Mariacarmela Montesanto

Postgraduate Research Student


Mariacarmela (Mia) Montesanto is working as pottery specialist in the site of Tell Atchana/Alalakh. She graduated from Università di Pisa and Eberhald Karls Universität, Tübingen and took part in many excavations in Italy, Syria and Turkey. She started her project at the University of Liverpool in 2014. She was recipient of the British School of Athens’ Vrowny Hankey Memorial Fund (2015), University of Sheffield’s Andrew Sherratt Memorial Fund (2016) and University of Liverpool’s PEET Travel Award (2017). In 2016 she was a visiting PhD student at Koç University, Istanbul. She organised conferences and workshops at Università di Pisa (2014) and Univeristy of Liverpool (2016). She is interested in the Late Bronze and Iron Age in Anatolia and Northern Levant. She is mainly focused in the study of material culture from a functional point of view.

Research Interests

Thesis Title

"The Iron Age pottery of Alalakh/Tell Atchana: a morphological and functional analysis."

Mariacarmela's research aims to study for the first time the Iron Age local pottery found on the site of Alalakh/Tell Atchana, located in modern southern Turkey; it discusses the Iron Age occupation of the site with a particular focus on reconstructing the role that the site played during the first centuries of the Iron Age

It introduces a morphological analysis of the local pottery assemblage to establish a relative chronological framework for the Iron Age occupation of Tell Atchana. It establishes a typology for the pottery retrieved from the site, it presents the painted decorative motifs; it analyses the same assemblage from a functional point of view to highlight any change or continuity in social habits during the Iron Age and, in conclusion, it offers an interpretation of the role that the site played within its wider region.

Mariacarmela's broader research interests include studies of ancient material cultures and the Late Bronze Age and Iron Age of Anatolia and the Northern Levant.

Research Funding 

Funded by The Institute for Aegean Prehistory.