Francesca Porta

F.S.R-Incoming Post-doctoral Researcher, UCLouvain (INCAL)

Aegean Archaeology - Cypriot Archaeology - Ceramics Studies

Email : See my CV on Academia

Post-doc Research Project

STORAGE IN TIME OF CRISIS. Pithoi at Pyla-Kokkinokremos (Cyprus) and in Eastern Mediterranean in the period of the Sea Peoples (end of the 13th century - early 12th century BC).

Postdoctoral Fellowship: F.R.S.-Incoming UCLouvain (01/10/2021-30/09/2023).

The main purpose of my project is to explain the nature and organisation of storage practices in the light of the events that flustered the Eastern Mediterranean at the time of action of the Sea Peoples, the crisis years of the end of the 13th century and the early 12thcentury. BC. I will look at the evidence from Pyla-Kokkinokremos (Cyprus), a short-lived settlement founded and deserted in few decades within this troubled period.

The research uses a bottom-up approach and explores storage vessels from a typological, technological and economic points of view. This detailed study is thus needed in order to test the hypothesis that storing practices in Pyla (and more in general in the eastern Mediterranean) could have been influenced by the insecurity feelings; people could have been pushed to store huge quantities of goods by the insecurity about the future and in view of a possible political and economic crisis (which indeed happened) at the close of the 13th century.

Finally, my work puts special emphasis on the investigation of the production system(s) of this specialised class of vessels and of their circulation patterns in Cyprus and abroad.

Supervisor: Dr. Prof. Charlotte Langohr (F.R.S.-FNRS - UCLouvain, AegIS).


Research topics

  • Mediterranean Interconnections,

  • European Protohistory,

  • Aegean and Cypriot Archaeology

  • Storage,

  • Pottery Analysis.

Field projects

  • 2015present: Team member and pottery specialist of Excavations at Pyla-Kokkinokremos (Cyprus) - dir. Prof. J. Bretschneider (UGhent), Prof. J. Driessen (UCLouvain) and Dr. A. Kanta (Mediterranean Archaeological Society).

  • 2016-2021: Team member and pottery specialist of Excavation at Cannatello (Sicily, Italy) - dir. Prof. A. Vanzetti (Sapienza-Univeristy of Rome) and Prof. S.T. Levi.

  • 2011-2021: Team member Excavation at Broglio di Trebisacce (Calabria, Italy) directed by Prof. A. Vanzetti (Sapienza-Univeristy of Rome).

  • 2014-2017: Team member in the excavation at Phaistos – Phaistos Project – “Ricognizioni archeologiche italo-greche nel Territorio di Festòs”, Prof. F. Longo – Universita’ degli Studi di Salerno.

Choice of publications/conferences (5 max.)

  • Porta F. (2021). "The use of the wheel in pithos production: preliminarily results and lessons learnt from experimental sessions", Interdisciplinaria Archaeologica.

  • Lucejko J., La Nasa J., Porta F., Vanzetti A., Tanda G., Mangiaracina C.F., Corretti A., Colombini M.P., Ribechini E. (2018). "Long-lasting ergot lipids as new biomarkers for assessing the presence of cereals and cereal products in archaeological vessels", Scientific Reports, vol. 8.

  • Porta, F. (2017). "A note on the pithoi", in Bretschneider J., Kanta, A. and Driessen J., Pyla-Kokkinokremos (Cyprus). Preliminary Report on the 2015-2016 Campaigns, Ugarit-Forschungen, vol. 48.

  • Porta F., Cannavò V., "Pyla-Kokkinokremos in the LBA Mediterranean networks: a view from pithoi", International Conference on the Archaeology of the Ancient Near East – 12th Annual Meeting, 6-10 April 2021, University di Bologna, Bologna.

  • Porta F., "Pithos Production in the Late Bronze Age Southern Italy", Archaeological Approaches to the study of the Potter’s wheel, 24-28 November 2020, Online Conference, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam.

See also ResearchGate.