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Durham University

Department of Archaeology

Staff

Ms Maria De Falco

Contact Ms Maria De Falco

Biography

BA and MA degree at the Università degli Studi di Napoli “L’Orientale in Western Archaeology. Specialized in the analysis of prehistoric pottery from Southern Italy, with a focus on Neolithic, Copper age and Early Bronze age contexts. Before undertaking my PhD, I worked in commercial archaeology and in the field of digital reconstructions and innovative technologies applied to archaeology, co-founding Mnemosyne3D. I am member of the CRS “Enzo dei Medici” since 2011 with which I took part to several projects on underground Italian prehistoric contexts and from 2014 to 2016 I took part to the Archaeological Mission of the Università degli Studi di Napoli “L’Orientale” to Oman as pottery specialist.

Research Topic

Serving the Living and the Dead: Ceramic technology and circulation in Copper Age Southern Italy

Abstract

Between the IV and III millennia BC, Europe and the Mediterranean are characterized by the development of widespread cultures that show highly coded funerary practices and long-distance connections. Southern Italy and the Central Mediterranean region during the Copper Age stand out for the widespread transcultural circulation of goods, symbols and concepts. Hypotheses on the definition of cultures and circulation of peoples, goods and ideas have been made on the basis of typological and contextual analyses. The main aim of my research is to analyse Copper Age Campania pottery from an archaeometric point of view in order to investigate the social dynamics of pottery production and circulation. In particular, my research question are:

 1) Understanding to what extent stylistic changes and patterns in ceramic production reflect technological, productive, functional and cultural differences;

2) Detecting the presence of imported/exported goods and the local re-elaboration of foreign influences.

 The dataset for the proposed research consists in pottery from several Copper Age sites, settlements and necropolises, in Campania, Southern Italy. The methodology chosen for this research is an integrated approach to pottery involving both macroscopic and advanced archaeometric analyses. This research will contribute to broaden our understanding of Copper age communities, their craft specialization, mobility and technological choices.

Conference Contributions

2016: DE FALCO, M., LAROCCA, F., ‘Il luogo sacro. Aspetti e caratteristiche dell’utilizzo cultuale della cavità’, Tra Pietra e Acqua. Archeologia delle Grotte di Pertosa-Auletta: studi e ricerche 2004-2016, 21-22 October 2016, Pertosa.

 2016: AURINO, P., DE FALCO, M., MANCUSI, V. and MORETTI, M., ‘Prima di Poseidonia: la vita e la morte sotto i templi’, Dialoghi sull’archeologia della Magna Grecia e del Mediterraneo, I International Congress, 7-9 September 2016, Paestum.

 2015: LAROCCA F., DE FALCO M., ‘The Funerary Use of Caves in Prehistoric and Protohistoric Calabria (Italy). From isolated burials to hypogean graveyards’, Session ‘Human Remains In Caves: Reconfiguring Identities’, XXI European Association of Archaeologist Annual Meeting, 2-5 September, University of Glasgow.

 2015: DE FALCO M., LAROCCA F., ‘Underground Sacredness: Hypogean Cult Endurance from Prehistory to Christian Era. A “Focus” on the figure of Michael the Archangel and on some case studies from Southern Italy’, Session ‘Sacred Places, Sacred Spaces: Landscape Transformation and Inheritance’, XXI European Association of Archaeologist Annual Meeting, 2-5 September, University of Glasgow.

 2014: LAROCCA F., DE FALCO M., Water sacredness and underground protohistoric cults within the Grotte di Pertosa (Campania, Italia)’, Session ‘Caves as ritual spaces in later prehistoric Europe’, XX European Association of Archaeologist Annual Meeting, 10-14 September, University of Istanbul.

Publications

Aurino, P., De Falco, M., Mancusi, V. and Moretti, M. (2017). Prima di Poseidonia: la vita e la morte sotto i templi. In: A. Pontrandolfo, M. Scafuro (eds.), Dialoghi sull’archeologia della Magna Grecia e del Mediterraneo. Paestum 7-9 September 2016, I International Congress. Paestum: Pandemos, vol. 2, pp. 151-65.

 De Falco, M., Larocca, F., (2017). Il luogo sacro. Aspetti e caratteristiche dell’utilizzo cultuale della cavità. In: Felice Larocca (ed.), Tra Pietra e Acqua. Archeologia delle Grotte di Pertosa-Auletta: studi e ricerche 2004-2016. Fondazione Mida, Pertosa: pp. 120-35.

 Antonietti, D., De Falco, M. (2016), “The ceramic assemblages from H5 and H1-H1a” in LORETO, R., Antonietti, D., Cozzolino, V., De Falco, M., Gaudiello, M., Terminiello, L., “BMH2 and the Iron Age northern coastal Oman in light of 2014-2015 excavation seasons”, AION - Annali dell’Università degli Studi di Napoli "L’Orientale". Sezione orientale, 76, pp. 201-45.

Research Groups

Selected Grants

  • 2017: AHRC Northern Bridge Doctoral Training Partnership (NBDTP)

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