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Grant number like: RZ-249777-16

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Stanford University (Stanford, CA 94305-2004)
Justin Leidwanger (Project Director: December 2015 to present)

Collaborative Research
Research Programs

[Grant products]

$290,000 (approved)
$290,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
4/1/2017 – 3/31/2021

The Marzamemi Church Wreck

Excavation and analysis at the underwater shipwreck site of Marzamemi in Sicily. See website at

With its immense and well-preserved cargo that includes prefabricated 6th-century religious architectural and decorative elements, the famous Marzamemi "church wreck" off Sicily raises critical questions about interrelated issues of private commercial and directed exchange, local and imperial patronage and propaganda, urban and provincial religious life, and maritime connectivity more generally. The site's unique material assemblage, its location astride some of the busiest Mediterranean sea lanes, and its historical context amid the twilight of the Roman Empire provide an ideal opportunity to evaluate the role of communication and exchange in these profound transformations of the ancient world. This proposal seeks funding to support a three-year multidisciplinary research program of excavation, digital modeling, and analysis as a window into this remarkable site.