Francesca Cheli

Francesca Cheli is a medieval archaeologist specialized in research on historical buildings. She
studied at the University of Florence with Prof. G. Vannini (Chair of Medieval Archaeology) where
she obtained her BA and a diploma of Specialist in Archaeology at the School of Specialization in
She has participated in numerous excavations and archaeological research projects in Italy,
especially in Tuscany, and abroad, including as a coordinator of excavation seasons. Since 2010 she
has been a member of the Italian archaeological mission in Jordan – the Medieval Petra–Shawbak
Project (Chair of Medieval Archaeology - University of Florence) where she has been in charge of
excavation activities and archaeological data management. She has also collaborated in pottery
analyses and conducting archaeological surveys within this wider project.
In 2013 and 2014 she took part in the Archaeological Mission in Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh),
directed by prof. Hamlet Petrosyan, as a specialist in Building Archaeology.
Since 2014, she has been a member of the Italian Archaeological Mission in Armenia The Making
of the Silk Road in Armenia (University of Florence – prof. M. Nucciotti and Yerevan State
University – prof. H. Petrosyan) where she is responsible for Light Archaeological research
(landscape and building archaeology), data management, archaeological excavations and
In November 2022 she started her PhD in Historical Studies within the project ArmEn, at the
University of Florence. The preliminary title of her dissertation is From China to Armenia: Chinese
pottery imports and imitations as an indicator of Eurasian intercultural connections (7 th -14 th cc.). It
will focus on the study of imports and imitations of Chinese celadon and porcelain in Armenia as an
important key for understanding trade and cultural relationships on the Silk Roads between different
socio-political groups over time. Through the analysis of this material cultural data based on the
results of excavations at various Armenian archaeological sites, the research will attempt to trace
the long-range connectivity across historical Armenia in a period of great political changes, i.e.
from the Arab conquests in the 7 th c. to those of Tamerlane at the end of the 14 th c., thus, including
the Bagratid era (9th-11th cc.), as well as the period of Seljuk (11 th -12 th cc.) and Mongol (13 th )

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