Francesco Iacono

Opening the Sea Gates of Europe: Interaction in the Southern Adriatic Sea during Late Bronze Age

Adopting a theoretical framework based on non-trivial version of Marxism, my research set out to analyse the modes and the outcomes of economic and social interaction in societies constituting the immediate interface between Eastern Mediterranean and Europe. I take in consideration the whole period that goes from the establishment of first regular contact with the Aegean world up to the end of the Bronze Age both on the Southern Italian and on the Balkan side.

The primary focus of my work is pottery that is analysed in a number of key sites of the region.

My main case study is constituted by the important site of Roca in Apulia that has returned the largest amount of Aegean type material ever retrieved so far in the Central and Western Mediterranean. My primary work on Roca’s material includes both an overall quantification and contextual analysis of both local and imported/locally imitated Aegean pottery and a stylistic assessment of this last class of materials.

With respect of Roca, I am also assistant director of an INSTAP funded project (directed by Riccardo Guglielmino from University of Salento, Italy) aimed to the publication of one of the most significant context within the site, namely area IX.

My research interests include also pottery production and consumption, sampling and quantitative methodologies related to the study of ceramic material as well as, more broadly, social anthropology, history of archaeology and relationship between archaeology and politics (with a specific attention to radical thinking).

Funding organisation

  • AHRC
  • BSA


 Educational background

  • BA, Archaeology, University of Salento (Lecce, Italy) 2005
  • MA, UCL, 2007

FORTHCOMING “Adriatic Sea”, “Albania”, “Pottery Trade”, in “The Encyclopedia of Ancient History”, Wiley-Blackwell.

FORTHCOMING “Westernizing Aegean of LH III C”, in M.E. Alberti & S. Sabatini (eds) Exchange Networks and Local Transformations: Interactions and Local Changes in Europe and the Mediterranean between Bronze and Iron Ages, Oxford.

2010 Review of A. Vianello, Late Bronze Age Mycenaean and Italic products in the West Mediterranean, Oxford, 2005, in Papers from the Institute of Archaeology Vol 20, 2010

2010 “Before the stream: the social and economic role of exotica in the Central Mediterranean. The case of ivory items from Roca.” Con R. Guglielmino e M. Rugge. In Vianello, A. (a cura di) Exotica in the prehistoric Mediterranean, Oxford, :172-186.

2010 “Skyphos Miceneo”, “Anfora Micenea”, “Sigillo Miceneo”, in Radina, F; Recchia, G. 2010; Ambra per Agamennone, Bari, Mario Adda, :354-355, 371.

2010 “Burial & Society in non-Greek Salento (southeast Italy) 600-250 BC” in Accordia Research Paper 11, :95-118.

2009 “A reply to Haber” in Present Past 1, :7-9.

Lectures and Presentations

May 2011 BSA Upper House Seminar, British School at Athens 30th of May 2011, Athens, Greece: “Feasting on the Edge: Cross-Cultural encounters and Society in the Southern Adriatic during Late Bronze Age”

April 2011 Giornata di Studi sull’Albania, Università del Salento, Lecce, Italy: “Networks e Società nell’Albania dell’Età del Bronzo”

March 2011 Theoretical Archaeology Seminar at Athens, Irish Institute in Athens 14 March 2011, Athens, Greece: “Theoretical & Methodological Perspectives on Networks & Connectivity in Mediterranean Archaeology”

December 2009 Tag conference, Università di Durham, 17-21st Dec. 2009, UK: “An Archaeology of Interaction for the Prehistoric Mediterranean” and “Becoming Bad: On moral categories and the interpretation of the archaeological record”

May 2009 Accordia Seminar Series, University of London, UK: “Burial and Society in non-Greek Salento (Southern Italy): A Marxist perspective.”

September 2008 14th meeting of the European Association of Archaeologists, University of Malta, Malta: “Westernizing Aegean of LH III C” and “A pioneering Experiment. Dialoghi d’Archeologia and Marxism in Italian Archaeology 1967-1977”

May 2008 Italian & Central Mediterranean Prehistory Seminar, University College London, UK: “The Southern Adriatic Connection: Long-term interaction at the north-western periphery of the Mycenaean World System”

  • A view of the Adriatic Sea from the site of Roca
  • Working on pottery

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