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Salvatore M. Puglisi




Salvatore M. Puglisi was born in Catania in 1912. He graduated in Rome and completed his studies at the School of Archaeology in Athens. In 1940 he was appointed Assistant Inspector of Antiquities and Fine Arts. He resigned from this role in 1943-45 to fight on the Front during the war of liberation.

He returned to service and worked at the Superintendencies of Rome, Milan and at the Pigorini Museum. He spent a year in London, where he worked at the Institute of Archaeology, directed by V. Gordon Childe. He constructed his methodological and research structure spending time with this academic on a daily basis.

When he returned to Italy, he continued his activities in the field of Antiquities and Fine Arts, as Superintendent of Lombardy and Sardinia. He carried out extensive research works on the territory and supervised the reorganisation of museums.

He obtained a vacant teaching post in 1942 and he held university courses, initially as an assistant, and then, from 1965, as full professor of Palethnologyat "La Sapienza" University. He also taught at the National School of Archaeology as well as the Scuole di Perfezionamento in Archeologia Orientale e in Scienze Etnologiche (Postgraduate Schools of Eastern Archaeology and Ethnographic Sciences).

As director of the Institute of Palethnologyof the University of Rome from 1960, he created its structure, both with reference to premises, teaching and scientific equipment, as well as teaching, with the introduction of specific disciplines such as European Protohistory, Prehistoric Ecology, Ethnographic Prehistory of Africa, Prehistory of the Near and Middle East, History of the Ancient Near East.

On theoccasion of the International Congress of Prehistory and Protohistory held in Rome in 1962, he restructured the Museum of Origins, and in 1967, he founded the journalOrigini. Preistoria e Protostoria delle Civiltà Antiche (Origins. Prehistory and Protohistory of Ancient Civilisations).

During the last years of his life Puglisi felt compelled to provide an account of his human experience, through memories andobservations, in a book released posthumously in 1967 Il sentiero degli scarabei (Path of the Beetles), published by Sellerio. In the words of Achille Tartaro, "This book, extraordinary under many aspects, is the memorial of an archaeologist, a palethnologist, and not only. It is an account distanced over the years...of an existence caught in a twist of autobiography which takes us all the way back to childhood and adolescence, a mixing of the cards which is also an attempt to neutralise time in a sort of present of the memory, where facts which count in each of our lives are detected, beyond the empiricism of our biological adventure".

Salvatore Puglisi died in Rome in 1985.



1912 he was born in Catania
1940 he became Assistant Inspector of Antiquities and Fine Arts
1941-1943 on leave: he was called to arms
1942 he obtained a vacant teaching post and worked as extraordinary assistant for the professor of Palethnologyat "La Sapienza" University in Rome
1943 he served in the Milan Superintendency of Antiquities, later that year he went on leave once more as called to arms
1943-45 he fought at the front during the war of liberation
1945 he was transferred to the Rome V Superintendency of Antiquities
1952 he received the Swedish order of the Polar Stjärna for his discoveries on the Palatine
1960he taught Palethnologyat "La Sapienza" University of Rome
1965 he was appointed Full Professor of Palethnology
1967 he founded the journalOrigini
1985 he died in Rome

Cities where he lived and worked

Catania Rome  Atens  London Milan Cagliari Ancona Il Cairo Tripoli Istanbul  Malatya  Khartoum  Kabul

Further informations

Manfredini A., Conati Barbaro C., Scarpelli F. (Eds.) (2007). Salvatore M. Puglisi nella Paletnologia italiana. Roma: Quasar Ed.

(2005). Origini, 27, volume in ricordo di Salvatore M. Puglisi.

Manfredini A. (1994). Puglisi, Salvatore Maria. Treccani Enciclopedia Italiana - V Appendice, http://www.treccani.it/enciclopedia/salvatore-maria-puglisi_(Enciclopedia-Italiana)/.

Liverani M., Palmieri A., Peroni R. (Eds.) (1985). Studi di Paletnologia in onore di Salvatore M. Puglisi, Università di Roma “La Sapienza”.