Dr. Anita Radini is not your average archaeologist. An assistant professor at the School of Archaeology, University College Dublin, she analyzes the tiny remains of dust that collected in the dental plaque of early humans to learn about their work lives and environments.
For her outstanding work, she won the 2023 Dan David Prize which recognizes the work of archaeologists, as well as historians, digital humanists, curators, and documentary filmmakers.
Q: Before we dive into your work, can you tell us what attracted you to archaeology in the first place?
“I’ve always been fascinated by the past. I was born and grew up in Rome, where history and archaeology are around you everywhere. The city, one can say, invited me to join this profession. At the age of five, my mum – a teacher – took her pupils to Pompeii, the ancient Roman town destroyed by the eruption of Vesuvius. The visit impacted me, stayed with me, and I think I have been obsessed with archaeology ever since.”