Emma Blake

About Emma Blake


Emma Blake is an archaeologist who studies Italy in the second and first millennia BCE. Her doctoral dissertation focused on monumentality on Sardinia in the Bronze Age, but since then she has shifted her fieldwork to northwest Sicily, where she has worked for many years, first as an Assistant Director on the Monte Polizzo excavations, and since 2008 as Co-Director of the Marsala Hinterland Survey, an intensive field survey along the coast adjacent to the Phoenician colony of Motya. Her book Social Networks and Regional Identity in Bronze Age Italy has been published by Cambridge University Press (2014).

Selected Publications


2014.     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: The Archaeology of Food

CLAS 452/552: Etruscan Art and Archaeology

ANTH 160A: Patterns in Prehistory

Areas of Study





Co-Director, The Arizona Sicily Project 

The Arizona Sicily Project is an interdisciplinary long-term study of western Sicily and its interconnections with the broader Mediterranean world from prehistory to the present day. The project is co-directed by myself and Robert Schon. Based in the coastal city of Marsala, the project integrates archaeological fieldwork, archival study, and environmental research in order to shed light on one of the world's important multicultural crossroads. We work closely with Italian archaeologists and other local stakeholders. Students from the University of Arizona, other institutions from throughout the United States, and from Italy participate in all aspects of our fieldwork from data collection, to analysis, to presentation. The project has been supported by grants from the Etruscan Foundation, the Univesity of Arizona, and numerous private individuals. 

Support the Arizona Sicily Project


Research Interests

Mediterranean Archaeology; Italy in the Bronze and Iron Ages, colonialism and diaspora, archaeological theory, cultural identity, megalithic monuments, ceramic analysis, social networks

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 2014: Tuesdays 9-11am, Mondays 1-3pm, and by appointment


Ph.D., University of Cambridge

 BSc. in Foreign Service, Georgetown University

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