance of digging in the history of Ex Novo. We have a hidden treasure to bring back to life, waiting for almost a decade to go public. The number 0 of Ex Novo, our precious Lucy. The Ex Novo working group started back in 2006 and already at that time we gathered thoughts and words of great thinkers about the role of Archaeology in our society, such as Giovanni Azzena, Barbara Barich, Gian Pietro Brogiolo, Renato Peroni and Mario Torelli. Back then, Ex Novo was just an experiment and those inspiring papers were never published, reaching only few people. Ten years after and with a totally renewed Ex Novo project, printing out and circulating those outstanding yet almost unknown contributions seemed the right way to celebrate our fresh start. To make this reward even more special, the print outs will be delivered at your front door inside the exclusive Ex Novo tote-bag!
Do you like our cover-image? We have to thank the artist Andrea Albini for it, and we would like to share his artwork with you. He is more than well known for his 'classic pop' works, where past meets modernity, and beauty is surrounded by desecrating color explosions. Last but not least, Albini has also been the mastermind behind the namesake Exnovo art project displayed in Milan. We could not but involve him in our project, turning his art into our inspiration. As a reward for a donation of 50 euro you will receive a print out of Albini's 'Informazioni' sent in our Ex Novo tote bag.
For 70 euro or more donations, the Ex Novo tote bag will be delivered at your front door together with the hard copy of our first issue upon publication and have your name listed in the Acknowledgements section! We want to show printed thanks to our extra-special donors, so anyone who donates 70 or more will receive a printed credit.
For our super-special donors we wanted to do more. The reward for those helping us with 100 euro or more is for art lovers, and will turn you into art collectors: it is the offset 32 x 36 cm limited print of ‘I protagonisti’, a graphic artwork from the internationally known painter Cristiano Piacenti. He will personally over-paint and sign all the single 20 numbered copies he printed for Ex Novo, in order to award our supporters with a unique masterpiece. It is a great chance to get in contact with a fine and valuable example of reinterpretation of Classic iconic models through the lens of contemporaneity. Untold stories from past ideal beauties, imperfections added by time to the ancient art canons, echoes of pastime truths behind silent stone lips are the main subjects of Cristiano Piacenti's artworks, hosted in many galleries across Italy, US and Australia – and what we want to share it with you.
For 250 euro donations you will get involved in the unique 'Archaeology and the City' adventure! As a special thanks to those of you who will offer 250 euro or more, we decided to add to our Ex Novo bundle (the hard copy of the first issue and the tote-bag) a special experience featuring.....us! Ex Novo is not only a journal, is also interaction between archaeology professionals and people, and we thought of no better way to put our scope in practice than organize unique customized tours for our biggest supporters! We will be guiding you in the most famous archaeological sites, monuments or museums of the cities we work in. Alessandro and Elisa will show you the highlights of the Eternal City from an insiders’ point of view, while Paolo, Martina and Maja will go with you in search of the most famous monuments, museums and site respectively of Naples, Salerno, Amsterdam and Heidelberg. This won't be just another guided tour, but an on-site and first-hand experience of what does it mean dealing with archaeology and archaeological history in multi-layered modern cities.
As final rewards for the most generous donors (500 or more) we planned something even more special: aside receiving the Ex Novo bundle, you will be our special guest at the Etruscan Roman Museum of Trevignano Romano, directed by our Elisa. We will start with a one-to-one dedicated tour in the Museum, and then will bring you on a boat trip discovering the underwater archaeological sites of the Bracciano Lake, moving from the Neolithic settlement of La Marmotta (Anguillara) to the Roman suburban villas, whose ruins are still visible just right under the water. We will be together with Elisa, Paolo, and the commercial divers from ‘Hydra ricerche’ that excavated them. The day will end with a visit to the modern town of Trevignano Romano, where you will discover the legendary site of ancient Sabate, and the XVI century S. Maria Assunta Church, featuring frescoes of Raphael school’s artists behind the altar. As unique goodbye we will offer you the once-in-a-lifetime experience of dining at the Museum, surrounded by history and archaeology. Looking forward to meeting you there!
Risks and challenges
Our work, as adventurous as it might seem (and trust me, it is many times), does not implies only traveling, digging, restoring ancient artifacts or mapping ancient cities. Being an archaeologist and a researcher entails also a lot of studying, finds processing in dirty storerooms, recording, writing, a lot of writing, and publishing. We all contribute at different levels to periodicals (both online and printed ones), many of us have already edited books, conference proceedings or special issues for international journals. We know how to deal with publishing companies and copyrights, how to select articles and topics, how to organize peer reviewing process, editing and formatting. The first issue is ready and will go online in Spring and be printed out by the end of July 2016! We are confident that we will be able to gather outstanding authors for 2017 next issue, and we are already in contact with several researchers and scholars from other disciplines that may be willing to give their contributions to understand perception and reception of archaeology in present society! Of course in the next issues, content-wise, we hope to include also your input as backers and archaeology active supporters.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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