The research of Valentina Azzarà focuses on the rise of socio-economic complexity in non-urban societies.
Valentina is currently a post-doctoral researcher of the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions H2020 COFUND LEaDing Fellows Programme, with the project "Building Complexity: Building techniques and craft specialisation in Early Bronze Age Eastern Arabia". The project delves into the characterisation of earthen building materials and techniques, aiming at exploring craftsmanship and organisation of labour in the field of construction, through the study of architectural materiality. The program includes the mineralogical and petrographic characterisation of building materials, the test of mechanical properties on materials reproduced in a lab setting, the analysis of structural design, and the experimental reconstruction of archaeological structures.
Valentina is also a grantee of the National Geographic Society, as the scientific director of a field project at the previously unexplored site of Ra’s al-Jinz RJ-3 (Oman). The aim of this project is to investigate the process of economic diversification and the rise of social complexity in Eastern Arabian societies, by documenting a long sequence of occupations, spanning from the second half of the 4th millennium to the very end of the 3rd millennium BCE.
Besides, she is in charge of the Ra’s al-Jinz Study Program (RJSP), aimed at publishing the French-Italian excavations conducted at Ra’s al-Jinz between 1985 and 2011. The project includes the reconstruction of stratigraphic sequences, the analysis of architectures, and specialised studies on the material culture. See for more information the project website.
Valentina is also a member of the ANR NeoArabia (Arabian coastal Neolithic), leaded by J.-F. Berger (CNRS, UMR 5600, University of Lyon), as one of the project coordinators of the subprogram "Cultural and social evolutions: settlements and graveyards". See for more information the project website.
As a PhD student at the University of Paris 1, and then as a research associate at the UMR 7041 ArScAn (MAE, Nanterre), Valentina focused on the social complexification at the transition from the Neolithic to the Bronze Age and throughout the Early Bronze Age in Eastern Arabia. Her interests centred on the socio-economic diversification and the dynamics of production / consumption of households and settlement complexes, on the functional organisation and social value of space, on the techno-morphological study of domestic architectures. As a member of different archaeological projects, Valentina directed/co-directed fieldworks at various sites in Oman, Egypt, Tunisia, Turkmenistan.