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BA Program in the Archaeology, History, and Literature of Ancient Greece


Assistant Professor of Prehistoric Archaeology

Vassilis Petrakis (born 1980; first degree 2002; PhD 2010) is Assistant Professor of Prehistoric Archaeology at the Department of History and Archaeology of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens with a focus on the study of Mycenaean culture through an integrated archaeological and epigraphic perspective. His publications revolve around many topics in Aegean prehistory, with an emphasis on archaeology and epigraphy of the Late Bronze Age.

He has participated in excavations and researches in Greece and Cyprus. He has been employed by the Greek Archaeological Service (19th Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities/ currently Ephorate of Antiquities of Rhodope), in Greek public middle education, in archaeological projects at Eleusis and Iklaina in Messenia (Athens Archaeological Society), at Koukonisi on Lemnos (Academy of Athens) and as an external collaborator at the National Research Foundation. He currently participates in the study of material from the excavations at Zakros (East Crete) and Ayios Vasileios (Laconia) (Athens Archaeological Society) focused on the study and publication of Bronze Age inscriptions.

He teaches on writing as communication technology, Aegean Bronze Age epigraphy and Mycenaean archaeology in both undergraduate and graduate level at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and the International Hellenic University. He was invited for research and teaching on topics of Mycenaean archaeology and epigraphy at the Program in Aegean Scripts and Prehistory of the University of Texas at Austin (spring semesters 2010-2011, 2015-2016, through distance participation in winter semester 2020-2021) and has been Academic Fellow of the Department of History and Archaeology of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (acad. year 2020-2021).

He has lectured and given papers in conferences at Athens, Oxford, Cambridge, London (Mycenaean Seminar), Zagreb, Heidelberg, Vienna, Salzburg and through regular participation at the International Aegean Conferences, Cretological Congresses and Colloquia of Mycenaean Studies.

He has received awards and scholarships from the State Scholarship Foundation, the Leventis Foundation, the Melina Merkouri-Jules Dassin Foundation, as well as the Michael Ventris Memorial Award (2011, Institute of Classical Studies, London).

Research interests

Aegean prehistory with a specific focus on the Mycenaean world; Aegean Bronze Age writing systems; Linear B and Mycenaean economy and administration; mortuary practices and funerary architecture; Mycenaean religion; kingship and the ideologies of power in the Bronze Age Aegean; warfare in the prehistoric Aegean; trade, administration and intercultural contact in the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean during the 2nd millennium bce.

A selection of recent (2020 ff.) publications:

  • “Grooves and depressions at the entrances of Early Mycenaean tholos tombs from the Southwestern Peloponnese” [P. Kalogerakou, M. Cosmopoulos, A. Chassiakou, E. Peppa-Papaioannou, Y. Lolos, E. Platon and C. Marabea, eds., ΚΥΔΑΛΙΜΟΣ: ΤιμητικόςΤόμοςγιατονΚαθηγητήΓεώργιοΣτυλ. Κορρέ, volume Β΄, AURA/ Athens University Review of Archaeology Supplement 4, Αθήνα 2020, 235-265].
  • “The adventures of the Mycenaean palatial megaron” [B. Davis & R. Laffineur, eds., ΝΕΩΤΕΡΟΣ. Studies in Bronze Age Aegean Art and Archaeology in Honor of Professor John G. Younger on the Occasion of his Retirement, Aegaeum 44, Liège/Austin 2020, 283-309].
  • “Mycenaean thórnoi, Homeric θρόνοι: textual perspectives” [L. Naeh & D. Brostowsky Gilboa, eds., The Ancient Throne: The Mediterranean, Near East, and Beyond, from the 3rd Millennium BCE to the 14th Century CE., Vienna 2020, 61-84].
  • “Slaughter, blood and sacrifice: Mycenaean *sphag- in context” [R. Laffineur & T.G. Palaima, eds., ZOIA. Animal-Human Connections in the Aegean Middle and Late Bronze Age, Aegaeum 45, Leuven/ Liège 2021, 343-371].
  • “Transforming expressions and perceptions of prestige in the Middle Helladic and Early Mycenaean Southwestern Peloponnese” [B. Eder & M. Zavadil, eds., (Social) Place and Space in Early Mycenaean Greece, Mykenische Studien 35, Vienna 2021, 295-319].
  • “Returning to an “idéogramme archéologique”: some observations on the Linear B ‘ideogram’ of the ‘stirrup jar’ (*210VAS)” [Pasiphae 16 (2022), 167-184].
  • [with Angelos Papadopoulos] “Geographies of war? Conceptions of space within Mycenaean palatial polities through textual and archaeological references to military matters” [G. J. van Wijngaarden, J. Driessen, eds. Political Geographies of the Bronze Age Aegean. Proceedings of the Joint Workshop of the Belgian School at Athens (EBSA) and the Netherlands Institute at Athens (NIA), May 28 to 31, 2019, Leuven 2022, 171-183].
  • “The beginnings of Linear B and literate administration on the Greek Mainland” [A.-L. D’Agata, L. Girella, E. Papadopoulou, D.G. Aquini (επιμ.) One State, Many Worlds: Crete in the Late Minoan II-IIIA2 Early Period. Proceedings of the International Conference held at Khania, Μεγάλο Αρσενάλι, 21st-23rd November 2019, Studi Micenei ed Egeo-Anatolici Supplemento 2, Roma: Quasar 2022, 405-424]
  • “Πάντας τοὺς ἐχθροὺς ὑπὸ τοὺς πόδας αὐτοῦ: Συμβολικές εκφράσεις στα μυκηναϊκά υποπόδια” [G. Vavouranakis, I. Voskos, eds. Metioessa: Studies in Honor of Eleni Mantzourani, AURA Supplement 10, Athens 2022, 151-168].