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Colloquium: Investigating the Human Past in the Mediterranean Through a Multiscale Analysis of Ceramic Landscapes

Event Details:

  • Date:       Thursday 15 March 2018
  • Time:      16:00 - 17:00
  • Venue:    The Cyprus Institute – Guy Ourisson Building, Seminar Room, 1st Floor, Athalassa Campus
  • Speaker: Dr Evangelia Kiriatzi, Director, Fitch Laboratory, British School at Athens
* The colloquium will be in English, the event is open to the public, light refreshments will be served after the talk.


med ceramicArchaeology in the Mediterranean has traditionally put much emphasis on the study of ceramics for a number of reasons, including the abundance of pottery, its versatility and wide use in numerous aspects of human life in the past and its high morphological and technological variability, used as indicative of chronology, provenance, function, cultural or social status or identities in sites of all periods, from the Neolithic to early Modern times.
This emphasis, combined with major methodological developments and the increased, and gradually more integrated, use of scientific techniques, has made the Mediterranean an ideal place to use ceramic material culture to understand the human past. Furthermore, broader developments in contemporary archaeological theory and practice gave rise to different research question over the years greatly influencing the issues addressed by/through ceramic studies in the Mediterranean.

Over the last few decades, beyond changes in the analytical methodology, there has been an obvious shift in the research focus, too. Archaeological projects have moved from the regional to the local scale and from the study of provenance, to reconstruct long-distance trade and exchange, to the study of technology and the reproduction and transfer of technological knowledge, aiming to address issues of social/cultural boundaries and identities. Such shifts have fundamentally changed the way research projects are designed and executed, as well as the interpretation and broader discussion of the resulting data.

Dr Kiriatzi will briefly review and discuss these transformations in Mediterranean ceramic studies through the work of the Fitch Laboratory, a research facility that was developed within the British School at Athens, almost 40 years ago to promote the use of science in the archaeology of Greece, and which has gradually developed into a centre for the multiscale analysis of Mediterranean ceramic landscapes.

About the Speaker

Dr Evangelia Kiriatzi studied History and Archaeology at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki where she continued with a PhD in Aegean prehistory under the supervision of professors Kostas Kotsakis and Stelios Andreou, focusing on the understanding of the relationship of central Macedonia with the Mycenaean world, through the way pottery was made, used and circulated. She held fellowships and research posts at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, the Institute of Archaeology -UCL, the MacDonald Institute in Cambridge, the University of Sheffield, the University of Cincinnati, and the British School at Athens, where since 2001, is the Director of the Fitch Laboratory for science-based archaeology.

She is an expert in the interdisciplinary study of archaeological pottery, with a long-established research experience on Aegean, Balkan, and more recently Anatolian and central Mediterranean ceramics of all periods based on a broad network of international collaborations. She has developed an interest in exploring issues of identity and mobility of potters since her PhD research that culminated in an edited volume (with Carl Knappett), published by Cambridge University Press in 2016 (Human Mobility and technological Transfer in the Prehistoric Mediterranean), that aims to set the agenda for studies of technological mobility within the Mediterranean world and beyond. During her term at the Fitch Laboratory, she has put emphasis on training, both practice- and course-based, attracting annually a number of postgraduate students and young post-docs from all around Europe and beyond. Dr Kiriatzi has coordinated more than 15 interdisciplinary projects and produced over 70 publications, including monographs, edited volumes and articles in major peer-reviewed journals.

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Additional Info

  • Date: Thursday 15 March 2018
  • Time: Starts 16:00
  • Speakers: Dr Evangelia Kiriatzi
  • Speaker Position: Director, Fitch Laboratory, British School at Athens