The AAIA regularly hosts events in Sydney and in Athens.

We currently developing an exciting events program for Semester 2 of 2021, so please follow us on Facebook or Twitter for updates. Past events that have been recorded can be watched via our YouTube channel.

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Upcoming Online Events

Our events are frequently advertised on Eventbrite

Upcoming events in Athens are advertised via our Facebook page. Please be sure to follow us there for updates.

The Monuments of the Athenian Acropolis in the first century of the Modern Greek State
Dr Stavros Paspalas (AAIA Director)

30 September, 2021, 6:30pm AEST/ 11:30am Athens/ 9:30am UK
Online, via Zoom
Register via Eventbrite

There is no doubt that when most of us think of ancient Greece our mind will immediately present us with a mental image of the Athenian Acropolis with its four fifth-century buildings –the Parthenon, the Propylaia, the Temple of Athena Nike and the Erechtheion. Buildings which, although in ruins, have assumed the status of potent cultural icons. However, at the end of the Greek Revolution the Acropolis was totally different. Preserved upon it were the remains of nigh on 1,500 years of human occupation and activities since the construction of the surviving ancient buildings, testaments to the Acropolis’, and wider Athenian, history. The story of how the Acropolis was transformed from a garrison village to an archaeological park is a fascinating one which offers us insights into the history of modern Greece and its relationship to antiquity all the while set against a backdrop of the Ottoman past and the Greeks’ relationship with western Europe.

This event is co-hosted by St. Catherine Greek Orthodox Church Mascot and The Department of Modern Greek and Byzantine Studies at the University of Sydney.

Dr Stavros Paspalas (AAIA), will by introduced by Professor Vrasidas Karalis (Sir Nicholas Laurantus Professor of Modern Greek, Department of Byzantine and Modern Greek studies at the University of Sydney.

Dr Paspalas was appointed as the Director of the AAIA in 2020, having previously served as Acting Director since 2016. Dr Paspalas has undertaken fieldwork at Zagora on Andros, Torone in the Chalkidike and on the island of Kythera. His major research interests range from the Early Iron Age Aegean, through to ancient Greek ceramics, and onto Greek-Achaemenid relations.

Dr Paspalas has led the University of Sydney and AAIA Athens Classical Archaeology Intensive Program in collaboration with the University of Sydney’s Archaeology Department.

Innovative Burial Practices in a Persistent Memory Landscape: House Tomb 2 in the Pre- and Protopalatial Cemetery of Petras-Kephala, Siteia, Crete
Dr Metaxia Tsipopoulou (National Archive of Monuments of the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Tourism)

Monday 18 October, 2021: 11:30am Athens/ 7:30pm Sydney/ 9:30am UK
Online, via Zoom
Register via Eventbrite

Petras, located 2km to the east of the town of Siteia in NE Crete, is a unique monumental complex, which has been archaeologically investigated since 1985 under Dr Tsipopoulou’s direction. A Minoan palace, three settlements and two cemeteries have been excavated; revealing that human occupation in the area started in 3400 BC and continued uninterrupted until 1200 BC.
On Kephala hill an extensive, unplundered cemetery has been excavated since 2004. It is the largest Pre- and Protopalatial cemetery in Crete, covering more than 4000m2, used for 1000 years. It was used exclusively by elite families of the palatial settlement. To date 24 large house tombs with complex plans, nine burial structures and a burial rockshelter have been excavated. Precious grave goods, made mostly of imported materials (gold, silver, bronze, ivory and semi-precious stones) testify to an affluent society. Petras was a gateway for trade with the Eastern Mediterranean and the Aegean for almost two millennia to the end of the Protopalatial period, ca 1750 BC.
The Protopalatial House Tomb 2 (1850-1700 BC) is by far the most important in the whole cemetery for a variety of reasons, including its position, its architecture, the grave goods and the exclusive connection with a large ceremonial area. The history of the use of this area as an elite burial place is presented in this lecture. The first burials dated back to the third millennium BC. (Early Minoan II period) and included two primary female burials as well as secondary burials of children with a large amount of exotic grave goods made of imported materials. Above them, still before the construction of the large House Tomb 2, there were a series of primary and secondary burials, of men, women and children, also accompanied by a significant quantity of very rich grave goods. This unique chronological sequence is presented in the lecture and the reasons for the occupation of this area, measuring circa 110m2 are investigated.

Dr Metaxia Tsipopoulou (National Archive of Monuments of the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Tourism) is a specialist of the Bronze Age and the Early Iron Age in the Aegean and Crete in particular. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Athens. She conducted post-doctoral research at the University of Bristol, U.K. and was based at the State University of New York Buffalo as a Fulbright Scholar. She has had a long career in the Archaeological Service of the Hellenic Ministry of Culture, most of it spent in Crete. Between 2007 and 2011 she was the director of the National Archive of Monuments of the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Tourism. She is Director of excavations at Petras.

Ancient Greek migration and diaspora: what new pottery research tells us
Xenia Charalambidou (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)

Tuesday 23 November, 2021
10:30am Athens time/ 7:30pm Sydney/ 8:30am UK
Online via Zoom

Register via Eventbrite

The essence of the research project “Pots and Pans: Pottery production and consumption as indicators for the contributions of Greek migrants and local inhabitants to the so-called Greek ‘colonization’ in Italy” is the comparison between pottery production and consumption of Greek mother-cities and that of ‘colonial’ establishments and indigenous settlements in Italy, to explore how knowledge, technology and consumption behaviour were transferred between Greece and Italy in the advent of and during the Iron Age Greek diaspora to Italy (8th-6th centuries BC). The purpose of this study is, therefore, to investigate to what extent Greek and native pottery traditions in Italy contributed to new emerging culture(s), and to the technology used to produce it, and how this aspect of material culture developed in the light of the formation of new identities and the development of new economic structures. This research is part of the wider project “What went into the melting pot? Land-use, agriculture, and craft production as indicators for the contributions of Greek migrants and local inhabitants to the so-called Greek ‘colonization’ in Italy (ca. 800-550 BC)”, funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) and directed by Professor Jan Paul Crielaard (Vrije University Amsterdam), which employs a transdisciplinary approach, combining new theoretical insights with scientific analyses of ancient craft-products, bioarchaeology, landscape-modelling and engagement in international scholarly collaboration.
This lecture first presents the questions and methodology of the “Pots and Pans” postdoctoral research, to comprehend the chaînes opératoires of ancient potters in mother-cities in Greece and in ‘colonial’ and indigenous sites in Italy, and the social dynamics and interactions of communities in contact. The presentation goes on to discuss the complexities of this topic: for example, the different degrees of linkage between Greek and Italian settlements as seen in the archaeological record, and how by comparing the material culture of ‘colonial’ and native settlements in Italy we can better appreciate the multi-directional networks that operated between Greece and Italy at that time.

Xenia Charalambidou is a Senior Postdoctoral Researcher at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. She has gained previous postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Athens, the University of Thessaly, and the University of Warsaw, collaborating also as Research Associate for archaeometric research at the Fitch Laboratory of the British School at Athens. She has taught at the Universities of Thessaly, Warsaw and the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.
Currently she is also co-director (with V. Lambrinoudakis and A. Vlachopoulos) of the Metropolis (Grotta) Archaeological Project on Cycladic Naxos. Her publications include the co-edited volumes Interpreting the Seventh Century BC: Tradition and Innovation (2017; with C. Morgan) and Regional Stories towards a New Perception of the Early Greek World, Proceedings of the International Symposium in Honour of Professor Jan Bouzek (2017; with A. Mazarakis Ainian and A. Alexandridou), as well as articles/chapters in peer-reviewed journals and edited volumes. She is preparing (with J. P. Crielaard and C. Morgan) the co-edited volume Feasting with the Greeks: Towards a Social Archaeology of Ritual Consumption in the Greek World.

Professor Alexander Cambitoglou: A celebration of a life
Public memorial in honour of our founding director
Date to be confirmed.
University of Sydney

Professor Alexander Cambitoglou was a visionary academic who fundamentally shaped the discipline of classical archaeology in Australia. He pioneered public engagement with university research culminating in the creation of the Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens in 1980, a national organization linking Greece and Australia.

Join us to celebrate his life.

AAIA 40th Anniversary Conference “Mobility and Settlement in the Eastern Mediterranean”

***Postponed indefinitely: Please check back for details***
University of Sydney, Camperdown Campus

Confirmed key-note speakers to address the conference are:

  • Christina Ioannou (University of Nicosia), on the Connections between Cyprus and the Near East,
  • Antonis Kotsonas (New York University), on Mobility and Interaction in the Northern Aegean,
  • Nicholas Stampolidis (University of Crete), on Crete’s External Contacts between 1000 and 600 BC.

The full program and information for delegates will be available on our website:

Past Events

2021 Events

The House of Eustolios at Ancient Kourion, Cyprus: An elite “Mega Mansion” of the Late Roman Period
Emeritus Professor David W. Rupp (Brock University)

Monday 20 September 12:30pm Athens/ 7:30pm Sydney/ 10:30am UK

Remembering Marathon
Estelle Strazdins (University of Queensland)
Wednesday 16 June, 2021, 6:30pm AEST
This lecture was recorded and you can watch it here

Wine and the vine: A walk through the beginnings, middle, and end of ancient Greek viticulture
Dr Emlyn Dodd (British School at Rome)

Wednesday 2 June, 2021, 6:30pm AEST
This lecture was recorded and you can watch it here

Migration Narratives: Human Mobility and the End of the Bronze Age in the Eastern Mediterranean
Professor A. Bernard Knapp (University of Glasgow; Cyprus American Archaeological Research Institute)
Wednesday 12 May , 2021 12:30pm Athens/ 7:30pm Sydney/ 10:30am UK
This lecture was recorded and you can watch it here

Ancient Greeks on Persians: Wishful thinking in Imagery?
Professor Margaret Miller (University of Sydney)
Tuesday, 4 May, 2021, 6:30pm AEST

Feature image: Antikenmuseum, Basel BS 480, unattributed red-figure calyx krater, c. 460 B.C.
This lecture was recorded and you can watch it here

A Succession of Communities: from Kythera to a Victorian goldfield
Richard McNeill (La Trobe University)
Tuesday 20 April 12:30pm Athens/ 7:30pm Sydney/ 10:30am GMT

This lecture was recorded and you can watch it here

The Zagora Archaeological Project: new discoveries
Lesley Beaumont, Paul Donnelly, Stavros Paspalas & Hugh Thomas
Thursday 15 April, 2021, 6:30pm AEST
Chau Chak Wing Museum, University of Sydney & streamed via Zoom

Image: Zagora dig hut. Photo: Paul Donnelly

Board games in the ancient greek world: a matter of life and death
Dr Stavros Paspalas
(AAIA Director)
Sunday 11 April, 2021
Chau Chak Wing Museum & online via Zoom
This lecture was recorded and you can watch it here

Finds Stories: Can creative biographies write an inclusive history of the Balkans?
Dr. Konstantinos P. Trimmis, (Department of Anthropology and Archaeology, University of Bristol)
Tuesday 16 March, 2021
This lecture was recorded and you can watch it here

‘Modern’ Women of the Past? Unearthing Gender and Antiquity
An International Conference
5 – 6 March, 2021
Online via Zoom

2020 Events

From Chariot Racing to a Christian Church: Olympia and the last Olympic Games of Late Antiquity
Dr Amelia R. Brown (University of Queensland)
Wednesday 11 November
Online via Zoom (Free)

The Antiquities of Greece and World War II
Dr Stavros Paspalas (Acting Director of the AAIA)
Wednesday, 30 September, 2020
Online via Zoom

A Tale of Five Villages: Glimpses of Bronze Age Cyprus
Emeritus Professor David Frankel (La Trobe University)
Tuesday, 1 September, 2020
Online via Zoom

University of Sydney Classical Archaeology Seminar Program:
‘Mobility of ceramicists in southern Italy’
Dr Ted Robinson (University of Sydney)
Tuesday 5 May, 2020
Online via Zoom

2019 Events

The Poet’s Aesop: appropriating fable
Dr Graeme Miles (University of Tasmania)
Wednesday, 11 September, 2019

AAIA Lecture Series. Ancient Warfare in the Greek and Roman World
Dr Yvonne Inall and Adam Carr
Saturdays, 7-28 September, 2019

Picasso and the Minotaur: A chapter in modern mythmaking
Professor Clemente Marconi (AAIA 2019 Visiting Professor, Institute of Fine Arts, New York)
Wednesday, 28 August, 2019

Toward an Archaeology of Cult in a Greek Colony in the West: new excavations in the main urban sanctuary of Selinunte
Professor Clemente Marconi (AAIA 2019 Visiting Professor, Institute of Fine Arts, New York)
Wednesday, 7 August, 2019

Of Beasts and Men. Iconography and tales in the eighth-century BC Aegean
Dr Stavros Paspalas
Wednesday, 17 April, 2019

The Tomb of the Diver: death, drinking and living it up in the Ancient Greek World
Dr Gillian Shepherd (La Trobe University)
Wednesday, 27 March, 2019

AAIA Guided tour for Athens Friends of the AAIA: of the Pyrgos Vasilissis, Athens
Dr Lita Tzortzopoulou-Gregory
Sunday 17 March, 2019

Iron Age Site of Zagora

Ancient Andros Revealed: Zagora in Context
Dr Stavros Paspalas
Thursday, 7 March, 2019 (Hobart)
Thursday, 14 March, 2019 (Canberra)

AAIA Workshop, in conjunction with Archaeopolis: “Experiencing the Music of Ancient Greece”
Antonios Ktenas (Ancient Greek music composer, performer and researcher) and Konstantinos Fragkis (National and Kapodistrian University-Hermēs: Music Archaeology Project),
Wednesday, 13 February, 2019

AAIA Guided tour for Athens Friends of the AAIA: “Crete: Emerging Cities” Exhibition (Goulandris Museum of Cycladic Art)
Dr Stavros Paspalas (AAIA)
Sunday, 10 February, 2019.

AAIA Lecture Series. Pompeii Revisited: the life and death of a Roman town
Professor Jean-Paul Descœudres
Saturdays, 9 February to 2 March, 2019

AAIA Guided tour for Athens Friends of the AAIA: “Forbidden City” Exhibition (Acropolis Museum)
Dr Stavros Paspalas (AAIA)
Sunday, 27 January, 2019

AAIA, University of Sydney Summer School in Athens
Co-ordinated by Dr Lesley Beaumont (University of Sydney) & Dr Stavros Paspalas (AAIA)
January 4-25, 2019


Dr Stavros Paspalas – Director
Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens, Room 480, Madsen Building (F09), University of Sydney NSW 2006 Australia
+61 2 9351 4759 +61 (0)2 9351 7693

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