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Greek Art & Archaeology in the Faculty of Classics

Prosilio digging actionThe Faculty of Classics in Cambridge is one of the world’s leading centres for the study of the art & archaeology of ancient Greece. Our graduates are preferentially sought for appointments in universities throughout Britain and America, while their publications have generated a worldwide response. Our alumni specialising in Greek art & archaeology include, among many others, John Bennet (British School at Athens), Cyprian Broodbank (Cambridge), Jonathan Hall (Chicago), Catherine Morgan (Oxford), Ian Morris (Stanford), Lisa Nevett (Ann Arbor), Gillian Shepherd (La Trobe), and James Whitley (Cardiff).

Several distinguished archaeologists and art historians taught in the Faculty of Classics: from Charles Walston, excavator of the Argive Heraeum, and Alan Wace, excavator of Mycenae and pioneer in the archaeological investigation of ancient Thessaly and Macedonia, to Robert Cook and his groundbreaking work on Greek Painted Pottery, and Antony Snodgrass who created one of the most influential schools of Mediterranean Archaeology. Between 1978 and 1991, Anthony Snodgrass (with John Bintliff) directed a regional archaeological study of large areas of ancient Boeotia in central Greece – a region still at the heart of research for the Faculty of Classics, with the ongoing excavations of the Mycenaean cemetery at Prosilio near Orchomenos (a project co-directed by Dr Yannis Galanakis and the Ephorate of Antiquities of Boeotia).

The Faculty is home to the Museum of Classical Archaeology which comprises more than 600 plaster casts of Greek and Roman sculpture, around 4,500 paper squeezes of ancient inscriptions, and some 10,000 objects, mostly sherds from excavations of sites in the eastern Mediterranean, such as Knossos, Mycenae, the Athenian Agora and Naukratis. The Faculty also houses important archival collections, including the A.J.B. Wace Mycenae Archive, a photographic library and a substantial collection of slides (now largely digitised).

Our current team includes Prof. Robin Osborne (archaic and classical art & archaeology), Dr Yannis Galanakis (Bronze and Iron Age Aegean) and Dr Nigel Spivey (Greek sculpture and pottery, Etruscan art & archaeology). Prof. Cyprian Broodbank (archaeology and long-term history of the Mediterranean, Bronze Age Greece) is the Director of the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research and also a member of the Classical archaeology group.

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