Natalie Abell

Natalie Abell
  • Email:
  • Phone: 734.764.6813
  • Office: 2144 Angell Hall, 435 S. State St., Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1003
  • Ph.D. 2014 University of Cincinnati
  • CV

Research Interests


  • Archaeology of the prehistoric Mediterranean and early Greek world
  • Bronze Age Aegean
  • Exchange and interaction
  • Craft technologies
  • Archaeological ceramics
  • Archaeological theory


  • Aegean Sea
  • Central and western Mediterranean

Research Description

My research is primarily concerned with the mechanisms and impact of exchange in the ancient Mediterranean. Since the Mediterranean is characterized by long-term patterns of interaction between communities at different scales of social organization and across cultural boundaries, my work has been informed not only by the social economic and network approaches of island archaeology, but also by recent perspectives that focus on the agency of diverse social groups and objects themselves in situations of culture contact and colonialism. Much of my current research is focused on long-term trends in local production, consumption, and exchange patterns at the site of Ayia Irini on the island of Kea in the Cyclades (Greece), which was occupied on and off from about 3000 to about 1300 BC. I am also a senior staff member of the Kea Archaeological Research Survey, a project focused on methods in archaeological survey as well as the long-term history of northwestern Kea. My next project examines, from a regional and comparative perspective, the development of market-based exchange systems in the Bronze Age Cyclades and their relation to social, religious, and cultural institutions. Published and forthcoming articles consider means of assessing the mobility of prehistoric craftspeople, new technologies and their transmission in the Middle and Late Bronze Age Cyclades, long-term trends in ceramic importation patterns at Ayia Irini, and Cycladic responses to new patterns of interaction with Minoan Crete in the Middle and Late Bronze Age.