IPOGEA Traditional Knowledge Research Center, was born in Matera in 1993 together with the initiative for the inclusion of the Sassi of Matera in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
It operated in a monumental complex located in the Sassi di Matera, granted by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and the Ministry of Finance, to carry out activities to enhance the cultural heritage and to promote the international role of the Sassi, resulting from the recognition of UNESCO.
Ipogea is also present in Florence, with an office located on Via Roma 595, Bagno a Ripoli.


Pietro Laureano

Pietro Laureano, director and coordinator of Ipogea, was the author of the report that led to the inclusion of Matera in the UNESCO World Heritage list. It is also responsible for the inclusion of the National Park of Cilento, with the archaeological sites of Paestum and Velia, in the list of World Heritage Sites.

He was a member of the UNESCO team who developed the Masterplan of Major Petra (Jordan), and is a team leader in the UNESCO conservation campaign for archaeological monuments in Lalibela (Ethiopia).

He is director, coordinator and project of the archaeological park of Gravina in Puglia, and has designed plans for important archaeological sites and parks on Italian and international level.

He is the author of the methodology for the implementation of UNESCO sites management plans.

Ipogea is recognized by the European Union as an organization of excellence in the protection and enhancement of European cultural heritage, has been an associate member of ICCROM (International Center for the Study of Cultural Heritage Conservation and Restoration) and executes projects on behalf of the World Monuments Found.


Panaiotis Kruklidis

Eclectic and versatile architect specialized in the field of Cultural Heritage, in illustrations and graphics. Graduated from the University of Florence as an architect and researcher in the archaeological field. ICOMOS expert on the Oasis and traditional settlements, he worked on many UNESCO sites and with historical relevance: Graphics and rendering for the project on the Oasis of Al Ain (UNESCO site in the United Arab Emirates); Registration at the UNESCO site of the Oasis of Al Ahsa (Saudi Arabia); Reconstructions and historical panels for the UNESCO site of Khor Rori, Salut & Ubar (Oman); Management and restoration plan for the UNESCO site Sheki (Azerbaijan); Green Strategy Project for the site of Al Ula (Saudi Arabia); Research and graphics for registration on the UNESCO tentative list of Chianti Classico (Italy); Design of the first major international exhibition of Matera Capital of European culture 2019: Ars Excavandi; Concept design of the Park of the History of Man – Prehistory in Matera (Italy), Concept design of the settlement of Murgia Timone in Matera (Italy); Design of the Park of the History of Man – Peasant Civilization, in Sasso Caveroso, Matera (Italy); preparation of the exhibition “Oasis Landscapes” at the side event in the 42nd WHC Manama (Bahrain); and work for many Italian museums: Vatican Museums; Profane Gregorian Museum; Jerusalem of San Vivaldo; Rimini Galli Theater Museum; Castle of Santa Severina; Camaiore Museum; Archaeological Park of Francavilla Marittima; Ara Pacis Museum; Bretti and Sea Museum; Pompei (Boscoerale); Monte Prama in Sardinia.



Niccolò Robucci

Extroverted Landscape Architect, graduated at University of FlorenceHe developed a passion for cultural heritage and dry areas. Since then, thanks to numerous work experiences abroad with participation in architectural projects, museums and UNESCO applications, he has specialized his knowledge, despite his young age, becoming an expert in Oasis, of Rock Architecture and member of the scientific committee of the landscape of ICOMOS. He has collaborated to the candidacy and relative registration to the UNESCO world heritage list of the oasis of Al Ahsa (Saudi Arabia); registration on the  UNESCO tentative list of Chianti Classico (Italy); to the planning of the First Great Exhibition “Ars Excavandi” in Matera, on the occasion of the European Capital of Culture 2019 (Italy); to Concept Design for the preservation, interpretation and infrastructural and tourist adaptation of the Hili and Qattara oases (United Arab Emirates), the planning, design and direction of the works related to the enhancement, of the  UNESCO site, of the Al Ain Oasis (United Arab Emirates); Concept design of the Park of the History of Man – Prehistory of the settlement of Murgia Timone in Matera (Italy); Design of the Park of the History of Man – Peasant Civilization, in Sasso Caveroso, Matera (Italy); Realization of the Restoration Manual for the conservation and rehabilitation of the historical center of Sheki (Azerbaijan); preparation of the exhibition “Oasis Landscapes” in the side event in the 42nd WHC Manama (Bahrain); Realization of the action plan called “Green strategy Project” for the site of Al Ula (Saudi Arabia).

Ipogea is currently engaged in activities in the following areas:

  • Master plans for parks and archaeological sites;
  • UNESCO World Heritage List of Management Plans;
  • Soil protection;
  • Sustainable management of water resources;
  • Application and dissemination of traditional techniques;
  • Protecting and enhancing the landscape;
  • Landscape planning;
  • Restauration of the environment;
  • Sustainable Development;
  • Protection of ecosystems;
  • Diffusion of know-how and capacity development;
  • Valorization of heritage and cultural identities.

Ipogea is experienced in the management of multilateral activities, programs for developing countries and the co-ordination of multidisciplinary groups of international experts.

It also organizes exhibitions, forums, seminars, workshops, courses and internships. It has been coordinating three major European projects, and is working for UNDP Morocco on the study of a desert area and the creation of an ecomuseum.

Ipogea’s approach is to foster the full development of local skills and resources, and to invent and enhance archaeological, historical, environmental and traditional values.

To this end, Ipogea and UNESCO have developed a methodology for the classification of local knowledge (SITTI – Iconograrphic System of Traditional and Innovative Techniques) and the creation of easily accessible archives and databases (TKWB – World Bank of Traditional Knowledge) Illustrate the memory and values ​​of specific sites to preserve, and provide operational tools for the organization of territorial parks.

This system, based on a Geographic Information System (GIS) and Google Earth platform, is a powerful tool for planning and allows you to create:

  • An interactive and easy-to-access database with all available documentation;
  • A numerical graph of archaeological values;
  • Composite maps for the organization of parks;
  • Future scenarios and projections for interested parties and public officials;
  • Web-based interactive routes for the development and enhancement of tourism.

View our Curriculum and Methodology

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