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Durham University

Research & business

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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 worked as a PDRA on "Death and Demographics: Comparing Settlement and Burial Records in the Ancient Near East", where my role is to compare burial trends across the Levant and Northern Mesopotamia from the 4th mill to the 1st mill. BC.

I am currently working as a PDRA for the Leverhulme project "Did British tin sources and trade make Bronze Age Europe?", where my role is to build a database of metals, settlements and tin sources from Cornwall and Devon and to perform spatial analysis to identify patterns and possible sources of tin.

My research interests include GIS and spatial nalysis, databases, 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
  • Databases
  • Functional analysis
  • GIS analysis
  • Northern Levant
  • Pottery analysis
  • South-Eastern Anatolia


Chapter in book

  • Montesanto, M. (2020). The 12th Century at Alalakh: The 12th Century at Alalakh: New Ceramic Evidence for Local Development and Foreign Contact. In Celebrating Alalakh: Proceedings of the 15th Anniversary Symposium at the New Hatay Archaeology Museum, June 10-12, 2015. Yener, K. A. & Ingman, T.
  • Montesanto, M. (2018). Evidence of transformation: the early Iron Age Aegeanizing pottery assemblage at Alalakh. In Proceedings of the 10th International Conference of the Archaeology of the Ancient Near East. Horjeis, B. & Schwall, Ch. 1.

Journal Article

  • Montesanto, M. & Pucci, M. (2019). The Iron Age at Alalakh. Archaeology and History in Lebanon 50: 93-135.

Selected Grants

  • 2017: Peet Travel Award
  • 2016: Andrew Sherratt Memorial Fund
  • 2015: The Vrowny Hankey Memorial Fund