Join us for a taste of ancient Sicily.
Starting from the find of a brightly-coloured Islamic dish of the 10th century, archaeologist Martin Carver, filmmaker Louis Carver, artist Laura Elias and a team of scientists from the University of York's BioArCh Laboratory take you on a Sicilian adventure. Travel with them through 700 years and four consecutive changes in regime – Roman, Byzantine, Arab and Norman – and learn about food, farming and family life in ancient Sicily.
Based on research by the Universities of York, Rome and Salento for the European Research Council, a series of inter-connected events will show how farmers and artisans coped with seven centuries of political upheaval. Events will include science displays, a film, an exhibition and a talk, as well as a chance to try some Sicilian food.
Leoluca Orlando, the current mayor of Palermo, stands on a platform of multi-cultural tolerance of which he is rightly proud. But was this always the case in Sicily, through so much invasion and immigration? Going back to the first millennium, using detective sciences, researchers have found a significant connection between times of turbulence and periods when food was short and work hard to find. The people of Sicily embraced multiculturalism most easily when farmers and merchants flourished. Find out why there have been few European periods of prosperity and learning as vivid as that enjoyed by Greeks, Arabs, Christians, Muslims and Jews living side by side in Sicily one thousand years ago.
Martin Carver is anEmeritus Professor at the University of York and was Head of Archaeology at York from 1986 to 1996. He has directed archaeological research in England, Scotland, France, Italy and Algeria and has authored or edited 20 books.
Louis Carver trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA). Since graduating in 2013, he has designed opera, drama and devised theatre. He works on the Sicily in Transition (SICTRANSIT) project as one of the excavators as well as filmmaker.
Laura Elias is artist-in-residence on the SICTRANSIT research project. She is a graduate of the Slade School of Fine Art and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.
Dr Léa Drieu, a Postdoctoral Research Associate, and PhD research students Jasmine Lundy, Alice Ughi and Aurore Monnereau are from BioArch – a collaborative research facility formed by the Archaeology, Biology and Chemistry Departments at the University of York. Veronica Aniceti is completing her PhD on animal bones at the University of Sheffield.
Beppe Lombardo runs the Trinacria Café Bar in York and has many years of experience in catering establishments in the UK and Italy.
Exploring the Archaeology of Regime Change: Sicily in Transition
Find out more about the five-year research project which is explored through these inter-related events at www.sicilyintransition.org