Laura Motta

Laura Motta


  • Email:
  • Phone: 734.615.9670
  • Office: 2029 I Tisch Hall
  • Ph.D. 2011, Cambridge
  • CV

Research Interests


  • Late prehistory
  • First millennium BCE Italy
  • Complex societies and state formation processes
  • Paleoethnobotany
  • Isotope analysis of archaeobotanical material


  • Southwest and southeast Europe

Research Projects

  • Exploring the environmental context and patterns of food production, processing and consumption at the tell site of Pecica Santul Mare
  • The spread and use of Chenopdium Album L. (Fat Hen) in Eurasian Prehistory
  • Food production and redistribution in Central Tirrenian Italy during the Iron Age and Archaic period

Research Description

I am a paleoethnobotanist and my general interest is in the social and cultural context of food production, preparation, consumption and disposal, mostly seen through the lens offered by archaeological remains, but complemented by visual, textual and traditional sources and observations. I am particularly concerned with Bronze and Iron Age European contexts, focusing especially on the emergence and the rise of complexity in central Italy and the Carpathian basin as my main cases of study. My current field work is at the site of the Archaic city of Gabii, near Rome and at Sant'Omobono in Rome (Italy) where I'm specifically interested in exploring the early phases of these first cities looking at food production/redistribution patterns. I'm also involved in the excavation at Pecica santul mare (Romania) investigating changes in the Bronze Age socio economic complexity trough the analysis of macrobotanical remains.