architecture students measured drawing exercise.


The International Society for Archeology, Art and Architecture of Rome (ISAR) is an Italian non-profit organization, born with the goal of promoting the study, conservation and improvement of the cultural heritage of Rome, among the most important in the world. ISAR’s mission is to offer its own contribution to the research and promotion of the city’s heritage through the organization of research, training courses, seminars, conferences, and publications in the fields of architecture, archaeology, history of art and Roman culture.The staff of ISAR is composed

of archaeologists, architects, art historians, restorers and cultural heritage professionals, both Italians and foreigners, most of whom are permanent residents of Rome. In addition, ISAR regularly organizes meetings, lectures with invited scholars, professors, officials and members of supervision of foreign institutions from around the world. Thanks to a multidisciplinary and dynamic approach, ISAR is able to offer its supporters and participants excellent opportunities for training and research, and a network of contacts in the world of Roman institutions involving the protection and research essential to those who want to work in this field.

Meet the Team

An international organization where research, didactics, exploration and dissemination meet, ISAR will become a key player in the field of cultural heritage studies and preservation for ancient Rome.  Recognizing the importance of Rome’s ancient heritage for Italy’s capital and for the cultural grounding of the Western world, ISAR will serve as a key advisor in the multidisciplinary discussion surrounding the future of the city’s past.

Rome as an ideal laboratory for sustainable cultural heritage and ISAR is focusing its efforts on promoting sustainability through excavations, surveying, archiving and conserving of cultural sites and artifacts.

ISAR envisions a form of “cultural tourism” that gives back to the places on which it thrives, and aims to bring its participants into contact with local culture in a way that supports and sustains it, offering a singular opportunity for cultural and social growth.


Dora Cirone


A graduate from the Rome University “La Sapienza”., for over twenty five years Cirone has directed stratigraphic investigations in urban and suburban sites in Rome and around Italy. Since 1993 she has served as an expert in analysis and conservative restoration for archaeological and architectural projects carried out in various parts of Italy. In particular Cirone’s work has focused on the aanalysis and assessment of vulnerability and the risk to cultural heritage sites, part of larger Italian Cultural Heritage Risk Charter managed by Central Institute for Restoration. She has co-directed international research projects in Rome Post Aedem castoris / Roman Forum and Villa Vignacce Project and, since 2007,  co-director of the international ‘Borgo Abruzzo’. project For many years she has been involved in educational and cultural dissemination for university students, both Italian and foreign, and professionals (architects, engineers and restorers) in specialized courses on behalf of Rome University “La Sapienza” and University Tor Vergata, private and state organizations, and for various cultural associations. She has multiple scientific publications to her credit.


Alessio De Cristofaro


De Cristofaro studied at Rome University Tor Vergata and the Rome University “La Sapienza”, receiving a PhD in “Classical Antiquities and their Fortune.” He specializes in Preventive Archaeology and, for over fifteen years, has directed stratigraphic excavations in urban and rural areas, in Rome and elsewhere in Italy. He has participated in several international research projects (Post Aedem Castoris / Roman Forum, Ostia Synagogue Project, Villa Vignacce Project), carrying out research and teaching activities. In 2008, he founded the publishing house IUNO, specializing in archeology and art history texts. For many years he has carried out educational activities and cultural dissemination for associations, corporations, and private groups. Among his main fields of interest are the Topography of Rome and its Suburbs, Archaeology Roman and Etruscan-Italic, the History of Ancient Art, the History of the Classical tradition. Numerous scientific and popular publications and participation in national and international conferences to his credit.


Marzia Di Mento


A classical archaeologist, graduated from the University of Rome “La Sapienza”, with a degree in Surveying and Technical Analysis of Ancient Monuments; from the same university has since specialized in Social Museology. From about twenty years directing excavations and research in the area of Rome, Lazio and Southern Etruria.

Since 2004 collaborates with the Institute for the Study of Antiquity and Christian Origins at the University of Texas at Austin, dealing with the teaching and study of ceramic finds from the excavations at the Synagogue of Ostia Antica; between 2005 and 2008 has a cooperative agreement with the National Research Council as part of the international project for the construction of the Virtual Museum of Baghdad.

Since 2009 she has coordinated a multidisciplinary research project on the Jewish catacombs of Rome and in particular those in Monteverde, curating, in agreement with the Superintendence for Archaeological Heritage of Rome, the publication of the first results in a volume entitled “The Jewish Catacomb of Monteverde: old Data and New Discoveries,” and leading a specific course on the subject on behalf of the Province of Rome.

Tom Rankin


American architect Tom Rankin has lived in Rome,  practicing architecture and teaching, since 1991.  He received his Master’s in Architecture at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, a BA in Architecture at Princeton, and a “Laurea” in Architecture at Università di Roma ‘La Sapienza’. He was founder of the successful non-profit cultural travel association Scala Reale and continues to support culturally and environmentally sustainable travel as a partner in Context Travel and CEO of the travel consulting business Studio Rome.  Tom teaches at the at Università di Roma “La Sapienza” (School of Engineering), the California Polytechnic Rome Program in Architecture and the Iowa State Rome Program. He is a Fulbright, a proprietor of the Boston Athenaeum, a founding member of ISAR ( and Director of the association Tevereterno Onlus. Tom is the author of Rome Works: An Architect Explores the World’s Most Sustainable City and has written numerous articles on sustainable urbanism and presented frequently at conferences. His blog on the Still SustainableCity was chosen by Guardian Cities as the best Italian city blog and is a reference point for sustainable urbanism in Rome.

Matthew J. Mandich

Archaeologist, Fundraiser

Matthew recently received his PhD in Roman Archaeology from the University of Leicester (UK). His thesis, The Growth and Extent of Rome: From Fringe to Suburb, used models and theories from economic geography and complexity science to re-assess, and uncover correlations between, the physical, economic, and demographic growth of the City from the Archaic to the late Imperial period. While at the University of Leicester Matthew taught on a number of modules at both the undergraduate and postgraduate level, giving lectures on a wide range of topics including landscape archaeology, the Roman economy, maritime archaeology, Roman villas and gardens, early Christian churches, and the sustainability of ancient food systems. He has presented his research at numerous international conferences and has published several peer-reviewed papers. Since 2005 Matthew has worked on a number of excavation, survey, and material studies projects in and around the city of Rome, holding a supervisory role on multiple occasions. He is also the chair of the Theoretical Roman Archaeology Conference (TRAC) standing committee and a member of the editorial board for the recently launched, Open-Access Theoretical Roman Archaeology Journal.


Next Steps…

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