Cultural and social groups whose outlines are difficult to identify are often considered invisible . Occasionally, material remains compensate for the absence of historiographical records or literary sources concerning these groups; sometimes communities or individuals mentioned in literary sources do t appear to have left material signs of their presence. On the other hand, there are groups or individuals whose existence has to be assumed in every historical period, even though they are invisible in both historiography and archaeology. Before trying to understand the lifestyle and historical agency of these invisible cultures , it is necessary to highlight the reasons why the memory of certain marginalized individuals or socio-cultural units disappeared or was obliterated in material culture and in literary sources. The postgraduate conference Invisible Cultures: Historical and Archaeological Perspectives brought together young scholars from various backgrounds and research interests to discuss these issues. This volume presents the results of this debate, through a series of selected papers, from various interdisciplinary perspectives, which analyse a variety of case studies, leading to the identification of new theoretical and methodological perspectives aimed at returning voice and presence to the invisibles of history.
Francesco Carrer obtained his PhD from the University of Trento, Italy, in 2012. His main research interests are in ethnoarchaeology, the archaeology of pastoralism, and the application of quantitative methods to the analysis of historical and archaeological landscapes. He has published in numerous international, peer-reviewed journals, and is involved in several research projects in the Alps. He is currently Research Associate at the McCord Centre of the Newcastle University, UK. Viola Gheller obtained her PhD from the University of Trento, Italy, in 2014. She works on late antique history, with a particular focus on clashing religious identities and the role of religion in the creation of barbarian ethnic and political identities. She has published several articles on her research topics, and edited a number of collective books and conference proceedings. Working with the cultural association Rodopis , she has organised and chaired seminar series and postgraduate conferences, including the Invisible Cultures international meeting.