Dr Paola Di Giuseppantonio Di Franco

Research Fellow
School of Philosophy and Art History
Dr Paola Di Giuseppantonio Di Franco



My research combines material culture, heritage, and cognitive science to explore how new technologies impact heritage making processes and the interpretation processes of the past. My recent Marie Skłodowska Curie project, titled DIGIFACT: Digital artefacts: How People Perceive Tangible Cultural Heritage through Different Media has clarified the role of new technologies in the perception and understanding of cultural heritage; specifically how 3D virtual and material replicas can re-define museum practices. This project was in collaboration with the Museum of Anthropology and Archaeology in Cambridge, developing a research programme to feed into the redevelopment of the World Archaeology Gallery over the next years. I am now developing two new projects that will further her line of research aimed at analysing how new technologies impact heritage making and interpretation processes of the past: one project is investigating the role new technologies might play in the rebuilding process that societies face after suffering natural disasters or environmental trauma. The second project combines education, history and heritage for the digital preservation of tangible and intangible aspects of heritage associated with the 19th cent. Palace of Said in Tunis. The project is a collaboration with the faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, Virtual Experience company, and Rambourg Foundation in Tunis and it is supported by the British Council’s Cultural Protection Fund, which aims to preserve cultural artefacts in conflict-affected countries. During the project the team has produced an interactive 3D model of the Palace of Said and developed learning resources to build Tunisian students’ critical engagement with their heritage.


  • Ph.D University of California, Merced (2014)

  • Post-graduate Specialisation in Late Antiquity and Medieval Archaeology Sapienza University of Rome (2008)

  • BA+MA Sapienza University of Rome (2004)


University of Essex

  • Eastern ARC Fellow in the Digital Humanities, SPAH University of Essex ( 1/1/2018 - present )

Other academic

  • Marie Skłodowska Curie Fellow, McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research Cambridge University ( 15/9/2014 - 14/6/2017 )


Journal articles (5)

Galeazziup, F. and Di Giuseppantonio Di Franco, P., (2017). Theorising 3D Visualisation Systems in Archaeology: Towards more effective design, evaluations and life cycles. Internet Archaeology (44)

Di Giuseppantonio Di Franco, P., Matthews, JL. and Matlock, T., (2016). Framing the past: How virtual experience affects bodily description of artefacts. Journal of Cultural Heritage. 17, 179-187

Galeazzi, F., Di Giuseppantonio Di Franco, P. and Matthews, JL., (2015). Comparing 2D pictures with 3D replicas for the digital preservation and analysis of tangible heritage. Museum Management and Curatorship. 30 (5), 462-483

Di Franco, PDG., Camporesi, C., Galeazzi, F. and Kallmann, M., (2015). 3D Printing and Immersive Visualization for Improved Perception of Ancient Artifacts. Presence: Teleoperators and Virtual Environments. 24 (3), 243-264

Di Giuseppantonio Di Franco, P., Galeazzi, F. and Camporesi, C., (2012). 3D Virtual Dig: a 3D Application for Teaching Fieldwork in Archaeology. Internet Archaeology (32)

Book chapters (8)

Di Giuseppantonio Di Franco, P., (2011). Insediamenti rupestri e territorio. La Valle Nepesina durante il Medioevo.. In: Insediamenti rupestri di età medievale nell'Italia centrale e meridionale L'organizzazione dello spazio nella mappatura dell'abitato. Atti del II Convegno Nazionale di Studi (Vasanello - VT, 24-25 ottobre 2009). Editors: De Minicis, E., . Kappa. 9788865140956

Di Giuseppantonio Di Franco, P. and Galeazzi, F., (2010). 3D Cybermaps of Western Han Mural Tombs. In: Cyber-Archaeology. BAR. 9781407307213

Di Giuseppantonio Di Franco, P., Forte, M., Dell'Unto, N., Galeazzi, F., Liuzza, C. and Pescarin, S., (2010). The virtual museum of the Western Han Dynasty: 3D documentation and interpretation. In: Space, Time, Place. Third International Conference on Remote Sensing in Archaeology, 17th-21st August 2009, Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu, India. Editors: Forte, M., Campana, S. and Liuzza, C., . BAR. 9781407306599

Di Giuseppantonio Di Franco, P., (2010). Grasping the Materiality of the Past: Digital Archaeology in Lower-Division Courses. In: Creating Academic Community for First-Generation College Students. A Graduate Students Instructor Guidebook. Editors: Zanzucchi, A., . eScholarship publishing

Di Giuseppantonio Di Franco, P., Desiderio, V., Dal Miglio, P., Giannini, N., Fiordiponti, T., Orazi, S. and Tozzi, R., (2009). Metodologie di approccio allo studio degli abitati rupestri medievali nel Lazio. In: Uomo e territorio: dinamiche di popolamento e sfruttamento delle risorse nell’antichità.. Editors: Melis, MG., . 492- 500

Di Giuseppantonio Di Franco, P. and Orazi, S., (2008). Insediamenti fortificati e abitati rupestri: il caso di Torre dell’Isola. In: Insediamenti rupestri di età medievale abitazioni e strutture produttive : Italia centrale e meridionale : atti del Convegno di studio, Grottaferrata, 27-29 ottobre 2005. Editors: De Minicis, E., . CISAM. 978-88-7988-126-5

Di Giuseppantonio Di Franco, P., (2005). L’abitato rupestre di Torre dell’Isola. In: Il tesoro delle città. Strenna dell'Associazione «Storia della città». Editors: Guidoni, E., . Edizioni Kappa. 88-7890-702-2

Di Giuseppantonio Di Franco, P., Guerrini, P. and Orazi, S., (2003). Trasformazione dell’insediamento rurale nel territorio dell’Umbria: il caso delle 'villae'. Alcune considerazioni. In: I Longobardi dei ducati di Spoleto e Benevento. 1. Editors: Ermini Pani, L., . CISAM. 1377- 1419. 8879881159. 9788879881159

Reports and Papers (1)

Di Giuseppantonio Di Franco, P., Forte, M. and Issavi, J., ÇATALHÖYÜK 2010 ARCHIVE REPORT. Space 344 and Building 86.

Other (1)

Di Giuseppantonio Di Franco, P., (2014).“Handle” with Care: The Practice of Exhibiting Religious Objects inside Museums. Current Anthropology. 55(6),University of Chicago Press

+44 (0) 1206 872716


5B.119, Colchester Campus