Father Michele Piccirillo 1944 - 2008
29 October. Father Michele Piccirillo played a major role in the excavation of Christian religious sites in Palestine and Jordan, especially at Mount Nebo in Madaba, where he was one of the founders of the Mosaic School. He was also the author of several works on the archaeology of Jordan, including The Mosaics of Jordan (1993), Mount Nebo (1998), and L'Arabia cristiana (2002).
Through his archaeological work Father Piccirillo also contributed to bringing peace to region. Father Piccirillo's documentary 'Tessere di Pace', an archaeological metaphor of integration and coexistence, was presented in July 2008 on the occasion of the Terza edizione del Festival internazionale del cinema archeologico Capitello d’oro.
Father Piccirillo was born in the Campania region, in the South of Italy. As a Franciscan novice, he attended the Studium Biblicum Francescanum in Jerusalem, where he spent the greater part of his life, latterly as director of the museum and as Ordinary Professor of Biblical Geography and History.
He received degrees in Sacred Theology from the Athenaeum Antonianum and in Biblical Studies from the Pontifical Biblical Institute, both in Rome. His doctorate in archaeology from the Institute of Near Eastern Studies at La Sapienza University in Rome was conferred in 1975.
ICCROM had the honour to collaborate with Father Piccirillo on many occasions, most recently he participated in the mosaics meeting of 2007 in connection with the new Mosaikon programme dedicated to the conservation of mosaics in the Mediterranean.
18 November, 2008