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ArchaeologyPart of HumanitiesPostgraduate study

Ms Cristina Sanna BA, MA

Postgraduate research student, Wolfson Foundation Scholar

Ms Cristina Sanna's photo

Cristina is an Italian archaeologist and postgraduate researcher at the University of Southampton focusing on museum representations of the past and their reception.

I am passionate about museums and the stories they tell. I love objects (especially ancient ones!) and the way material things stimulate my curiosity. Museums make me feel good and they engage me at so many different levels, that I decided long time ago to make them my career path.

I started my academic journey in Italy with a BA and MA in Archaeology. I then moved to the UK where I started working for local museums and entered the Heritage field. In 2018 I earned a second MA in Museum Studies at the University of Leicester and in 2019 I started my PhD candidature at the University of Southampton.

My project combines the two research areas of archaeology and museums to investigate archaeological displays in Italy dedicated to the Etruscan civilization.

Work experience: The Salisbury Museum (Finds Liaison Assistant), Mill Green Museum and Mill (Assistant Curator), National Archaeological Museum of Ferrara (Assistant Curator

Archaeological excavations: Marsiliana d’Albegna (Tuscany), Populonia (Tuscany), Roselle (Tuscany), Tharros (Sardinia).

Member of the Society for Museum Archaeology and the Museums Association

Editorial Board of ARCHEOSTORIE® Journal of Public Archaeology


BA, Heritage Studies – Archaeology, University of Siena, 2013.

MA, Archaeology, University of Bologna, 2015.

MA, Museum Studies, University of Leicester 2018.

Research interests

Cristina’s research topics include archaeological representation, past reception, Etruscan Studies, Museum Studies and public archaeology.

I am interested in the work that archaeologists do inside museum contexts and how people engage with that work both on an emotional and cognitive level.

PhD title

Exhibiting the Etruscans: museums and the public. A study on the representation and reception of the past

PhD project overview

The Etruscans are one of the oldest civilisations inhabiting the Italian peninsula during the 1st millennium BC. Their rediscovery dates back at least to the Renaissance and their influence is still felt in contemporary popular culture.

Rooted in the ongoing debate on the relationship between archaeology and society, my research examines how archaeological museums interpret Etruscan history and display Etruscan material culture, while also questioning the way archaeologists approach the representation of the past. Furthermore, I study the way people think and feel about the Etruscans when they visit a museum and react to this experience.

Considering the strong ties that exist in Italy between Etruscan archaeology and modern imagination, the research combines institutional and individual perspectives configuring the museum as a space in which academic discourses and popular perceptions meet, generating interesting meanings and feelings.

Funding agency

My research is funded by a three-year scholarship granted by the Wolfson Foundation.


Prof. Stephanie Moser, Dr. Anna Collar.

Research group

Theory, representation and cultural politics

Affiliate research group

Classical and historical archaeology

  • I work for the editorial board of ARCHEOSTORIE® Journal of Public Archaeology.
  • Committee member of the Postgraduate Archaeology Symposium 2022 (PGRAS 2022)

Teaching assistant for ARCH3017 – Presenting the past: museums and heritage

Ms Cristina Sanna
Faculty of Arts and Humanities, University of Southampton
Avenue Campus, Highfield
SO17 1BF
United Kingdom
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