Contributions in Honour of Marcello Ciminale

It is with shock and immense sadness that we inform you of the sudden death of Prof. Marcello Ciminale (*26 Nov 1953) on 4th July 2015. He was a champion of academic professionalism in archaeological geophysics and made various contributions to the processing of magnetometer data, inspiring students to apply geophysics to archaeology. Above all, though, he was a true friend. We will sorely miss him.

Armin Schmidt (ISAP Chairman) and Chris Gaffney (ISAP Honorary Secretary), 12 July 2015


My experience with Professor Ciminale started in 2007 during my Master’s degree thesis, and lasted until my PhD in 2014 and the following research contracts. During these years he was my mentor and reference for both professional and personal growth. Indeed, he was able to combine academic thoroughness and human qualities in a perfect way. He was a pure man and this is not always an easy thing to manage. The truth is often hard and he was true and demanding, trying always to put into practice intellectual honesty. This point of view, all his knowledge regarding Geophysics and Remote Sensing, and his management abilities were and always will be a model for me. Furthemore, collaborating with him everyday and especially during surveys enabled both myself and the collegues of his research group to discover his fun personality and his acute and, at the same time, meditative intelligence. Working with him was constructive both in comparison and discussion moments. I hope to put all that he taught me into practice.

Mariangela Noviello
(Department of Earth and Geo-environmental Sciences, University of Bari Aldo Moro, Italy)

Prof. Marcello Ciminale during the ICAP 2001 Conference in Vienna

Salvatore Piro
(ITABC - CNR, Rome, Italy)

Prof. Marcello Ciminale during the ICAP 2007 Conference in Nitra

Salvatore Piro
(ITABC - CNR, Rome, Italy)

Thoroughness and fun

Marcello had a very thorough approach to archaeological geophysics and believed in doing things right, rather than botching them. He demonstrated that the application of processing methods known from exploration geophysics to archaeological data sets can provide new insights, but he was acutely aware of the special treatment such archaeological geophysics data demand. He was also a strong proponent of academic rigour in archaeological geophysics, which meant for him to support and contribute to the academic journal Archaeological Prospection. Colleagues may remember his passionate plea for all ISAP members to take out a subscription for that journal, which he made during an intense discussion at the ISAP AGM in Nitra, 2007.

This thoroughness was counter-balanced by a very positive attitude towards live, and love of good food and drink. When he visited the University of Bradford with Prof. Domenico Patella and Salvatore Piro in 1997 he was immediately impressed with the range of Indian curries on offer. It was always a good idea to sit near him during a gala dinner, as that would ensure the continuous availability of good food.

Above all, he was a very nice person and fun to be with. Although we only met at conferences and workshops I feel privileged to consider him a friend. It is hard to accept that we will not meet again.

Armin Schmidt
(Dr Schmidt - GeodataWIZ)