L-ANT/01 - 9 CFU - 2° Semester

Teaching Staff


Learning Objectives

The course aims to provide the students with the methodological and theoretical tools necessary for achieving an interpretation of archaeological data through a multidisciplinary approach, using The Prehistory of the Mediterranean as a case study. Particular attention will be paid to the colonization of the islands of the Mediterranean, to the Neolithic revolution and to the invention, development and progressive improvement of pottery technology. The theoretical study of prehistoric pottery will be coupled with the practical experience on ceramic material (prehistoric and ethnographic), which aims to provide a deeper understanding of the various stages of the chaine operatoire of pottery production process.

Detailed Course Content

A: Formation and development of the prehistoric civilizations of the central and eastern part of the Mediterranean up to the beginning of the II millennium BC (3 ECTS).

B: Pottery in Archaeology: technology, function and cultural identity (6 ECTS).

Textbook Information

- C. Broodbank, The Making of the Middle Sea. A History of the Mediterranean from the Beginning to the Emergence of the Classical World, chapters I-VII, pp.15-344;

- P. Rice, Pottery Analysis: a sourcebook, University of Chicago Press, 2006 (ca. 350 pages plus figures);

- P. Rice, On the Origins of Pottery. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory 6, 1999, pp. 1-54;

- S. Van Der Leeuw, Give the potter a choice. Conceptual aspects of pottery techniques, in P. Lemonnier (ed.), Technological Choices. Transformation in material cultures since the Neolithic, London and New York 1993, pp. 238-288;

- B. Sillar, Reputable pots and disreputable potters: Individual and community choices in present-day pottery productions and exchanges in the Andes, in Ch. Cumberpatch and P. Blinkhorn (eds.), Not So Much a Pot, More a Way of Life (Oxford 1997), pp. 1–20;

- D. Arnold, Patterns of learning, residence and descent among potters in Ticul, Yucatan, Mexico, in St. Shennan (ed.), Archaeological

Approaches to Cultural Identity, (London 1989), 174–184;

- O. Gosselain, Materializing Identities: An African Perspective, Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory 7 (3) (2000), 187-217;

- P. Day, M. Relaki, and E. Faber, Pottery making and social reproduction in Bronze Age Mesara, in M. Wiener, J. Warner, J. Polonsky, and E. Hayes (eds.), Pottery and Society. The Impact of Recent Studies in Minoan Pottery, Philadelphia 2006 , pp. 22-72;

- S. Todaro, Pottery production in the Prepalatial Mesara: The artisans’ quarter to the west of the Palace at Phaistos, in Creta Antica 10.2 (2009), pp. 333-352;

- S. Todaro, Tradizioni tecnologiche e identità culturale: la produzione ceramica nella Creta dell’Antica e Media età del Bronzo, in F. Carinci, P. Militello, O. Palio, Studi in onore di La Rosa, Padova 2011, pp. 71-86;

- S. Todaro, (2012). Craft Production and Social Practice at Prepalatial Phaistos: the Background to the first palace, in J. Driessen, I. Schoep and P. Tomkins (eds), Back to the Beginning: Reassessing social, economic and political complexity in the Early and Middle Bronze Age on Crete (Leuven 1-2/2/2008), Oxford, pp. 195-235.

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