Research

The British School at Athens exists to conduct, facilitate and promote research on Greece and neighbouring regions across all arts, humanities and social science disciplines in any period from the Palaeolithic to the present. We have a long and distinguished tradition of archaeological research in many periods and have pioneered science-based archaeology in Greece. Our research has never been exclusively archaeological, nor has it been limited to the ancient world; throughout our history other disciplines have featured, including anthropology, linguistics, geography, political science, as well as history, epigraphy, study of literature, art history and philosophy. The historical range of our research is reflected in our journal – Annual of the British School at Athens – which has been published continuously since 1894.

BSA Research

The map here shows the location of recent (since 2010) and current research projects where these have a specific geographical focus.

Each marker is interactive and expands to show basic information for that project, while all recent projects are listed below, whether or not these have a specific geographical focus. The map also shows, with simple dots, all those locations where the BSA has ever sponsored fieldwork.

For simplicity, BSA research is here loosely divided into Antiquity (up to the Byzantine period) and Byzantine and Modern, although in many instances research spans both periods. The lists below reflect this division.

Antiquity

Olynthos
Years of operation: 2015-2019
PIs: Bettina Tsigarida (Ephorate of Antiquities of Pella), Zosia Archibald (Liverpool) and Lisa Nevett (Michigan)
This collaborative, multidisciplinary project, deploying high-resolution excavation, geophysical prospection and field survey, aims to recover a uniquely detailed picture of Greek households as social and economic units, within their broader neighbourhood, urban and regional settings.
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Keros-Naxos Seaways
Years of operation: 2015-2018
PIs: Colin Renfrew (Cambridge) and Michael Boyd (Cambridge)
This multidisciplinary project, deploying high-resolution excavation and field survey, seeks to extend our understanding of the Early Bronze Age settlement hierarchy from Keros to the neighbouring zones of southeast Naxos and Kato Kouphonisi, to investigate the nature of Early Bronze Age settlement on Keros, and to investigate in detail the settlement on Dhaskalio.
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Knossos Roman Geophysics
Years of operation: 2015-2018
PIs: Daniel Stewart (Leicester) and Jennifer Baird (Birkbeck London)
This geophysical survey project (using magnetometry, resistivity and ground-penetrating radar) focused on Roman Knossos aims to generate a working knowledge of the urban layout to aid the understanding of extant remains, and facilitate the study of the extensive collection of Roman material culture from BSA excavations retained in the Stratigraphical Museum.
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Koutroulou Magoula Archaeology and Archaeological Ethnography Project
Years of operation: 2010-14; 2015-19
PIs: Nina Kiparissi-Apostolika (Director Emerita, Ephorate of Palaeoanthropology and Speleology of Southern Greece), Yannis Hamilakis (Brown)
This collaborative project, deploying high-resolution excavation, environmental investigation (on- and off-site) and ethnography, seeks to explore Neolithic habitation and life in and around the tell of Koutroulou Magoula, as well as to secure the long term preservation of the site and to carry out a long-term ethnographic study together with community archaeology activities and projects.
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Knossos Gypsades
Years of operation: 2014-19
PIs: Ioanna Serpetsidaki (Ephorate of Antiquities of Herakleion), Amy Bogaard (Oxford), Gianna Ayala (Sheffield) and Eleni Hatzaki (Cincinnati)
This collaborative project, deploying high-resolution excavation, detailed environmental investigation and micromorphological techniques aims to reveal a Knossian neighbourhood by uncovering fine-grained data on consumption, the nature and role of agricultural production and broader issues surrounding the emergence, maintenance and decline of the Knossian urban elite.
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Kythera Island Project – Paliokastro
Year of operation: 2017
PIs: Cyprian Broodbank (Cambridge), Evangelia Kiriatzi (BSA), Andrew Bevan (UCL) and Ioannis Petrocheilos (Ioannina)
This project, an extension of the Kythera Island Project (ID 4888), seeks to reinforce and extend our understanding of Kythera’s inland urban centre at Paliokastro through intensive fieldwalking, geophysics and Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (‘drone’) survey, with a view to refining our understanding of the main timelines of human activities; better characterising their changing spatial footprint; and situating this key area more systematically within wider island and regional research agendas.
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Kenchreai Quarries Survey
Years of operation: 2013-16
PI: Christopher Hayward (Edinburgh)
This project, deploying intensive pick-up survey, geophysical prospection and some test excavation aims to identify periods of quarrying and types and locations of post-quarrying activity in the ancient quarries of Kenchreai, in order to achieve a holistic understanding of a major Greek quarry complex, the material culture of stone extraction, the subsequent use of the space and its integration into local and regional historical and cultural contexts.
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Lefkandi
Years of operation: 2003-11
PI: Irene Lemos (Oxford)
This project seeks to investigate in detail the settlement on the Xeropolis Hill principally in its EIA phases (http://lefkandi.classics.ox.ac.uk/).
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Palace and Landscape at Palaikastro
Years of operation: 2012-15
PIs: Carl Knappett (Toronto), Nicoletta Momigliano (Bristol) and Alexandra Livarda (Nottingham)
This project examines a hitherto unexplored region of the BA town of Palaikastro and its larger region using multiple approaches, including high-resolution excavation, as well as environmental study, palaeoenvironmental sampling through coring, sampling for ceramic petrography and micromorphology, conservation, education, and experimental archaeology.
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Byzantine and Modern

Reclaiming the Land: Belonging, Place, and Environmental Transformation in Western Thessaly

PI: Huw Halstead (BSA Macmillan-Rodewald Student 2017-18/St Andrews)
This project explored the effects on local inhabitants’ sense of place of an extensive land reclamation and redistribution scheme undertaken by the Greek state in the plain of Karditsa in the late 1960s/early 1970s. Through oral history, archival sources, and ethnographic field walks, the research uncovered a salient local memory of the land reclamation/redistribution as a positive and modernising development that saved locals from a life of poverty, tempered, nevertheless, by a sense of loss over the way things were before the environmental changes.

 

Changing spaces of refuge: histories and geographies of displacement amidst the politics of crisis in Greece

PI: Eirini Avramopoulou (Panteion University)
This project, carried out while AG Leventis Research Fellow at the BSA, explored the increasingly intense impact the refugee crisis of the last years had on a national and international level. The focus was on Leros island, which provided a hub to investigate the condensed histories of displacement, uprootedness and violence that the project needed to address. In these loaded historical, social and political circumstances, the project sought to understand the notion of finding ‘refuge’, as it changes historically and as part of the changing shape of crisis politics, as well as the relation between the materiality of space, the ghosts of war and exile, and the experiences of contemporary displacement and confinement caused by the new realities of ‘refugeeness’.