This November I will start my PhD project “On the brink of complexity: shifting society in late bronze age and early iron age Latium Vetus” at the Sapienza University of Rome. The research focusses on an important turning point in the history of central Italy; the transition of the late bronze age and early iron age. During this period, the settled landscape shifts from small scattered villages to central settlements with more complex socio-political organization. From this process many of the important city-states in old Latium, including Rome itself, originate. Archaeologically this transition is still poorly understood however. My research project will therefore seek to shed light on this turning point by investigating three proto-urban centres (Satricum, Mazzocchio and Caracupa-Valvisciolo) in the south of Latium that display variable pathways of centralization. It builds on to the research I have been doing during my Research master studies at the University of Groningen and the KNIR. Having been able to work in Rome for 7 weeks as a bursary at the KNIR enabled me to perform material studies and gain experience that will be fundamental to my upcoming research.
Description image above: the sites that will be investigated in this project are all located on strategic positions in the surrounding of the Pontine plain. Caracupa-Valvisciolo is for instance situated on the foothills of the Lepini Mountains.