Universiteit Leiden

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Anita Casarotto


Dr. A. Casarotto
+31 71 527 2727

I am a postdoctoral researcher within the Roman landscapes in Portugal project at the Faculty of Archaeology at Leiden University. My research concerns the collection of legacy and new survey data to study settlement patterns in relation to the Roman expansion in ancient Lusitania comparing these patterns with those documented for other regions in the wider Mediterranean area.

More information about Anita Casarotto

Office days

Monday to Thursday


I am a postdoctoral researcher at the Faculty of Archaeology at Leiden University within the collaborative project Roman landscapes in Portugal (Regato grant managed by the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, PI Dr. Tesse D. Stek). My research concerns the collection of legacy and new field survey data to study settlement patterns in relation to the Roman expansion in ancient Lusitania (2nd and 1st centuries BC) as well as the comparison with patterns documented for other regions in the wider Western Mediterranean area.

An important theme in heritage management is how we can preserve and share legacy survey data, especially because in many regions of the Mediterranean the archaeological sites are increasingly in danger of being damaged by modern landscape change, often leaving the survey record as their only memory. In this postdoctoral research I tackle this theme head-on: through an international collaboration with scholars and students at Portuguese, Spanish and Dutch research institutions, solutions are proposed to make legacy survey data more openly accessible and, in this way, advance the study of Western Iberian Roman archaeology.

I developed my postdoc line of research through: a research stay at the Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology - Brown University (USA), where I stayed with a grant from the Leiden University Fund (LUF) and NWO; a prize and scholarship that I received from the Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome (KNIR) and LUF - Byvanck fonds to work on the development of Fasti Online Survey (KNIR, AIAC, L – P : Archaeology), which is an open database of survey projects and digital platform for crowdsourcing Mediterranean survey data. As Leiden-affiliated researcher and KNIR Fellow, I serve as scientific manager and board member of Fasti Online Survey as well as editor of FOLD&R Archaeological Survey Series, the open-access peer-reviewed journal of Fasti Online Survey.

Landscape archaeology depends upon the understanding of patterning in the underlying field survey data. I have developed a GIS-based procedure to interpret field survey data and connect them to different types of settlement patterns and land-use strategies. This has a wide field of application and may be useful to researchers working in landscape archaeology, social geography, GIS and other spatial disciplines.

Quantifying survey data in Mediterranean landscapes, especially assessing the reliability of field results, has been the topic of discussion for several years. I am interested in methodological approaches to assess visibility and geomorphological biases affecting field-recording methods in Mediterranean landscapes. 

My work on predictive modelling aims at minimising risks of archaeological heritage destruction at the planning phase of construction works and may be useful to heritage professionals, landscape planners and policy makers for fostering sustainable development in spatial planning.

Teaching activities

I have experience in teaching landscape archaeology, GIS, spatial analysis, methods of archaeological research, prehistory and early history at Leiden University, the KNIR and the University of Verona (Italy). I supervise the KNIR internship Digital Field Survey Archaeology for (R)MA students. During field schools in Portugal and Central-Southern Italy I coordinate field-teams of international students.

Curriculum Vitae

I obtained my master degree cum laude in Archaeological Sciences (University of Padova, 2010) and, afterwards, a postgraduate degree cum laude in Archaeological Heritage Management (Scuola di Specializzazione in Beni Archeologici, University of Padova, 2013).

I did my PhD at the Faculty of Archaeology at Leiden University (defended in 2018) within the LERC research programme – Landscapes of Early Roman Colonization (Supervisors: Dr. Tesse D. Stek, Leiden University; Dr. Jeremia Pelgrom, KNIR). My published PhD thesis is available open access in the Leiden University Repository. After the PhD, I worked as an archaeologist in Italy for a commercial company and open-air museum (Bostel di Rotzo, Vicenza); I was a scholarship holder at Leiden University-KNIR and at the University of Verona, and collaborator of the KNIR for Fasti Online Survey. For the academic year 2019-2020 I was also adjunct professor in Prehistory and Early History at the Department of Cultures and Civilisations at the University of Verona. In 2020 and 2021 I am KNIR Fellow of the Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome.


  • Faculteit Archeologie
  • World Archaeology
  • Classical and Mediterranean Archaeology

Work address

Van Steenis
Einsteinweg 2
2333 CC Leiden
Room number B1.12



No relevant ancillary activities

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