Franco Rossi


Primary Impact, Materials, Research Type

Contact Info

Office Phone: 617-324-6148
Office: 8-436


Franco Rossi is an archaeologist whose work examines interactions between societies and environments, combining anthropological frameworks and materials analyses. Through his teaching, he is interested in introducing students to material culture approaches for interpreting social and built environments. As the digital humanities director of the San Bartolo-Xultun Regional Archaeological Project (PRASBX), Rossi also teaches at MIT about the potentials and ethical questions behind digital toolkits available for data sharing and meta-analysis of archaeological evidence—including computational analysis and modeling, lidar and other remote-sensing tools, map-making software, and 3D and virtual reality platforms—encouraging students to use new computing technologies and material culture analyses to explore historical trends and their societal implications today.
For over 14 years, Rossi has worked with PRASBX, which investigates two urban sites in the northeastern Petén region of Guatemala, each with long histories spanning the rise and fall of Classic Maya kingdoms (400 BCE –  900 CE). He contributes to PRASBX by facilitating analysis of site materials such as plasters, organic adhesives, pigments, ceramics, and cultivated soils, working with the Center for Materials Research in Archaeology and Ethnology.