Institute of Archaeology


Institute alumna awarded Zibby Garnett Travel Fellowship

29 January 2024

UCL Institute of Archaeology alumna Luna Silvestri (MA in Cultural Heritage Studies, 2022-2023) was awarded a Zibby Garnett Travel Fellowship to help broaden her understanding of conservation worldwide.

A blonde haired woman, dressed in black, giving a presentation in a darkened room with a screen behind her

Luna Silvestri's academic background is in Art History from the University of Glasgow, with an Erasmus exchange at Bonn University Islamic Archaeology Research Unit.

During her time at the UCL Institute of Archaeology, undertaking our MA in Cultural Heritage Studies, Luna participated in archaeological fieldwork and research in Khirbet Beit Loya as part of the "TERRSOC: ‘Reading Ancient Landscapes’ (2022-2025)" project. This initiative, organised by Bonn University, investigates the role of agricultural terraces in society and explores the social and economic factors influencing decisions to build, maintain, restore, or abandon terraces.

The focal point of the study was the extensive Mamluk-era settlement of Khirbet Beit Loya in the Shephelah, with emphasis on the excavation of Field W (Domestic Storage) and Field U (Donkey Stables). Luna engaged in various activities, including excavation, soil sampling, sifting, flotation analysis, and the cleaning and organisation of ceramics for future research projects. She also carried out qualitative interviews, investigating the role of foreign archaeological teams on archaeological sites in the MENA region.

Two women standing in an ornate stairwell with blue railings, wooden door and decorative white plasterwork

Luna secured funding through the Zibby Garnett Travel Fellowship, a scholarship available to UCL students engaged in conservation as part of their research. Students travel to relevant countries of interest, studying regional heritage craft and conservation techniques, and bring these skills back to the UK.

Luna was invited to present her Scholars Report earlier this month at the Courtauld Institute of Art, Somerset House in London, where she was joined by Elizabeth Baquedano, Honorary Associate Professor. 

Luna's report is accessible online on the Zibby Garnett website. She is currently pursuing a specialisation in provenance research at the Ecole du Louvre in Paris and undertaking an internship at the National Asian Art Museum in France, the Musée Guimet.

The Zibby Garnett Travel Fellowship supports practical skills and a world view for the next generation of conservators. The next deadline to apply for funding is 8 March 2024.

Further details