Foto del docente

Eugenio Bortolini

Professore a contratto

Dipartimento di Storia Culture Civiltà

Temi di ricerca

  • Mechanisms of adoption and transmission of cultural variants
  • Coevolution of culture and genes
  • Quantitative methods in Archaeology and Anthropology
  • Archaeological theory
  • Prehistory of the Arabian Peninsula and Western Asia
  • Funerary Archaeology

An evolutionary and quantitative analysis of construction variation in prehistoric monumental burials of eastern Arabia (doctoral project)

The project aims to analyse change in prehistoric funerary structures and related material culture of eastern Arabia (Sultanate of Oman and UAE) during the 3rd millennium BCE from the perspective of cultural evolutionary theory. By linking social and environmental dynamics to the patterns observed in decorative and functional elements of monumental tombs and pottery, I explore and test specific hypotheses about adoption, replication, and persistence over time of the examined cultural variants. Main objective is to understand if the change we see can be ascribed to demographic fluctuations (i.e. be caused by variable density and interconnectedness) or it is rather resulting from adaptation to social, cultural and environmental pressures (i.e. caused by systematic preferences, changing population structure, or external constraints). The study allows for a reassessment of the current classification and interpretation of funerary practices of eastern Arabia and seeks to generate new explanations for a still largely unknown archaeological context.

Supervision: Stephen Shennan (UCL, UK), Mark Lake (UCL, UK); external: Ethan Cochrane (University of Auckland, NZ)

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