Andrea Squitieri

Stone Vessels in the Near East from the Iron Age through the Hellenistic Period.

My research intends to offer an extensive overview of stone vases in the Near East during the 1st Millennium BC, which has never been previously attempted in the archaeological literature. The materials under study come from the main European museums, including both published and unpublished objects.

Three main aspects of stone vases are investigated. Firstly, their production, i.e. the manufacturing process, the tool employed, and the change of the modes of production over time. A vast range of evidence is used, archaeological as well as iconographical, in order to infer about this technology; however this research focuses mainly on the direct observation of tool marks left in the interior of vases, by using an inspection camera.

The second aspect to be investigated is the distribution of vases over the region and the mechanisms of their removal from the original place of production. In order to track down the original place of production of distinct groups of objects, geological maps and GIS based distribution analyses are employed, along with chemical analysis of stones (XRF), whenever is possible. After locating the exact source areas of some objects, the modes of their removal are inferred, such as market exchange, administrated trade, tributes or plunder, by combining archaeological and historical sources.

Lastly, this research focuses on the consumption of vases, the nature of their content and the cases of multiple reuses during their life cycles. The study of contexts where the vases have been found, such as urban, sacred, palatial or burial, can cast light on the uses of vases.

The research aims at identifying the cultural traditions behind the manufacture of vases, the economic structures involved in their exchange and distribution, as well as the social value that these objects held within societies, for example symbolic and/or utilitarian value. All these aspects are analysed in relation to the impact that the socio-economic transformations, which occurred in the Near East during the 1st Millennium, had on the stone vessels industry.


 Educational background

  • BA, Archaeology, University of Torino (Italy), 2006
  • MA, Archaeology of the Near East, University of Torino (Italy), 2008

Conference “Broadening Horizons 4” October 2011 – Torino (Italy)

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