BiographyLouise is an archaeologist who works primarily in Cyprus and the East Mediterranean during the Bronze Age. She is passionate about people's embodied engagement with the material world and how their lived experiences were shaped by the materials they crafted and the objects they created, used and handled. She has explored these issues extensively in relation to the pottery used by the Bronze Age communities of Cyprus, in particular its relationship to ancient foodways as a material for packaging, storing, serving and consuming ancient foodstuffs. Louise is also interested in interconnections throughout the region, how these were mediated through the material world and how the movement, appropriation and consumption of objects shaped people's social worlds, their identities and ideologies. Through her excavations at Arediou, Cyprus, Louise has interrogated social relations within a small rural community on the island and its relationship with the larger mercantile centres within and beyond Cyprus. This work has been made accessible to the modern community at Arediou through the innovative "Hidden Pasts" project, funded by the AHRC, which seeks to interweave ancient narratives with an understanding of the more recent past.
Louise has written two books and is the co-editor of an interdisciplinary collection of papers exploring the materiality of food stuffs. In addition she has authored numerous papers in journals and conference proceedings and has contributed chapters to several books on the Ancient Near East - most recently looking at women's lives in the urban centres of Late Bronze Age Cyprus.
Areas of Research / Professional Expertise
Cypriot Archaeology; Aegean prehistory and the Ancient Near East. Late Bronze Age pottery in the Near East, materialities and the new materialisms, social theory in archaeology, representations.
I love swimming, am a voracious reader and I particularly enjoy baking, especially bread.
Published: Sep 13, 2016 by Gastonomica 16(3)
Authors: Louise Stee
Subjects: Anthropology - Soc Sci, Archaeology
This paper explores the materiality of food production and consumption within the household in Bronze Age Cyprus. The focus is on embodied encounters with the “stuff of food” – the pots, pans and other kitchen implements that were used on a daily basis – and how these shaped people’s lives.
Published: Sep 13, 2016 by S. Budin & J. MacIntosh Turfa (eds) Women in Antiquity: Real Women Across the Ancient World
Authors: Louise Steel
Subjects: Gender & Sexuality, Archaeology
This chapter focuses on daily life for the urban-dwelling women of Late Bronze Age Cyprus, in particular economic production within the household (grinding grain, water carrying) as well as their social roles as mothers who ensured the continuation of the family line. She considers how these women might have interacted beyond the family space of the household and whether they were able to accumulate and control wealth within their own right.
Published: Jan 13, 2013 by Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology 26(1)
Authors: Louise Steel
Vounous Bowl occupies a privileged position in discussions of prehistoric representations on Cyprus. This study explores the object as a form of social communication: through a detailed structural analysis of the Vounous Bowl it aims to develop a clearer understanding of the social world of Early-Middle Bronze Age Cyprus