Assistant Professor, Anthropology; Assistant Curator, Museum of Anthropological Archaeology
Research interests: The archaeology of culture contacts; Mediterranean connectivity; the Greek colonization; gender archaeology; biological versus constructed identities in the past; southern Italy; Greece.
My research seeks to harness the Mediterranean’s rich archaeological record to reconstruct and model diverse aspects of culture contact. In particular, I am interested in understanding how small and large-scale socioeconomic dynamics affect long-term fluctuations in connectivity. My work mostly concentrates on the interactions between Italy and the Aegean in the first millennium BC. While my PhD investigated long-term, large-scale patterns of exchange and migration between these two regions, more recently I have focussed on the Greek colonization of southern Italy, where I am conducting a multidisciplinary project titled Ancient Mediterranean Interactions between Colonizers and Indigenous populations (AMICI). A collaboration between the Universities of Tübingen, Leiden and the VU University in Amsterdam, it was first funded through a Marie Curie Intra-European Fellowship and later a Gerda Henkel Research Scholarship. This project combines comprehensive bioarchaeological analyses with more traditional material culture studies in order to reconstruct interregional mobility and admixture patterns, and to gauge their impact on the social and cultural development of coastal and inland settlements. In addition to shedding light on these historical trajectories of Mediterranean contacts, our datasets are allowing us to investigate broader anthropological issues surrounding the complex relationship between constructed social identities and biological identities. For example, our understanding of gender dynamics in Early Iron Age southern Italy, a long-standing interest of mine, is being transformed both in terms of how they were shaped by, and in turn shaped, the Greek colonization of this regions, a process that we are increasingly certain involved intermarriage between locals and newcomers.