Prehistoric pachyderms and where to find them...from Casal de' Pazzi to the historic centre of Roma

Gianluca Zanzi e Letizia Silvestri
Mercati di Traiano Museo dei Fori Imperiali,
Multifunctional room at the 3rd floor

Appointment as part of the I Martedì da Traiano 

Prehistoric Pachyderms and Where to Find Them
Starting with the unexpected discovery of the Velia elephant, we retrace the evolutionary history of proboscideans, with particular focus on the genus Palaeoloxodon and Mammuthus and their spread in Europe and Italy during the Middle Pleistocene. We then analyse the extraordinary interaction between our ancestors and these enormous pachyderms through ethology and the most interesting archaeological cases, among which are discoveries in our capital city.

Gian Luca Zanzi is an archaeologist specialised in prehistoric studies and curator of the Museo di Casal de Pazzi for the Sovrintendenza Capitolina. He is a member of the Istituto Italiano di Paleontologia Umana. He deals with the technological aspects of Neanderthal populations in Italy and Europe and has publications, initiatives and projects on these topics to his credit.

Letizia Silvestri is Archaeological Curator of the Museo di Casal de' Pazzi. She holds a degree in Prehistoric Archaeology from the University of Rome "Tor Vergata", where since 2019 she has been an Expert in this discipline and since 2020 a lecturer in Archaeozoology; she is a PhD student at the University of Durham, where she has been an Honorary Research Associate since 2019. She is the author of scientific publications in the field of pre-protohistory, with particular reference to bio-archaeological aspects. She has also been interested in public outreach and archaeology for a number of years, promoting valorisation projects.

The conferences will be followed by a visit to the exhibition 1932, l’elefante e il colle perduto

The conferences are recorded and put online on the FB page of the Mercati di Traiano the following week


Mercati di Traiano Museo dei Fori Imperiali
, Multifunctional room at the 3rd floor
Opening hours

February 14 at 15.30, duration 90' (1h conference + 30' visit to the exhibition)

Entrance ticket

Participation with payment of the entrance ticket according to the current rates


Reservation required on 060608 (every day 9.00-19.00)
Maximum 30 participants

Booking compulsory: Sì
M. BAROSSO, «Elefante preistorico fra sabbie marine rinvenuto per lo scavo per la Via dei Colli (Via dell’Impero). Impressione dal vero», matita e acquerello su carta (24 maggio 1932) Museo di Roma, Gabinetto delle Stampe, MR 2497 (© Roma - Sovrintendenza Capitolina ai Beni Culturali - Museo di Roma)
Mercati di Traiano Museo dei Fori Imperiali
08/04/2022 - 10/04/2023
Exhibition|Archeology, Exhibition|Documentary

Eventi correlati

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Series of conferences in occasion of the exhibition 1932, l’elefante e il colle perduto
Mercati di Traiano Museo dei Fori Imperiali
24/01 - 28/02/2023