The results of the SPHeritage project activities have a value both on a local and on a global scale. On a global scale, the project investigates, learning lessons from the past, the resilience and adaptation capacity of human beings in the face of dramatic changes in their living space caused by coastline shifts and climatic fluctuations. At the local level, it will provide a contribution to contrast and prevent dangers for the conservation of archaeological sites, plan geo-conservation actions and promote cultural and geological heritage. The results of the SPHeritage project are disseminated by adopting an open access policy and will contribute to the implementation of archaeological and palaeoenvironmental open data archives.



The activities of the SPHeritage project are still ongoing, but three meetings have already been organised, in which the various project partners presented their research results and objectives:


  • A kick-off meeting, held on 10-11 June 2021, at the Hotel Lolli Palace in Sanremo, with the aim of indicating the research objectives for each of the areas of expertise of the various project partners.


 Pappalardo_SPHeritage: a project focusing disciplines and people on Balzi Rossi


  • The First SPHeritage Workshop, held on April 1, 2022, at the Dipartimento di Antichità, Filosofia e Storia (DAFIST) in Genoa, in which the partners presented the progress of the project in the various research sectors.


Gazzo-Ragaini_Refreshing the inventory of marine faunas

Locatelli-Morelli_Corradi_From bathymetry towards continental shelf stratigraphy

Perego_Topographic and geomorphological mapping

Perini-Muttoni - Magnetostratigraphic investigations in the Prince of Monaco Cave deposits

Ryan-Pappalardo-Vacchi-Rovere_Sea level research within SPHeritage 

Starnini-Serradimigni-Negrino_Towards a comprehensive overview of the Balzi Rossi stratigraphy

Zerboni-Regattieri_Chronology and facies interpretation of the Prince of Monaco cave deposits


  • On 2 and 3 March 2023, at the Civic Museum of Sanremo, the Second SPHeritage Workshop was held, which saw the participation, in addition to the members of the project, of numerous Italian and foreign guests, who presented the results of their studies in other areas of Europe and the Mediterranean. Part of the event was also dedicated to meeting representatives of museums, schools and local associations to discuss the tourist and cultural enhancement of the Balzi Rossi site directly with the researchers. Some excerpts of the Workshop are available on the Youtube channel of the Pisa Department of Earth Sciences and on the Instagram page of the project.


Second SPHeritage Workshop Prgogramme



Pappalardo_Refining elevation and chronology constraints for past interglacials: a Ligurian-Provençal perspective

Rovere_Reconstructing past global mean sea levels: techniques, corrections and sources of uncertainties

Zerboni_Reconsidering natural and anthropogenic stratigraphic sequences along the Balzi Rossi archaeological area: new contributions from geoarchaeology, geomorphology and geochronology

 Bollati-Pelfini_Balzi Rossi: a multifaceted geosite


The research activities officially ended on November 30, 2023. On December 12, 2023, the SPHeritage project was presented in Paris to UNESCO at the invitation of the Director of the Museum of Prehistoric Anthropology of the Principality of Monaco, in the presence of His Highness Prince Albert II of Munich.




As part of the SPHeritage project, particular attention is reserved to the conservation and cultural and tourist enhancement of the Balzi Rossi site, which is part of a protected area that already includes a museum and a tourist itinerary (Polo Museale della Liguria, Balzi Rossi Museum), visited every year by thousands of people. Furthermore, one of the caves (Prince's Cave) is owned by the royal family of Monaco and supervised by the Museum of Prehistoric Anthropology of the Principality of Monaco.

On 22 June 2023, at the Museum of Prehistoric Anthropology of the Principality of Monaco, on the occasion of the Albert Ier exhibition, the members of the SPHeritage project will present the scientific activities taking place at the Prince's Cave.


ARCHEOblue&greenway project: geoarchaeological landscapes of Western Liguria

Starting from the meeting with cultural institutions organized during the Second SPHeritage Workshop, a project proposal was formulated for participation in the Liguria Neb Challenge 2023 tender, a European tender aimed at enhancing and transforming the Ligurian territory with a view to environmental sustainability. The project, called ARCHEOblue&greenway and proposed by the Province of Imperia together with numerous other partner subjects, including the Universities of Pisa, Milan and Genoa, was the winner, and will make it possible to plan numerous tourist and cultural revitalization activities for the site.


The project aims to communicate the value of the geoarchaeological heritage to citizens, young people and the most vulnerable categories through guided tours, activities for schools and university students and information materials, with particular attention to the fruition for people with disability. It also aims to promote the connection of geo-archaeological sites in the areas of Ventimiglia and Sanremo, to increase their use by tourists by creating archaeological and naturalistic itineraries focused on sustainable mobility.


For the complete list of partners and planned activities: ARCHEOblue&greenway: Plan of activities


As part of the SPHeritage project, videos and content are also produced to be published on the YouTube channel of the Department of Earth Sciences of the University of Pisa and on the project's Instagram page, in order to communicate the project's themes to a wider audience.