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Emma Blake

About Emma Blake

Emma Blake is a Mediterranean archaeologist, focusing primarily on regional identities and networks in Italy in the second and first millennia BCE. She is the author of Social Networks and Regional Identity in Bronze Age Italy has been published by Cambridge University Press (2014), as well as numerous articles. She has conducted fieldwork in western Sicily for many years, and is currently Director and P.I. of a new NEH-funded project, an archaeological field survey tracing the extent of Tunisian influence in western Sicily in all periods.

Blake teaches ANTH 160A1 (World Archaeology, a Tier 1 course) and has developed  and teaches two thematic archaeology courses: Anth 342 ( Archaeology of Food) and Anth 339 (Archaeology of Death), a Tier 2 INDIV course.

Selected Publications

2017. Blake, E. Materan Myth and Materan History. In Matera Imagined/ Matera Immaginata. (L. Harris, ed.). American Academy in Rome Press

2017. Blake, E. States and Technological Mobility: a view from the West. In Mobile Technologies in the Ancient Mediterranean (Knappett & Kiriatzi, eds). Cambridge U P.

2014. Blake, E. Late Bronze Age Sardinia: Acephalous Cohesion. In Cambridge Handbook of the Mediterranean World in the Bronze-Iron Ages (Knapp & van Dommelen, eds). Cambridge U P, pp. 96-108.

2014. Leidwanger, J., C. Knappett, P. Arnaud, P. Arthur, E. Blake, C. Broodbank, T. Brughmans, T. Evans, S. Graham, E. S. Greene, B. Kowalzig, B. Mills, R. Rivers, T. Tartaron & R. Van de Noort. A manifesto for the study of ancient Mediterranean maritime networks. Antiquity 342.

2014. Blake, E. Dyads and Triads in Community Detection: a view from the Italian Bronze Age. Les Nouvelles de l'archéologie 135 (March): 28-32.

2014. Blake, E.  Social Networks and Regional Identity in Bronze Age Italy. Cambridge and NY: Cambridge University Press.

Modrall, E., E. Blake, R. Schon, 2013.     Punic ceramics in the hinterland of Motya and Marsala: the question of hellenization in Punic Sicily and the preliminary data from the Marsala Hinterland Survey. L’Africa Romana. XIX Convegno internazionale di studi. Sassari: Editrice Archivio Fotografico Sardo, pp. 1597-1610.

2013.     Italy in Late Bronze Age Europe: from margin to counterpoint. In (S. Bergerbrant and S. Sabatini, eds). Counterpoint. A Festschrift in Honor of Kristian Kristiansen on the Occasion of his 65th Birthday. Goteborg University Press, pp. 601-606.

2013.     Social networks, path dependence, and the rise of ethnic groups in pre-Roman Italy. In Regional Network Analysis in Archaeology. (C. Knappett, ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 203-221.

2010. The Marsala Hinterland Survey: Preliminary Report. Etruscan Studies 13: 49-66

2008. The Mycenaeans in Italy: a minimalist position. Papers of the British School at Rome 76: 1-34

2005a. E. Blake and A. B. Knapp, eds. The Archaeology of Mediterranean Prehistory. Oxford: Blackwell.

2005b. A.B. Knapp and E. Blake. Introduction: The Corrupting and Connecting Sea. In The Archaeology of Mediterranean Prehistory (E. Blake and A.B. Knapp, eds). Oxford: Blackwell, pp. 1-23.

2005c. The Material Expression of Cult, Ritual, and Feasting. In The Archaeology of Mediterranean Prehistory (E. Blake and A.B. Knapp, eds). Oxford: Blackwell, pp. 102-29.

2004. Space, Spatiality, and Archaeology. In The Blackwell Companion to Social Archaeology (L. Meskell and R. Preucel, eds). Oxford: Blackwell, pp. 230-54.

2003. The Familiar Honeycomb: Byzantine Era Reuse of Sicily’s Rock-cut Tombs. In Archaeologies of Memory (R. VanDyke and S. Alcock, eds). Oxford: Blackwell, pp. 203-20.

2002a. Situating Sardinia’s Giants’ Tombs in their Spatial and Social Contexts. In The Space and Place of Death (H. Silverman and D. Small, eds). Arch. Papers of the Am. Anthropological Assoc. vol. 11, pp. 119-27.

2002b. Spatiality past and present: An interview with Edward Soja. J of Social Archaeology 2.2: 139-58.

2002c. I. Morris, T. Jackman, E. Blake, S. Tusa. Stanford University excavations on the Acropolis at Monte Polizzo, Sicily, II: preliminary report on the 2001 season. Memoirs of the American Academy in Rome 47: 153-98.

2001a. Locales as Artifacts: The Spatial Relationship Between Towers and Tombs in Nuragic Sardinia. American J of Archaeology 105: 145-61.

2001b. I. Morris, T. Jackman, E. Blake, S. Tusa. Stanford University excavations on the Acropolis at Monte Polizzo, Sicily, I: preliminary report on the 2000 season. Memoirs of the American Academy in Rome 46: 253-71.

1999a. Identity-mapping in the Sardinian Bronze Age. European J of Archaeology 2.1: 55-75.

1999b. Coming to terms with local approaches to Sardinia’s nuraghi. In Archaeology and Folklore (A. Gazin-Schwartz and C. Holtorf, eds). London & NY: Routledge, pp 230-99.

1998. Sardinia’s nuraghi: four millennia of becoming. World Archaeology 30.1: 59-71.

1997a. Strategic symbolism: miniature nuraghi of Sardinia. J of Mediterranean Archaeology 10.2: 151-64.

1997b. Negotiating nuraghi: settlement and the construction of ethnicity in Roman Sardinia. In Theoretical Roman Archaeology Conference 1996 Proceedings (K. Meadows, C. Lemke, J. Heron, eds). Oxford: Oxbow, pp. 113-9.


Courses Taught

ANTH 342: Archaeology of Food

ANTH 339: Archaeology of Death

ANTH 160A1: World Archaeology (formerly Patterns in Prehistory)

Areas of Study

Sicily, Sardinia, and mainland Italy

The Roman provinces




From Summer 2018: “Tunisian influences in western Sicily: A deep history”.  

Blake’s new research project will consist of an intensive archaeological field survey in southwestern Sicily to study the millennia-long interactions between that region and Tunisia, separated by just 90 miles across the Sicilian Channel. The Sicilian Channel is currently one of the busiest crossings for undocumented migrants entering Europe. The current migrations are simply the latest manifestations of a very deep history of crossings for all sorts of reasons both from north to south and south to north. Further, this cross-Channel connectivity may be contrasted by the sharp cleavage that seems to separate western Sicily from the rest of the island. Although scholars specializing in particular historical periods have noted the intensity of ties linking Tunisia and western Sicily at punctuated moments in history, this remarkable story of ongoing and evolving interactions over millennia has never been told. A collaborative project structured around an intensive diachronic field survey in the southwest corner of the island, closest to Tunisia, is the ideal means to investigate this complex story. An earlier archaeological field survey in the countryside north of Marsala, Sicily revealed high proportions of North African materials.  The proposed project examines the territory to the south, and integrate the analyses of specialists in many periods to reconstruct the deep history of these interactions.


Research Interests

Mediterranean Archaeology; Italy in the Bronze and Iron Ages, colonialism and diaspora, cultural identity, monuments and social memory; social networks; archaeology of food

Emma Blake's picture

Contact Information

Associate Professor of Anthropology
Telephone: 520.626.4922
Fax: 520.621.2088
Office: Emil W. Haury Building, Room 227
Office Hours: Fall 2017: Tuesdays 10-noon, and by appointment


Ph.D., University of Cambridge

BSc. in Foreign Service, Georgetown University

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