Christina Monroe

My DPhil thesis aims to bring together the many solitary studies on cuniculi (subterranean water networks consisting of shafts and tunnels from the first millennium BCE) throughout Italy in order to better grasp how the Etruscans and Italic peoples were expertly able to control and manipulate the movement of water, as well as why they were controlling water in each specific location. The mapping and studying of cuniculi will, therefore, not only reveal engineering prowess, but also critical socio-economic and cultural qualities, such as the political reach of settlements, the economic value of reclaimed land for agriculture, the connection between cuniculi and sacred spaces, etc. The mapping and analysis of cuniculi will also open many avenues of research for future scholars. 

My interests more broadly encapsulate the Etruscan and Italic world from the Early Iron Age to the Hellenistic Period. I am curious about how tools and technologies can be evaluated and understood so as to express hidden or unrecognized cultural meanings. My MPhil thesis proposed a new function for lunate razors of Early Iron Age Etruria. I suggested that the lunate razors were instead knives mainly used for cutting animal hides and are not necessarily a trustworthy indicator of male burials.