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Marco Romeo Pitone

Marco Romeo Pitone

Project title

Reconstructing Early Cypriot Metallurgy: the case of Pyrgos-Mavroraki

Supervisors

Marco Romeo Pitone

Project description

Due to the extraordinary wealth of its ore deposits, Cyprus was the metal powerhouse of antiquity. Most of the copper traded and used in the Mediterranean from the Bronze Age to the late Roman period came from the island. The importance of Cypriot ore-mineral deposits has led to a wealth of research on prehistoric copper mining and production. But this has overwhelmingly concentrated on provenance and exchange studies. These use isotopic fingerprinting of ores and ingots. This has been at the expense of other research strands. In particular, there are important questions about Cypriot copper technology including the role and identity of bronzesmiths.

Pyrgos-Mavroraki is the richest and best-preserved Bronze Age metallurgical workshop on Cyprus. It is arguably one of the most important copper-making sites of the Bronze Age world. The quality of the evidence is extremely high. It is possible to reconstruct in great detail where and how different activities and tasks took place within the workshop.

There are also intriguing hints that bronzesmiths operating on-site may have been female. This may have contributed to more than one workshop within the building complex.

My research will reveal in unprecedented detail how a Bronze Age smithy operated. It will also question near-universal assumptions about the gender and craft specialisation of ancient smiths.

Research grants

  • AHRC Northern Bridge Studentship Award 2015/2018

Qualifications

  • BA in Cultural Heritage Studies (University of Milan 2006-2010). Dissertation title – "Archeologia del Sacro nell’Etruria Meridionale durante l’Età dei Metalli. Un esempio di archeologia cognitiva applicata allo studio delle tracce di culto".  (Archaeology of the Sacred in Metal Age Southern Etruria. An example of cognitive archaeology applied to the study of cult traces.)
  • MA in Archaeology (University of Milan 2010-2014). Dissertation title – "L’abitato del Bronzo Finale di Sorgenti della Nova (Farnese VT). Le fasi recenti dell’abitazione 6 (The Late Bronze Age settlement of Sorgenti della Nova (Farnese VT). The recent phases of dwelling 6.)