Garamantian Pottery: Change and Exchange in an Inter-Regional Perspective by Maria Carmela Gatto
Members of the Society for Libyan Studies are well acquainted with the Garamantian culture of the Libyan Sahara, thanks to the outstanding work by Prof. David Mattingly. This talk will focus on a lesser known aspect of Garamantian material culture: handmade pottery of local manufacture. It will consider the ceramic evidence from both the Wadi al-Ajal, the heartland of the Garamantes, where the University of Leicester extensively worked, and the Wadi Tanzzuft, where the Sapienza University of Rome worked in the same years as Leicester.
The analysis will assess technological traits of the Garamantian pottery across a broad time span including the first millennia BC and AD. Chronological and spatial variations within Garamantian pottery, as well as comparisons with previous and contemporary ceramic productions from the same region and elsewhere across the Greater Sahara, will be discussed in the attempt of tracking the timing and directionality of technological change and exchange and its social meaning.
About the Speaker
Maria Carmela Gatto is an Assistant Professor at the Institute of Mediterranean and Oriental Cultures of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw. She is the PI of the BORDERSCAPE Project: “Egyptian state formation and the changing socio-spatial landscape of the First Nile Cataract region in the 4th and 3rd millennia BCE”, funded by the Polish National Research Centre, and the co-director of the Aswan-Kom Ombo Archaeological Project in Egypt.
For many years she has contributed to the investigation of Garamantian culture in the Libyan Sahara, first as a member of the Italian Mission of the Sapienza University of Rome in southwestern Fezzan and then as an ERC Research Associate for the Trans-SAHARA Project at the University of Leicester, directed by David Mattingly.