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Durham University

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Staff Profile

Dr Mariacarmela Montesanto

Research Associate in the Department of Archaeology

(email at


I hold a BA and MA in Near Eastern Archaeology from Pisa University (Italy). My PhD The Iron Age pottery from Alalakh/Tell Atchana: a morphological and functional analysis was undertaken at the University of Liverpool. My research focused on the analysis of the Iron Age pottery from the site of Tell Atchana/Alalakh located in southern Turkey. At Durham, I work as a PDRA on The Invisible Dead Project, where my role is to integrate burial data from eastern Syria and northern Iraq (4th mill-1st mill. BC).

My research interests include material culture and archaeological landscapes of the Near East. I have extensive fieldwork experience in the Near East, including as pottery specialist for the site of Tell Atchana/Alalakh (Turkey).

Research Groups

Department of Archaeology

Research Interests

  • Burial customs
  • Functional analysis
  • Northern Levant
  • Pottery analysis
  • South-Eastern Anatolia


Conference Paper

  • Montesanto, M. (2017), Evidence of Transformation: The Early Iron Age Aegeanizing Pottery Assemblage at Alalakh, in Horejs, B., Schwall, C., Müller, V., Luciani, M., Ritter, M., Guidetti, M. Salisbury, R., Höflmayer, F. & Bürge, T. eds, 1: 10th ICAANE. Vienna, Harrassowitz Verlag, 107-118.

Conference Proceeding

  • Yener, A. & Ingman, T. A. (Forthcoming). 12th century BC Painted Pottery at Alalakh: Local Development and Foreign Contact. Celebrating 15th years of excavations at Alalalh/Tell Atchana, Peeters.
  • (Submitted). More than a pile of sherds: functional analysis and social behaviour during Late Bronze-Early Iron Age Alalakh.

Doctoral Thesis

  • (2018). The Iron Age pottery from Alalakh/Tell Atchana: a morphological and functional analysis. PhD.

Newspaper/Magazine Article

  • (2018). Fall of Troy: the legend and the facts. The Conversation