Crossreads, I.Sicily and the Regione Siciliana
Sicily stood at a cultural crossroads of the ancient Mediterranean, as is visible in its spectacular ancient sites and treasures. The island offers a remarkable laboratory for the study of our past and it is genuinely exciting to have the opportunity to collaborate on such a scale with the island's curators, archaeologists, educators and researchers in bringing the islands unique cultural heritage to wider audiences.
We are delighted to announce the formal signing on 17 January 2022 of a convention between the Faculty of Classics and the Assessorato regionale dei Beni Culturali e dell’Identità siciliana. The convention is intended to support the study, publication and communication of the archaeological heritage of the island, and specifically the island’s rich epigraphic culture, through the work of the Crossreads and I.Sicily projects, directed by Professor Jonathan Prag. The convention has been made possible by the Assessore dei Beni culturali, Alberto Samonà, and has been signed by the Director General of the Dipartimento dei Beni Culturali, Franco Fazio, with the support of the archaeologist Alessandra Merra (Senior Scientific Advisor), and the Director for Institutional Relations, Maddalena De Luca.
I.Sicily is a pioneering digital corpus of the inscriptions of ancient Sicily and Crossreads is a major new European Research Council (ERC) funded project to develop innovative study of the written material culture of ancient Sicily, including petrographic, palaeographic, and linguistic analysis. The convention will enable these projects to realise their full potential, facilitating the detailed study of the archaeological material and its public dissemination. More than this, however, it is the joint ambition of both parties to explore ways to make the material and the results of its study accessible to as wide a public as possible.
Plans to jointly develop training workshops for Sicilian students in conjunction with the museums, soprintendenze and archaeological parks in Sicily, as well as for a future exhibition on the epigraphic culture of Sicily are already underway. Moreover, we aim to exploit the digital resources and platforms of both projects to develop innovative new ways to make the island’s rich past more accessible and engaging for local, national and international audiences.