Areas of interest

Origin of modern behaviour, archaeology of fire, ancient pyrotechnologies, use of space, site formation processes.


  • BSc, PhD (University of Florence, Italy)
  • Post Doc (Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel)


Francesco Berna is currently involved in excavation and field work at the Early Stone Age sites of Wonderwork cave and Bestwood farm in Northern Cape Province, South Africa, the Middle Paleolithic site of Manot Cave in the Western Galilee and the Final Pre-Pottery Neolithic site of Beisamoun in the Upper Jordan Valley. In addition, as geoarchaeologist and expert of Fourier transform infrared microspectroscopy applied to archaeological investigations, his work contributed and is contributing to several important issues in Old and New World Archaeology. These include: The origin of modern behavior, the onset of the controlled use of fire during the Lower and Middle Paleolithic in South Africa, Europe, and the Middle East; dating the earliest out-of-Africa evidence of Homo erectus at Dmanisi and the earliest North American occupation in Oregon; the study of domestic and industrial pyrotechnological activities in Maya, Roman, Egyptian, Iron and Bronze Age and Neolithic sites; the reconstruction of site formation processes at several historical sites in New England.


  • Marie Curie Outgoing International (OIF) Individual Fellowship, 2006-09
  • E.U. Marie Curie Individual Fellowship, 2001-03


Future courses may be subject to change.