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Durham University

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Staff Profile

Dr Paolo Forlin, BA PhD

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Research Associate in the Department of Archaeology

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Paolo Forlin is a medieval archaeologist mainly interested in landscape archaeology, environmental archaeology and archaeoseismology in Europe.

He graduated at the University of Padua in 2004. In 2009, at the same University, he obtained a degree in Medieval and Late Antiquity Archaeology at the Specialisation School in Archaeology. 

Paolo completed his PHD in Archaeology at the University of Trento in Italy in 2012, discussing a thesis on the medieval landscapes of Eastern Trentino. In his research, he examined the evolution of settlement patterns and land use, including the analysis of field systems, by combining remote sensing analyses (i.e. Lidar and IR imagery), field research, reviews of old archaeological data and the study of medieval documents. Hereafter, Paolo was awarded of a postdoctoral grant from the Université of Franche-Comté (Besançon, France) to study the medieval landscapes surrounding the city of Besançon. He undertook this research at the Maison des Science de l’Homme et de l’Environnement ‘Claude Nicolas Ledoux’ in 2013.

In April 2014, Paolo started a Marie Curie Fellowship in Medieval Archaeology at Durham University, under the supervision of Prof. Chris Gerrard (Durham) and Prof. Dave Petley (Sheffield). His research project was called ArMedEa (, the acronym for Archaeology of Medieval Earthquakes in Europe (1000-1550 AD). The core aim of this project was to better understand earthquake events in Europe in the Middle Ages using archaeological data. Since 2017 he is working on the RiskRes project (Risk and Resilience: exploring responses to historic earthquakes, 1200-1755) as a research associate. 

In Italy, Paolo led several excavations in medieval sites. He also conducted fieldwork in seismically-affected sites in Portugal, Spain and Cyprus. 

Since 2012, he is also the curator for the constituting archaeological museum of Lamon (Italy). 

He is a member of the Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience (IHRR) and the Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies (IMEMS). 

Research Groups

Department of Archaeology

  • Heritage Partnerships

Research Projects

Department of Archaeology

  • Medieval and post-medieval earthquakes in Europe

Research Interests

  • Medieval Archaeology
  • Landscape Archaeology
  • Archaeoseismology
  • Archaeology of Environmental Hazards
  • Environmental Archaeology
  • Remote sensing in Archaeology
  • GIS in Archaeology


Indicators of Esteem

  • 2014: Istituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti (Venice): Award "A. Valcanover" for the best PhD Thesis (years 2012-2013) devoted to the analysis of the Mountain, in one of its aspects related to the environmental, natural, geological and forestal sciences.

Selected Grants

  • 2018: Dating an unrecorded medieval destructive earthquake: archaeological investigation at El Castillejo (Granada, Spain) (£8990.00 from The British Academy)