Professor Oddo is an Assistant Professor of Greek Archaeology. Her interests are centered on the archaeology of Crete in the Bronze Age, especially the Late Bronze Age (Neopalatial period, ca. 1700-1470 BCE). In the course of over a decade of field experience, she has specialized in Neopalatial pottery analysis. Much of her research has focused on the ways in which pottery style is manipulated to convey the identities of different geographical areas of Crete as well as different socio-political groups. This line of work is illustrated in her recent publications on the pottery of Southeast Crete: “Pottery Styles and Social Dynamics at Neopalatial Myrtos-Pyrgos: Identifying Southeast Crete as a Ceramic Region” (AJA 2019) and the two edited volumes Exploring a Terra Incognita: Recent Research on Bronze Age Habitation in the Southern Ierapetra Isthmus (2019, with K. Chalikias) and South by Southeast: The History and Archaeology of Southeast Crete, from Myrtos to Kato Zakros (forthcoming, with K. Chalikias).
Moving beyond the Southeast, she has broadened the scope of her research to include North-central Crete in her forthcoming book, titled Knossos: The House of the Frescoes (British School at Athens supplementary volumes), where she analyses pottery and other material remains from building excavated by A. Evans in 1923 in Knossos, the site considered to have politically and culturally dominated Crete. By combining the study of the finds with the invaluable archival data from the 1923 excavation, the book provides a new understanding of the architecture and the finds’ context, as well as a new perspective of the building’s occupation, purpose and abandonment. It interprets the House of the Frescoes as a a non-residential building but a public one with strong ritual connotations. The study of the pottery was especially important to tease out the later history of the building and identify it as a place memorialized shortly after its abandonment.
From the Southeast to Knossos, Prof. Oddo’ studies corroborate the idea that, in Bronze Age Crete, pottery style was not necessarily (or not always) some anonymous decoration of fired clay but often especially chosen for a particular reason unknown to us. The analysis of individual ceramic styles in their archaeological contexts may provide important clues to reveal particular behavioral contexts. Two of her ongoing publication projects aim to further address this issue, targeting different decorative motifs (the so-called Marine Style and the Reed decoration) and exploring their consumption in context.
Prof. Oddo will be back to Crete next summer to start a new field project and will be recruiting students for her team.