Scientific Committee



Paolo Ponzio is Coordinator of the Scientific Committee of the Phoenicians’ Route since 2020.

Graduated in Philosophy, he is Full Professor of History of Philosophy (since May 2012) at the Department of Humanities of the University of Bari, of which he is Director. He is delegate of the Rector of the University of Bari for disability and social policies and responsible for civil service projects for the University. He spent several research stays in Belgium (at the Catholic University of Louvain-la-Neuve), in the United States (at the Saint Joseph University in Philadelphia), in France and in Spain in various universities. Former Vice-President of the Apulian Public Theater “Consortium for Arts and Culture”, he is currently Coordinator of the strategic plan of culture for the Apulia Region “PiiiLCulturainPuglia”.


Arturo Ruiz Rodriguez has been a member of the Scientific Committee since 2016 and he was President of the Phoenicians’ Route in the three year period 2014-2016. He is Honorary President of the Phoenicians ‘Route and President of the Spanish Network of the Phoenicians’ Route.

He is currently a researcher at the Iberian Archaeological Research Institute of the University of Jaén, which he has founded and directed until 2016. Full professor of Prehistory and from the academic year 2021-2022 Professor emeritus, his most important archaeological works focused on protohistoric Iberian culture with discoveries such as the hero of El Pajarillo, the oppidum of Puente Tablas, the rock sanctuary of Cueva de la Lobera de Castellar, the necropolis of Piquía or the reconstruction of the Battle of Baécula of the Second Punic War, giving life to a new methodology for the identification and interpretation of places that hosted scenes of clashes in antiquity. He was President of the Andalusian Archaeological Commission from 1985 to 1995. Author of over three hundred publications, he has also written one of the best known texts on Iberian culture in Europe: “The Archeology of the Iberians” by Cambridge University Press in 1998. He is also curator of the exhibition “The lady, the prince, the hero and the goddess” inaugurated in 2017 at the Ibero Museum of Jaén. With Manuel Molinos he developed the cultural itinerary “Journey through the time of the Iberians”.

In 2002 he received the IX Ibn al Jatib Award for Research in Humanities and Social Sciences from the Junta de Andalucía and the Menga Medal in 2014 for research on the Protohistory of Andalusia. In 2019 the Ministry of Culture of Spain awarded him the Gold Medal for Merit in Fine Arts.


Rachid Chamoun has been a member of the Scientific Committee since 2017 and was President of the Phoenicians’ Route in the three-year period 2018-2020. He is Honorary President of the Phoenicians’ Route.

Dr. Rachid G. Chamoun joined The Lebanese American University in 1992 as a full-time professor and served as the Director of the School of Architecture and Design (1992-1995). Later, he also served as the Chair of the Department of Architecture (1995–2000 and 2015-2018). Dr. Chamoun has also been the Founding Director of the Urban Planning Institute (UPI) since 1995. He is now Director of the LAU Louis Cardahi Foundation and Advisor to the Lebanese Ministry of Tourism representing Lebanon to the Enlarged Partial Agreement on Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe (EPA). Since 2003, he has been serving as an active Board Member of the ‘World Association for the Protection of Tangible and Intangible Cultural Heritage in times of armed conflicts’ (WATCH). He received the Selinunte International Award of “Architecture and Landscape”, June 16th, 2019.

His approach to research is built on a sustainable framework towards promoting and strengthening civil peace and human rights in the world community. His current network has extended to the global community, encompassing a broad spectrum of scientists, planners, architects, political scientists and other scholars with original views on interdisciplinary education.


Ksenija Keča has been a member of the Scientific Committee of the Phoenicians’ Route since 2018. 

She is a Senior Lecturer at Libertas International University Zagreb, Erasmus coordinator and Head of International Office. She is also a tourism expert focusing on tourism policy and development, tourism planning, promotion and tourism economics. She started her career as university assistant at the Faculty of Economics of the University of Zagreb, travel consultant, deputy head for international relations. Her professional and scientific training at the end of her formal education was at Universite de Paris 1, Sorbonne – I.R.E.S.T – study grade Doctorat d´Université: Diplome des Haute Etudes et Recherches Spécialisées en Tourism – tourism culturel – développement de musée – nouvelles technologies, Bac + 6/7. She participated and was project coordinator of many EU project and wrote many research papers and textbooks in the field of tourism and development. She is President of MultiCulTour Association of Mediterranean Cultural Routes, Croatia.


Karsten Xuereb has been a member of the Scientific Committee of the Phoenicians’ Route since 2018. 

He is professor of politics and cultural relations and manages projects addressing cultural policy and relations in Europe and the Mediterranean at the University of Malta. In addition to the Phoenicians’ Route, he is a member of the scientifi committee of Brokering Intercultural Exchange. He is Project Manager of the Maltese cultural association Inizjamed. He carries out research at the UNESCO World Heritage Nomination Project at the Ministry for Culture in Valletta. His writing and audiovisual material including papers, videos and a weekly radio programme on the university radio station Campus FM are accessible at


Kostantinos Tziampasis has been a member of the Scientific Committee since 2019. 

Archaeologist specializing in the study of architecture, identity and material culture in the Greco-Roman world. He holds a degree in Classical Archeology at the University of Naples “Federico II” and a Master in Management of Cultural Heritage at the “Suor Orsola Benincasa” University. His fields of investigation concern in particular local, cultural and insular identities through an interdisciplinary approach. He participated in the excavation at the Gortyna site on the island of Crete on behalf of the Greek Ministry of Culture and the Italian Archaeological School of Athens. He is Director of the excavation of the Roman Villa of Loutraki (Corinth). In the past he has directed emergency excavations in Pompeii, Capua, Himera, San Vincenzo al Volturno (Italy) and in the central / eastern area of Crete (Lyttos, Chersonissos, Malia, Dreros, Lato, Oulous, Praisous, Kastri di Siteia, Itanos and Palekastro). Author of numerous articles and scientific publications on urban and domestic architecture, Hellenistic fortifications and Roman villas.


Osama Hamdan has been a member of the Scientific Committee of the Phoenicians’ Route since 2021, and in the period 2009-2020 he was a member of the Technical-Steering Committee of the Phoenicians’ Route.

He is an Architect and specialist in cultural heritage conservation. Since 1991, he has directed several conservation projects in Palestine, Jordan, and Syria among which:

– “Restoration and adaptive reuse of the Khan el Wakala in Nablus” (funded by European Union, through UNESCO);
– “Conservation and rehabilitation of the old core of Sabastiya” funded by Italian cooperation and ATS pro Terra Sancta.
– Project for training of youth in mosaic conservation and conservation of the mosaics of the Gethsemane and Dominus Flevit churches on the Mount of Olives, financed by Italian-Palestinian Joint program
– Consulting Architect for Custody of the Holy Land Project of the Memorial Basilica of Moses on Mount Nebo Archaeological Park in Jordan
– Studies, Design and Supervision for the Conservation and Rehabilitation of the Bethany site funded by Misereor and Italian Cooperation
– Appointed by the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land in the Common Technical Bureau in charge for the monitoring of the project of restoration of the Holy Sepulcher

Arch. Hamdan is currently Director of Palestinian NGO Mosaic Centre of Jericho, and carried out various awareness activities in cultural heritage protection. He has been the National Coordinator of the EuroMed project “Byzantium-Early Islamic” and was  Head of Palestinian team in the Euro-Med Research Project “An Integrated Approach to Archaeological Sites” (1999-2002). Since 1997, he has been lecturer of “Conservation and Restoration” at “Higher Institute of Islamic Archaeology” of Al-Quds University (Palestine). He has published several scientific books and articles.

The Scientific Committee is set up to perform the following functions:

a) examine the documents related to new applications for membership, express opinions and confirm the scientific importance of the documents on the basis of the provisions in force;

b) express opinions on the activities proposed in the Confederation’s work plan;

c) make proposals;

d) monitor the scientific quality of the activities carried out and the presence of the expected eligibility requirements;

e) monitor the scientific quality of international promotional material;

f) draw up an annual report on the activities carried out.

In addition to the annual meeting at the General Assembly of the Phoenicians’ Route, the members of the Scientific Committee are asked to give their opinion on the candidacies of new members and on the consistency of the activities carried out during the year compared to the objectives established by the General Assembly.

Moreover, the Scientific Committee is required to make contributions through specific research, often subject of both academic publications and international scientific dissemination at events, conferences, seminars, forums, through practical means such as educational activities and in contexts in which members of the Committee operate individually and in specific activities of the Cultural Route.

The work of the Scientific Committee is sometimes supported and supported by the Technical Steering Committee.

Each National Network will be able to create a Scientific Committee of the Network with different competencies and research areas, for example:

  • Archaeology and history
  • Tourism sciences and local development
  • Education and pedagogy
  • Cultural management, culture economy, cultural policies, cultural management
  • Communication and sustainable development

The members of the Scientific Committees of the Networks may also be appointed to join the Transversal Thematic Commissions to support the work of the Scientific Committee mentioned above.