Roberta Bruna Mentesana

Postdoctoral researcher, Juan de la Cierva

ID Researcher: 56800945000


Short biography

I had the chance of investigating these topics in several contexts, spanning from the prehistory to the post-medieval times, from the Mediterranean regions to South America. I succeeded in securing both large (Marie Sklodowska-Curie Individual fellowship, Juan de la Cierva Incorporacion) and small grants (Mediterranean Archaeology Trust Publication Fund, Santander Research Mobility Award, Fitch Laboratory Bursary Award) in order to pursue my research goals.

Research interests

My lines of research focused on the complex relationships occurring between people and their objects, especially ceramics. I use also analytical techniques to explore these topics:

    • The effects of socio-cultural changes on ceramic manufacturing;
    • The creation and transformation of identities and traditions through manufacturing processes;
    • The interrelation between the manufacturing processes and use of ceramic, especially concerning technical ceramics;
    • Vessels’ intended and actual use and its association with space of utilization;
      objects biography;
    • The link between manufacturing and landscape.

Selected publications

  • Mentesana R, Hein A, Madrid i Fernàndez M, Kilikoglou V, Buxeda i Garrigós J. 2022. Think Globally, Act Locally: Global Requirements and Local Transformation in Sugar Pots Manufacture in Sicily in the Medieval and Post-Medieval Periods. Minerals, 12(4):423.
  • Speciale C, Mentesana R, Montana G, Forgia V, Mantia F, Battaglia G, Di Vito MA, Vassallo S, de Vita S. 2021. Materials and Tools across Volcanoes: Exploitation of Georesources in Piano dei Cardoni (Ustica, Italy) during Prehistory. Annals of Geophysics, 64(5): VO552.
  • Mentesana, R., Fragnoli, 2020. The role of ceramic analyses in shaping our understanding of the cultural landscapes of protohistoric Sicily and the Aeolian islands. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, 30, page: 102205,
  • Mentesana, R., Kilikoglou, V., Todaro, S., Day, P.M., 2019. 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 11, pp. 871-894,
  • Mentesana, R., De Benedetto, G.E. and Fiorentino, G. 2018. One Pot’s tale: reconstructing the movement of people, materials and knowledge in Early Bronze Age Sicily through the microhistory of a vessel, Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, Volume 19, June 2018, pp. 261-269,

Selected projects

  • 2020-present: ‘Tecnolonial. Technological impact in the colonial New World. Cultural change in pottery archaeology and archaeometry’, Universitat de Barcelona (Spain). Principal Investigator: J. Buxeda. Funding: Ministry of Science, Innovation and University, Spain (grant n.: PID2020-117769JB-100)
  • 2019-present: “Landscapes of Mobility and Memory – Roca Archaeological Project”, directed by F. Iacono (University of Bologna, Italy), funded by the Montalcini programme – MIUR, (
  • 2016-present: ‘The Prehistoric site of Valcorrente, Belpasso (Catania)’, Universitá di Catania (Italy). P Is: O. Palio, S. Todaro and M. Turco. Funding: Universitá di Catania

  • 2018-2022: SPotEU Project: Sugar Pot manufacture in western Europe in the medieval and post-medieval period (11th -16th centuries AD), PIs: R. Mentesana and J. Buxeda and (Universitat de Barcelona, Spain), funded by the Horizon 2020 – Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions (grant agreement: 797242)