Skip to content Skip to navigation

Gesualdo Busacca

Gesualdo Busacca's profile photo

Gesualdo Busacca

In the Field
Research Interests: 
prehistoric archaeology, anthropology of craft and practice, prehistoric and contemporary art, new materialism, archaeology of the senses, mudbrick architecture


My dissertation project focuses on the practice and experience of architectural paintings at the Neolithic site of Çatalhöyük, Turkey. Using a theoretical approach influenced by the anthropology of craft and practice, ‘new materialisms’ and the archaeology of the senses, this research explicitly shifts the focus from the formal and iconographic properties of paintings onto the embodied practice of painting, the materiality and temporal modification of painted features and their daily, sensory interactions with humans at the 9,000 years old site. This project also explores the idea of “prehistoric art” to investigate the impact of modern constructs regarding art and aesthetics onto the interpretation of prehistoric material remains. From an analytical point of view, this project includes intra-site GIS mapping in order to locate paintings within their spatial and architectural contexts, a micro-stratigraphic analysis of multi-layered painting sequences to investigate the temporal modifications of paintings, and a lighting analysis in a 3D environment aimed at exploring the experience of paintings within their original contexts. I also use an experimental approach aided by the traditional knowledge still preserved by local communities in central Anatolia, in order to understand ancient practices of painting and plastering as well as the embodied experience of mudbrick architecture.

Before coming to Stanford, I received a BA in Classics by the Scuola Superiore di Catania (University of Catania, Italy) and a MA in Archaeology by the same institution, while spending long periods studying and doing fieldwork between Sicily, Turkey and Israel.