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Ms Mirjam von Bechtolsheim

PhD Student

Mirjam von Bechtolsheim is a PhD student at the Open University, in collaboration with the Fitzwilliam Museum. She received a BA in Classical Archaeology and Ancient History in 2016, and an MPhil in Classical Archaeology in 2018, both from the University of Oxford. She is particularly interested in understanding the lived experiences of the people of pre-Roman Italy, and in the interplay of material culture with ritual practice, identity, and ideology. Her MPhil thesis focussed on the archaeology of child burials from two different Early Iron Age (c. 9th-7th century BCE) communities in central Tyrrhenian Italy. Before beginning her PhD research, she worked as a research assistant for Dr Judith Toms, and collaborated on a research project into constructions of gender in Early Iron Age peninsular Italy. 

Her PhD research investigates the use and significance of schematic bronze figurines from pre-Roman (c. 6th-4th century BCE) central Apennine Italy. Its starting off point was an unprovenanced group of twelve figurines in the collection of the Fitzwilliam Museum (inv. nos. GR.32-33e.1904; GR.160q-t.1910; GR.5a-5b.1928). The project aims to re-contextualise these figurines as far as possible, and to offer new insights into their ritual use as votive objects, as well as their social and cultural significance. Her supervisors are Dr Eleanor Betts and Prof Phil Perkins at the Open University, and Dr Anastasia Christophilopoulou at the Fitzwilliam Museum.

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