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French organization founded in Poitiers in 1953. The Centre d’études supérieures de civilisation médiévale (CECSM) is affiliated with the Université de Poitiers, the Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), and the Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication. The founders, among them historian Edmond-René Labande and art historian René Crozet, began CESCM as a month-long interdisciplinary study of medieval civilization, inviting foreign students to participate. CESCM has since developed into a permanent organization but maintains the international and interdisciplinary focus of its founders.

CESCM continues to hold its formative summer session, known as ‘Les Semaines d’études médiévales’, and invites advanced graduate students of all nationalities. The summer session spans two weeks and includes sessions on a variety of topics, each conducted by a member or affiliate of CESCM. CESCM supports collaborative research groups and regularly holds colloquia attended by the international scholarly community.

Since 1958 CECSM has published ...


Betsy L. Chunko

(b Florence, June 10, 1946; d Fiesole, March 30, 2007).

Italian archaeologist. Francovich began his career as a student at the University of Florence, and from 1975 until his untimely death in 2007 he taught at the University of Siena. He is widely considered one of the most influential archaeologists of medieval Italy, particularly regarding the territory around Siena and Florence. His many publications over his 30-year career have shaped our understanding of the origins and development of hilltop villages in Tuscany. He died in a fall in the forest of Montececeri, near Fiesole.

Francovich completed his studies in history at the University of Florence under Elio Conti in 1971. There he had focused on the subject of deserted villages and local history, an interest which led him to enter the field of archaeology. A fellowship through the Harvard Center for Italian Renaissance Studies in 1972 at the Florentine Villa I Tatti allowed him to undertake his first village excavations....