Current research and teaching activities
My research focuses on ceramic material production, circulation and use in the past. In the last years, I have been working on building an interdisciplinary approach, which includes both anthropological approaches and analytical methods, to cast light on aspects of ancient societies through their cultural materials. My research to date has principally focused on the Prehistory of Italy and the Aegean.
I am also interested in the presentation of archaeological objects at museums, in public engagement strategies and outreach.
From 2016, I am the organizer of the short course ‘Introduction to Ceramic Petrography’, Department of Archaeology, University of Sheffield (UK). This is an intensive week-long course on the use of thin-section petrography in ceramic studies.
I have been teaching and tutoring UG and MA modules at the Department of Archaeology since 2013. Recently, I have volunteered to be a mentor for post-graduate students at the University.
2016: Associate Fellow of Higher Education Academy
2011- 2016: PhD, University of Sheffield (UK), Supervisors: P.M. Day, S. Todaro, V. Kilikoglou, R. Doonan. Funded by the Marie Curie Initial Training Network NARNIA Project (New Archaeological Research Network for Integrating Approaches to ancient material studies) (Grant agreement no.: 265010).
Title: The Final Neolithic-Early Bronze Age transition in Phaistos, Crete: an investigation of the continuity and change in pottery manufacture.
2005-2010: Laurea Specialistica (MSc), Universitá degli Studi del Salento (Italy), Supervisors: A.M. Bietti Sestieri, G.E. De Benedetto.
Title: The Use of Space in the Early Bronze Age on the basis of artefact distribution: the village of Coste di Santa Febronia. Grade: 110/110 cum laude.
2002-2005: Laurea triennale (BA), Universitá degli Studi di Catania (Italy), Supervisors: V. La Rosa, P. Militello.
Title: The Middle Bronze Age Tombs found at Molinello di Augusta, Syracuse. Grade: 110/110 cum laude.
Research Projects and Collaborations
From 2016: ‘The Prehistoric site of Valcorrente, Belpasso (Catania)’, Universitá di Catania (Italy). Principal Investigators: O. Palio, S. Todaro and M. Turco. I am part of the team working on the ceramic and terracotta materials. My role includes the macroscopic assessment and the technological reconstruction of manufacture by thin-section petrography and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM).
From 2016: ‘Tecnolonial. Technological impact in the colonial New World. Cultural change in pottery archaeology and archaeometry’, Universitat de Barcelona (Spain). Principal Investigator: J. Buxeda. I am part of the team working on the ceramics from Cartagena de Indias. My role includes the macroscopic assessment and the technological reconstruction of manufacture by thin-section petrography, SEM, X-ray diffraction (XRD) and X-ray Fluorescence (XRF).
From 2011: ‘The characterization of the Final Neolithic to the Early Minoan III pottery from Phaistos, Crete’, Universitá di Catania (Italy)-University of Sheffield (UK)-NCSR Demokritos (Greece). Principal Investigators: S. Todaro, P. Day and V. Kilikoglou. My role includes the macroscopic assessment and the technological reconstruction of manufacture by thin-section petrography, SEM, XRD and Fourier-transform Infrared (FT-IR)
- Mentesana R., in preparation. L’uso dello spazio nell’Antica Etá del Bronzo: lo studio interdisciplinare sul villaggio di Coste di Santa Febronia, Sicilia (Utilization of living space in Early Bronze Age Sicily: results of an interdisciplinary study in Coste di Santa Febronia, Sicily).
- Mentesana R., Kilikoglou, V., Todaro, S., Day, P.M., 2017. Reconstructing change in firing technology during the Final Neolithic–Early Bronze Age transition in Phaistos, Crete. Just the tip of the iceberg? Journal of Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences: 1–24. doi:10.1007/s12520-017-0572-8.
- Mentesana R., Amato V., Day P.M., Ghilardi M., Kilikoglou V., Longo F., Todaro S. 2016. Looking for the invisible: landscape change and ceramic manufacture during the Final Neolithic-Early Bronze Age at Phaistos, Crete, in M. Ghilardi (ed.), La Géoarchéologie des îles de Méditerranée (Geoarchaeology of the Mediterranean Islands): 299-310. Paris: CNRS éditions Alpha.
- Mentesana R., Day P.M., Kilikoglou V. and S. Todaro 2016. United in our Differences: the production and consumption of pottery at EM IB Phaistos, Crete. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports: 489-498. doi: 10.1016/j.jasrep.2015.08.007
- Mentesana R., De Benedetto, G. E. and Fiorentino, G. 2015. Birch resin not only as climate marker: integration between chemical and paleobotanical analysis in Sicilian Prehistory. In P.M. Militello and H. Oniz (eds) SOMA 2011 Proceedings of the 15th Symposium on Mediterranean Archaeology held at the University of Catania 3-5 March 2011. BAR International Series 2695: 285-289.
- Mentesana R., 2015. Use of Space in the Early Bronze Age on the basis of artefact distribution: the village of Coste di Santa Febronia. In P.M. Militello and H. Oniz (eds) SOMA 2011 Proceedings of the 15th Symposium on Mediterranean Archaeology held at the University of Catania 3-5 March 2011. BAR International Series 2695: 259-264.
- Mentesana R., 2014. The Final Neolithic - Early Minoan transition in Phaistos, Crete: Continuity and change in pottery manufacture. In Kassianidou, V. and Dikomitou-Eliadou, M. (Eds.), The NARNIA project: Integrating approaches to ancient material studies: 20-31. The NARNIA project, Nicosia.
- Mentesana R., De Benedetto, G. E. and Fiorentino, G. in preparation. One Pot’s Tale. Integration of Chemical, Archaeobotanical and Petrographic Results on an Early Bronze Age vessel from Santa Febronia (Sicily).
- Mentesana R., Day P.M., Kilikoglou V., Todaro S. submitted. Materie prime e produzione ceramica nella fase di transizione Neolitico Finale-Antico Minoico I a Festós: prime riflessioni dall’analisi dei depositi argillosi nelle vicinanze del sito. Annuario Scuola Archeologica Italiana ad Atene.
- Mentesana R., P. Day, V. Kilikoglou, E. Kiriatzi, D. Wilson, in preparation. The Manufacture and Circulation of The EM I-II pottery from the tholos tomb of Ayia Kyriaki, South-Central Crete. To be submitted to the Annual of the British School at Athens.
|Awards and Fellowships
Awards and Fellowships
2017: Honorary Research Fellowship, University of Sheffield
2016: Santander Research Mobility Award, Universitat de Barcelona (Spain) under the supervision of J. Buxeda I Garrigos, where I studied 17th AD ceramics coming from the site of Cartagena de Indias (Colombia).
2015: Fitch Laboratory Bursary Award, British School at Athens (Greece) under the supervision of E. Kiriatzi. The research project ‘The Tombs of Ayia Kyriaki and the circulation of pottery in EMI-II South-Central Crete’ included the review of the materials samples and the completion of the analytical study using petrographic examination and SEM.
2011-2014: Marie Curie Early Stage Fellowship, University of Sheffield, UK – Narnia ITN Consortium, under the supervision of P.M. Day, R. Doonan, V. Kilikoglou and S. Todaro. The research project ‘The Final Neolithic-Early Bronze Age transition in Phaistos, Crete: an investigation of the continuity and change in pottery manufacture’ includes a full technological reconstruction of pottery production using an interdisciplinary methodology.
2010-2011: Scholarship at the Post-Graduate School in Archaeology ‘Dino Adamesteanu’, Universitá del Salento (Italy).