Mattia Cartolano

Mattia Cartolano



Thesis title: Assessing changes in social organisation, group size and cooperation across the forager farmer transition in south Levant

Start year: 2015


Research topic

My research regards the nature of human cooperation manifested in the Neolithic communities of southwest Asia. The scope of my work is to outline the evolutionary aspects that allow humans to alter their social organisation as they became sedentary and permanently co-resident in large communities. Taking in consideration the demographic scalar stress during the Neolithic in south Levant, my research wants to demonstrate how humans modified their cooperative interactions along with the increase of group size. In this regard, I am critically evaluating the archaeological evidences of the Epipalaeolithic and Neolithic period (20,000 and 8,000 BP), especially looking at the demographic aspects such as size of the site, number and types of settlements, architecture and material culture. My work will show how, through the symbolic materials and correlated collaborative actions, humans managed to overcome challenges and problems associated with the forager-farmer transition and changed their modes of cooperation permanently. Nowadays our complex forms of cooperation originate from such critical transitional phases like the one occurred during the forager-farmer transition in southwest Asia.


Neolithic; forager-farmer transition; cooperation; palaeodemography; symbolism; southwest Asia

General research interests

Anthropology; Archaeology; Religion; Philosophy; Prehistory

Teaching experience

2012: Philosophy of Religion teaching course, Institute of Philosophy and Theology, Shkoder, Albania

Academic and professional training

  • Postgraduate Diploma in Anthropology, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, UK
  • MA Philosophical Sciences, Roma Tre University, Italy
  • BA Philosophy, Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, Italy

Scholarships and prizes

  • 2012: Leonardo project (the European Union’s Lifelong Learning Programme for education and training), University of Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy

Other experience and professional activities

  • 2015: Voluntary work in excavation of Galeria (Atapuerca, Spain), conducted by Fundacién Atapuerca