Melisa A. Salerno

Instituto Multidisciplinario de Historia y Ciencias Humanas, Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (IMHICIHU-CONICET, Argentina)

Melisa A. Salerno completed her PhD in Archaeology at the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina. She conducted her post-doctoral studies at the National Council of Scientific and Technical Research in Argentina, and she is currently a researcher at that institution. She has focused on Antarctic archaeology since her first works, considering the early exploration and exploitation of the South Shetland Islands by 19th-century sealers. Melisa A. Salerno was part of the Argentinean Research Project in Antarctic Archaeology, conducted by Andrés Zarankin and María Ximena Senatore, and she is currently a researcher of the International Research Project “Landscapes in White”, directed by Andrés Zarankin at the Laboratory of Antarctic Studies in Human Sciences, Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil (LEACH, UFMG). She has recently started studying the action of 19th-century sealers in the archipelago of Tierra del Fuego as part of a broader project, interested in the expansion of Western people and their interaction with indigenous groups in the region. The analysis of Tierra del Fuego is also aimed at comparing the strategies that 19th-century sealers could have deployed in Tierra del Fuego and Antarctica, and the multiple interactions between these regions.

Research projects/interests

Historical archaeology in Antarctica and Tierra del Fuego. Spatial and temporal diversity in sealing strategies and sealers’ practices. Documentary analysis of sealing logbooks. Discussions on the life of silenced people, power and identity dynamics, bodily experience and memory. Cultural heritage.

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Areas of interest

Historical archaeology

Antarctic History

Tierra del Fuego’s history

Archaeological theory

Cultural heritage


Historical archaeology, Antarctic History, Tierra del Fuego’s history, sealers and sealing