Alessandro Ceccarelli - President - University of Cambridge Graduate Union GU
Alessandro Ceccarelli – President of University of Cambridge Graduate Union 2019/2020

Alessandro has extensive experience in education, research and E&D policy, building on his career in the Higher Education sector over the past decade in Europe, India and UK. He currently works as a Research Assistant at University of Cambridge.

Alessandro has completed a PhD in Archaeology at the University of Cambridge. His research in South Asia aims to rediscover ancient technologies, teaching and learning behaviours, and mechanisms of resilience in the face of urban ‘collapse’ and climate change in the third millennium BC. His research is part of the TwoRains project funded by the ERC European Research Council. He was also supported by the Nehru Trust, V&A Museum, London, and by the Fitch Awards, British School at Athens, Greece.

His dissertation is a study of transmission of skills and knowledge in the Bronze Age, using ancient crafts of the Indus Civilisation to explore past human behavior, combining traditional and scientific analyses of ancient artefacts with ethnographic work in modern India. His PhD project re-discovered ancient ceramic technologies and traditions of the Indus Civilisation (c. 2500-1900 BCE) in North-Western India, using a holistic approach. This includes (a) the use of multi-site materials for regional studies and clarifications on ancient landscapes; (b) identification of production sites or provenance of materials; (c) an interdisciplinary cooperation between experts, e.g. archaeologists and geologists; and (d) the integration of combined archaeometric techniques, such as petrography and geochemistry, along with experimental archaeology and archaeological ethnography.

He was President of the University of Cambridge Graduate Union (GU 2019/20), Chair of the GU Board of Trustees, and a Trustee of the Cambridge University Council. His main concerns are minorities, vulnerable and disadvantaged groups, postgraduate access to education and research, as well as climate change conversations within the University. He is an openly gay man, the previous LGBTQ+ officer of the Graduate Union, and he actively promotes and advocates gender and sexual diversity and equality in Cambridge.

He is part of the ARC Archaeology Review of Cambridge editorial committee, a graduate journal, and he ran the Asian Archaeology seminar group at the University of Cambridge. He was a visiting researcher at British School at Athens, Greece in 2018, and Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India in 2017-18. He holds an MA in Archaeology (University of London, SOAS), BA in Archaeological Sciences at University ‘Sapienza’ of Rome, Italy, including an Erasmus Scholarship at UAM, Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, Spain.

Besides his career as policy specialist and researcher, he is an accredited member of archaeological bodies, i.e. CIfA, and worked at European and British museums, such as the Victoria and Albert Museum (Assistant Lecturer, Learning Centre), British Museum (Consultant, South Asian Department) and National Museum of Oriental Art “Tucci”, Rome (Department of Education).

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