I am an Associate Professor in Archaeology at UvA, specialising in the Bronze Age Aegean and ceramic studies. I am currently PI of the VIDI project Tracing the potter's wheel: investigating technological transmission and cultural encounters in the Bronze Age Aegean (2016-2021).
Before my appointment I was a temporary Departmental Lecturer in Aegean Prehistory at the University of Oxford (2015-16) and postdoctoral researcher in Mediterranean Archaeology at UvA (2011-15). I have also held a postdoctoral fellowship in the Aegean Material Culture Lab at the University of Toronto (2009-11) and the Williams Fellowship in Ceramic Petrography in the Fitch Laboratory of the British School at Athens, Greece (2002-05).
I obtained my PhD in 2009 from the University of Exeter, focusing on the Middle Bronze Age potting communities of Akrotiri on Thera, and I have an MSc in Archaeomaterials from the University of Sheffield (2001). My undergraduate degree was a joint honours programme in Archaeology and Geology at the University of Bristol (2000).
I am an archaeologist specialising in ceramics, with research interests stretching across the Aegean and wider East Mediterranean region. My dual training in archaeology and geology has allowed me to become a leading specialist within the field of ceramic analysis, in particular ceramic petrography. My work anchors 'scientific' data within broader approaches to material culture, in order to understand patterns of craft production and exchange in past societies, and addresses broad questions of human interaction and technological transmission across different spatial and temporal scales of analysis.
VIDI project (NWO)
This project will shed new light on the trajectories of technological innovations within the ancient Aegean, and offer alternative perspectives on how the humanities can address human-object-technology interactions within complex societies. The aim of the proposed project is to assess the appearance of the potter’s wheel as a technological innovation within two distinct chronological horizons of the Bronze Age Aegean: the later Early Bronze Age (ca.2500-2100BC) and the transition between the Middle and Late Bronze periods (ca.1800-1600BC). This approach uses the potter’s wheel as prism through which to investigate the transmission of craft knowledge during these two periods and the configuration of Aegean potting communities through time. A key project objective is to better understand the multi-scalar material, technological and social interactions that facilitated the transmission of the potter’s wheel in this region.
I have supervision experience at (R)MA and PhD levels, focusing on ceramic-based investigations, both analytical and methodological. I am happy to consider supervision within the following themes:
Dr Caroline Jeffra (UvA) - Postdoctoral researcher: Tracing the potter's wheel: investigating technological trajectories and cultural encounters in the Bronze Age Aegean
Loes Opgenhaffen (UvA) - PhD project: Visualising the potter's wheel. Developing integrated 'digital science' approaches for identifying wheel use in pottery production