Martina Monaco Profile Pictures

Martina Monaco

Supervisor: Elizabeth Craig-Atkins, Susan Sherratt

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PhD Title

A critical examination of social stratification in prehistoric Cyprus using skeletal and funerary data

PhD Abstract

This project is designed to investigate the emergence of social stratification through the analysis of osteological and archaeological material from Chalcolithic - Late Bronze Age Cypriot cemeteries. An integrated approach will enable the combination of skeletal evidence for activity and lifestyle with select funerary elements sensitive to social changes (e.g. grave goods, tomb architecture) in order to generate new data to critically review status-based differentiation within prehistoric communities.

The rise of elites in prehistoric Cyprus is a widely-debated by archaeological scholars. Nevertheless, there is little consensus on the answers to essential question such how to identify the incipient stages of this social phenomenon or the definition of probable indicators of social status within the archaeological record. While funerary evidence has long been a key source of data in these debates, skeletal analysis has been widely neglected. Moreover, recent excavations of crucial archaeological sites have provided new evidence, both funerary and osteological, which may transform our perception of social complexity in prehistoric cultures.

In consequence, an integrated approach to this argument capitalizing on skeletal and funerary as well as old and new data has become critical, as new, more effective methods have been developed to interpret the bodily implications of social inequalities.



2016- Post M.Sc (Italian university master)- Bioarchaeology, Paleopathology and Forensic Anthropology- University of Bologna. Pisa and Milano

2014- M. Sc.- Archaeology and Ancient History - University of Torino (first class)

2012- B. Sc.- Cultural Heritage Studies - University of Torino

Publications and Conferences

Conference and Papers:

Muti, G., Fissore, M., Saggio, A., Monaco, M., Symbols beyond Work Activity? Towards the Evaluation of the Significance of Spindle Whorls in Early and Middle Bronze Age South Coast Cemeteries, in POCA 2014 Postgraduate Cypriot Archaeology Conference


Albertini, E. and Monaco, M. (2017) Human Remains. Pp. 305-319 in L. Bombardieri (ed), Erimi Laonin tou Porakou. A Middle Bronze Age Community in Cyprus. Excavations 2008–2014. Studies in Mediterranean Archaeology 145. Uppsala: Åströms Förlag

Monaco M. (2017) Preliminary anthropological analysis of osteological material. in L. Bombardieri, Excavations at Erimi-Laonin tou Porakou: 2017 Preliminary Report, Department of Antiquities of Cyprus, 18-19

Monaco M. (2016), Preliminary anthropological analysis of osteological material. in L. Bombardieri, Excavations at Erimi-Laonin tou Porakou: 2016 Preliminary Report, Department of Antiquities, Cyprus, 14-15



2017 - A.G. Leventis Foundation Grant


AgEstimation Project, Istituto di Medicina Legale, Università di Macerata
Missione Archeologica Italiana at Erimi Laonin tou Porakou