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Faculty of Classics


The British School at Athens and the Archives of the Faculty of Classics and Pembroke College are pleased to announce that the first phase of the project ‘Digital Thessaly’ has been completed.

Funded by the Cambridge Digital Humanities, this project reunites on BSA Digital Collections Alan Wace’s research notebooks that formed the basis of his and Maurice Thompsons 1912 publication Prehistoric Thessaly. Wace is an important link between Athens and Cambridge, as a former Director of the BSA (1914–1923) and as Laurence Professor of Classical Archaeology at Cambridge (1934–1944).

Between 1908 and 1910, Wace and Thompson conducted a series of excavations in Northern Greece, hoping to shed light on the chronology of the regions ‘early civilisation’. They excavated at five Neolithic tell sites (magoules as they are locally known) between 1908 and 1910 (Zerelia, Lianokladhi, Tzani, Tsangli and Rachmani), also making seminal study tours of the wider landscape. Bringing together disparate parts of this story from five notebooks held in Athens and 14 held in Cambridge, this project provides a research resource for the primary data that contributed significantly to the development of prehistoric archaeology in northern Greece.

The first set of five notebooks to be digitised includes three volumes styled by Wace as ‘The Romance of Excavation’, covering work at Rachmani, Tsangli and Zerelia. The material can be accessed via the British School at Athens Digital Collections website (, hosted in a special repository (‘Early Civilisation in Northern Greece’:

Further funding has been secured from the Friends of the British School at Athens for a second phase of ‘Digital Thessaly’, to digitise the rest of Wace’s notebooks from Northern Greece and to mirror data on the Cambridge Digital Library website. This second phase will take place in 2022–23.

Dr Michael Loy (Assistant Director, British School at Athens)

Lizzy Ennion-Smith (Archivist, Pembroke College)
Amalia Kakissis (Archivist, British School at Athens)
Dr Rebecca Naylor (Archivist, Faculty of Classics)

Deborah Harlan (Archival Researcher, British School at Athens)
Nathan Meyer (IT Officer, British School at Athens)

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