Research Topic: Painting as Practice and Sensory Experience at Çatalhöyük (7100–5900 BC)
Mr. Busacca is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Anthropology at Stanford University. His dissertation project focuses on the practice of wall painting and the sensory experience of paintings at Neolithic Çatalhöyük. While a great deal of scholarly attention has been devoted to the iconographic and formal properties of Çatalhöyük paintings, this research explicitly shifts the focus onto the materiality of painted plasters and on their daily interactions with humans at the site. During his residency at ANAMED, Gesualdo is working on several aspects of his dissertation, including a GIS spatial analysis of Çatalhöyük paintings, a stratigraphical study of painted plaster samples from the site to investigate practices of repetitive painting, and a lighting analysis in a 3D environment to reconstruct the experience of paintings within their original contexts. His interest in the prehistory of Anatolia has begun in 2012, when he was an exchange student in Turkey as part of his MA in Archaeology at the University of Catania, Italy. His master thesis, focusing on animal symbolism and human-animal relationships at the Aceramic Neolithic site of Göbekli Tepe, has been recently published in an article on Cambridge Archaeological Journal.