Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Robert H. Tykot, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Sarah Taylor, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Nancy Marie White, Ph.D.


archaeometry, ancient exchange, Corsica, Mediterranean Archaeology, pXRF


The Corsican Bronze Age is characterized by the erection of massive stone towers, the torre, and of stone enclosures, the casteddi. While the role of these structures is still debated, they have generally been interpreted as the sign of a hierarchical society, pervaded by martial values and fragmented into competing antagonistic groups. After several centuries of stability, a sharp demographic decline occurred at the end of the Middle Bronze Age. ca. 1350 and 1200 BC. In contrast, the Final Bronze Age, between 1200 and 950 BC, is a period of continuous expansion, characterized by the appearance of new forms of cultural expression, which included the erection of armed menhirs, the development of open villages, and the manufacture of a new type of ceramic production, manifestly inspired by foreign models.

The aim of this work is to improve our understanding of the social dynamics at work during the Final Bronze Age through the study of the mobility of the ceramics within a systemic theoretical framework. Another goal is to further our understanding of the function of the fine ware during this period. A portable X-ray fluorescence spectrometer (pXRF) was used on 321 ceramic artifacts from six different sites to assess the extent of the exchanges taking place between six sites, located both on the inner plateaus and the coastal plains. Ceramics made from non-local clay material are present at five out of six sites, which shows that economic exchanges regularly took place between different communities. Except for one site, there is no association between a specific clay material and a type of ware. These results suggest that Final Bronze Age Corsican society should be considered as largely open to external influences.