The Sapienza University of Rome Archaeological Mission in Arabian Peninsula and Gulf Area (Missione Archeologica della Sapienza nella Penisola Arabica e nel Golfo – MASPAG) has been founded in 2020 in the Department of Science of Antiquities and in the long-standing research and pedagogic traditions of the Italian schools of the Near East Archaeology, History and Art History. Thanks to an experience of many years of excavations, surveys and conservations research crossing Eurasia from north-western Syria to south-eastern Arabia, MASPAG’s members plans, follows and supports different interdisciplinary projects in the Arabian Peninsula and Persian Gulf collaborating with many national and international institutions and laboratories, researchers and scholars for exploring, safeguarding and promoting the tangible and intangible heritages of ancient nomad and sedentary cultures, with specific attention to biological and anthropological approaches. MASPAG is now involved in the promotion of an Atlas of the Ancient Near East financed by Sapienza as a Great Athenaeum Project in 2016 and in field research in Oman as Great Athenaeum Excavation (2019, 2020, 2021).
Our background is a multifaceted collection of experiences in the field of the Near East Archaeology, History, Anthropology and Art History deeply rooted in the Italian school of ancient world studies and in some of the most important archaeological missions spread from Syria-Palestine to Eastern Arabia and from Egypt to Mesopotamia founded and financed by the national public university also with the support of the MiBACT, CNR and ISMeO. Thus, the story of the MASPAG can be easily recognized looking at the professional skills of its active members: Marco Ramazzotti (Director of MASPAG), Francesco Genchi (Co-director of the Daba archaeological excavation in Oman), Alessio Agostini (Semitic Philologist and Epigraphist), Alfredo Coppa (Physical Anthropologist), Fabrizio Rufo (Environmental Biologist), Nunzia Larosa (PhD student in Archaeology of the Ancient Near East), Alessandro Di Ludovico (Archaeologist of the Ancient Near East), Siham Younsi (Geo-archaeologist), Guido Antinori (PhD student in Archaeology of the Ancient Near East), Giampiero Tursi (PhD student in Archaeology of the Ancient Near East), Elena Maini (Research Fellow, Archaeozoologist) and Francesco Caputo (Archaeologist of the Ancient Near East).