Sebastiano Tusa

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Historian, Politician, Professor
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Sebastiano Tusa (2 August 1952 – 10 March 2019) was an Italian archaeologist and politician who served as councilor for Cultural Heritage for the Sicilian Region of Italy from 11 April 2018 until his death on 10 March 2019. 

Tusa also served as professor of paleontology at the Suor Orsola Benincasa University of Naples.



As the son of archaeologist Vincenzo Tusa, Sebastiano had a degree in literature with a specialization in Paleontology. As the director of the Sicilian Region of Italy in the nineteen nineties he was responsible for the archaeological section of the Regional Center for Design and Restoration. In 2003, during excavations he conducted in Pantelleria three Roman imperial portraits were found.

Abandoning field research, Tusa dealt with the administration of cultural heritage in the roles of the Sicilian Region, leading the superintendency of Trapani. In 2004 he was appointed as the first Superintendent of the Sea by the Department of Cultural Heritage of the Sicilian Region. He organized archaeological missions in Italy, Pakistan, Iran and Iraq.[3] In 2005 he led the excavations at Motya, bringing to light, on the submerged road that leads to the island, as well as structures identifiable as quays. In 2008 Tusa and Folco Quilicimade a documentary film on the prehistory of the Mediterranean at Pantelleria. The excavations he promoted, and conducted on the field by Fabrizio Nicoletti and Maurizio Cattani, also confirmed the role of Pantelleria as a "crossroads for merchants" in ancient times.

In January 2010 he was named honorary member of the National Archaeologists Association. In 2012 he returned to head the Superintendence of the Sea of the Region.

In March 2012 Tusa was a candidate for the Palermo city council in the list of FLI but lost the election.

After leaving the Superintendency of the Sea, on 11 April 2018 he was appointed councilor for Cultural Heritage by the president of the Sicilian Region Nello Musumeci, replacing Vittorio Sgarbi.


Tusa was killed in the crash of Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302, on 10 March 2019. The plane was flying from Addis Ababa to Nairobi, where the commissioner was to take part in an international conference organized by UNESCO. 

He was 66 years old at that time.

Academic work

From the 2000s until his death, Tusa was a professor of Marine Archeology during a three-year degree in Marine Biology, based in Trapani, University of Palermo. He was also a professor of Paleontology at the Suor Orsola Benincasa University of Naples and a lecturer at the School of Arts and Humanities at the University of Bologna. In the academic year 2015-16 he was a contract professor at the Philipps University of Marburg in Germany.

Published works

  • La preistoria nel territorio di Trapani, Marsilio, 1990.
  • Mozia, Publisicula, 1990.
  • Sicilia preistorica, Dario Flaccovio Editore, 1994. ISBN 88-7758-227-8.
  • La Sicilia nella preistoria, Sellerio, 1999, ISBN 88-389-1440-0.
  • Archeologia e storia nei mari di Sicilia, Magnus, 2010. ISBN 978-88-7057-252-0.
  • Selinunte, L'Erma di Bretschneider, 2011. ISBN 978-88-8265-592-1.
  • Sicilia archeologica, Edizioni di Storia e Studi Sociali, 2015. ISBN 978-88-9916-815-6
  • Primo Mediterraneo. Meditazioni sul mare più antico della storia, Edizioni di Storia e Studi Sociali, 2016
  • I popoli del Grande Verde. Il Mediterraneo al tempo dei faraoni, Edizioni di Storia e Studi Sociali, 2018

Source: wikipedia.org

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