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Maurizio Forte

Professor in the Department of Classical Studies
Classical Studies
233 Allen Building, Durham, NC 27708-0103
233 Allen Building, Durham, NC 27708


Maurizio Forte, PhD, is William and Sue Gross Distinguished Professor of Classical Studies Art, Art History, and Visual Studies at Duke University. He was a pioneer in digital archaeology and the first archaeologist working in a Supercomputing Center (CINECA) in the 80-90s. 
He was recently awarded the Saint Francis Prize in Techno-Humanities 2024 for his work in the field of Digital Humanities. This Prize is to be presented to individuals or institutions in recognition of their outstanding contributions to the development of technologies in the humanities for the well-being of humankind. 

He is also the founder and Director of the DIG@Lab (for a digital knowledge of the past) at Duke University and director of the ArchaeoDrone lab (Chianciano, Italy). His main research topics are: digital archaeology, Etruscan and Pre-Roman archaeology, classical archaeology, AI (artificial intelligence) and neuro-archaeology. His primary archaeological research questions concern the development, transformation and decline of ancient cities and the diachronic study of archaeological landscapes.

Archaeological fieldwork and excavations: Vulci (Italy), Doganella (Italy), Selinunte (Italy) Agrigento - Valley of the Temples (Italy), Catalhoyuk (Turkey).

Virtual Museums: Western Han Dynasty (Hong Kong) The Trajan's Puzzle (Rome); Regium Lepidi (Reggio Emilia, IT), Vulci 3000 (Italy)

He was professor of World Heritage at the University of California, Merced, (School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts) and Director of the Virtual Heritage Lab. He was Chief of Research at CNR (Italian National Research Council) of “Virtual Heritage: integrated digital technologies for knowledge and communication of cultural heritage through virtual reality systems”, Senior Scientist at CNR’s Institute for Technologies Applied to the Cultural Heritage (ITABC), and Professor of "Virtual Environments for Cultural Heritage" in the “Master of Science in Communication Technology-Enhanced Communication for Cultural Heritage”at the University of Lugano.  He received his bachelor’s degree in Ancient History (archaeology), and a Diploma of specialization in Archaeology, from the University of Bologna, and his PhD in Archaeology from the University of Rome “La Sapienza”.  He has conducted archaeological fieldwork and research projects in Italy as well as Ethiopia, Egypt, Syria, Kazakhstan, Peru, China, Oman, India, Honduras, Turkey, USA and Mexico.  In 2010-15 he is director of the 3D-Digging project at Çatalhöyük and since 2014 he is the director of the Vulci 3000 Project.

He is editor and author of several books including “Virtual Archaeology” (1996), Virtual Reality in Archaeology (2000), “From Space to Place” (2006), “La Villa di Livia. Un percorso di ricerca di archeologia virtuale” (2008), “Cyberarchaeology (2012),  Regium lepidi 220: Archeologia e nuove tecnologie per la ricostruzione di Reggio Emilia in eta' Romana (2017); Digital Methods and Remote Sensing in Archaeology (co-editor S. Campana, 2017); and he has written more than 200 scientific papers. He got several international awards such as the Best paper award at VSMM 2002, 2010; E-content Award 2005, 2008; Tartessos Prize on Virtual Archaeology (2010), National Geographic Award (2016), NEH-AIA research award for archaeological research 2018, NEH-Mellon Fellowships for Digital Publication Program (2021). 

Dig@Lab: Bay 10 Rm A258 Smith Warehouse



▪ disegnare con... MAURIZIO FORTE | Ferdani | DISEGNARECON ( On line interview about virtual and cyberarchaeology (in Italian)

▪ (144) Maurizio Forte, Principles of Cyberarchaeology YouTube

▪ (144) Maurizio Forte (Duke Univ.), Vulci 3000 Project a digital challenge in cyberarchaeology - YouTube

▪ Article on “Current Archaeology Magazine” 

▪ Reggio Emilia. Creating a Virtual Roman World, pp.36-40 

▪ Interview on Cyber-archeology at ABC Australia 


▪ Cyber Archaeology – 3D Modeling unpeels the Neolithic at Çatalhöyük  

▪ in “World Archaeology”, n.61 Oct.-Nov.2013  

▪ Virtual Archaeologists Recreate Parts of Ancient Worlds,  

▪ Michael Bawaya 

▪ Science 8 January 2010: 140-141.

▪ A high tech look to ancient civilizations 


▪ Under the Tuscan sun 


▪ Cyber Archaeology at Çatalhöyük, Voiceameica Radio show 


▪ Keynote speech at Calday (UC Berkeley) 


▪ The Past: Digital Archeology and History - Our Digital Life (Ep. 1) 

▪ Our Digital Life UCTV Prime


▪ Preserving and sharing the past in 3D 


▪ Teleimmersive Heritage 


▪ New Perspectives, New Technologies (keynote speaker at IUAV, University of Ca’ Foscari, Venice, Italy) 


▪ Reconstructing China: the Virtual Western Han Dynasty (video documentary made in collaboration with the grad students M.Valesi, P. Di Giuseppantonio Di Franco, F.Galeazzi) 


▪ Cyberarchaeology at the Duke University 


▪ Second Life and Cyberarchaeology Part2-3 


▪ Q&A with “Cyber-Archeologist” Maurizio Forte


▪ World Heritage Class Digitally preserves Fort Ross 


▪ 3-D Archaeology at Çatalhöyük UC Merced Library November 15 - December 17, 2010 


▪ The Western Han Dynasty Exhibit Debuts at UC Berkeley 



▪ Ancient Roman Road Gets Virtual Life 


Office Hours

By appointment
Office Location: Dig@Lab in Smith Warehouse Bay 10, Room m A258

Current Appointments & Affiliations

Professor in the Department of Classical Studies · 2013 - Present Classical Studies, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences
Professor in the Department of Art, Art History and Visual Studies · 2013 - Present Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences

Education, Training & Certifications

La Sapienza University of Rome (Italy) · 1993 Ph.D.