I’m Josef Mario Briffa SJ, a Maltese Jesuit priest and archaeologist. I teach archaeology, ancient history and Sacred Scripture at the Pontifical Biblical Institute (Rome / Jerusalem).
My background is in both archaeology and biblical studies. I have read for a Licentiate in Sacred Scripture (2009-2012), at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome, and a PhD in archaeology at the UCL Institute of Archaeology (2012-2017), working on figurines in the late Iron Age Southern Levant.
Over the last four summers (2013-2016), I have excavated at the site of Tel Azekah in Israel, with Tel Aviv and Heidelberg universities, where I am Area Supervisor of Area N1. I have also excavated with the University of Malta, digging for four seasons (1997-2000) at Tas-Silġ, and one season at the Roman Villa in Żejtun (2008).
My research interests in archaeology are the Levant, particularly in the Iron Age, and Maltese archaeology. I have worked particularly on the archaeological work of Fr Emmanuel Magri SJ (1851-1907), a pioneer in Maltese archaeology, and the first director of excavations at the Hypogeum in Hal Saflieni, Malta.
I’m also active in the Italian Catholic Scout association AGESCI, where I’m chaplain of the troop at Roma 14 (Santa Maria in Trastevere) and district chaplain for the zona Centro Urbis of the Lazio Region.