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Chrysanthi Gallou

Assistant Professor; Director of the Centre for Spartan and Peloponnesian Studies, Faculty of Arts

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Biography

ORCHID: 0000-0001-8946-3885

I was born and raised in the historic town of Tripoli in Arkadia, Greece. I studied Archaeology at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens before moving to the University of Nottingham to complete my MA in Archaeological Research and PhD studies. I wrote my PhD on the 'Mycenaean Cult of the Dead in Central Greece' under the supervision of Prof. Bill Cavanagh to whom I owe a great deal of my interests and inspiration in Aegean prehistory. Following the completion of my PhD I was employed as field archaeologist for two years (in fixed contracts) in the Hellenic Ministry of Culture & Sports. In 2005 I returned to the University of Nottingham as post-doctoral researcher (2005-2011: Arts Faculty Research Fellow, Shelby White Leon Levy Foundation Research Fellow, The Centre for Spartan and Peloponnesian Studies Research Fellow), and in 2012 I took up my current post of Assistant Professor in Aegean Archaeology. In 2005 I contributed to the foundation of the University's Centre of Spartan and Peloponnesian Studies which I now direct. I am an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (AFHEA) since 2015. I serve on the editorial advisory board of the Journal of Greek Archaeology and on the editorial board of the Childhood in the Past. An International Journal

I am currently on research leave until the end of July 2018.

Expertise Summary

My training as an archaeologist covered the full chronological range from prehistory to the pre-modern Greek world. I specialise in Aegean prehistory and my research focuses on four main strands: the archaeology of death, the archaeology of cult and ritual, the archaeology of children and childhood, and the archaeology of Sparta and Laconia.

Research keywords: Aegean Prehistory; Early Iron Age Greece; Archaeology of Death, Archaeology of Cult and Ritual; Archaeology of Identity, Memory and Tradition; Archaeology of Children and Childhood; Aegean seascapes; Archaeology of Sparta and Laconia.

MAJOR RESEARCH PROJECTS

1. Rethinking Mycenaean Death - A view from Lakonia

2. Tiny Archaeologies: Reconstructing the World of Children in Late Bronze Age Greece

3. Pavlopetri Underwater Archaeology Project

4. The Mycenaean Cult of the Dead (PhD project)

Teaching Summary

I strongly believe that archaeology classes are not the place where students just learn about the past, but instead they form the platform on which students built their skills in critical thinking… read more

Research Summary

I specialise in Aegean prehistory and my research focuses on four main strands: the archaeology of death, the archaeology of cult and ritual, the archaeology of children and childhood, and the… read more

Selected Publications

  • GALLOU, C., 2005. The Mycenaean cult of the dead Oxford: Archaeopress.
  • GALLOU, C., 2004. More than little perishers: child burials and the living society in Mycenaean Greece Ethnographisch-Archäologische Zeitschrift. 45(2-3), 365-375
  • GALLOU, C. and GEORGIADIS,M., 2006. Ancestor worship, tradition and regional variation in Mycenaean Greece. In: C. GALLOU AND M. GEORGIADIS, ed., The Archaeology of Cult and Death Archaeolingua. 125-149
  • W.G. CAVANAGH, C. GALLOU AND M. GEORGIADIS, ed., 2009. Sparta and Lakonia from Prehistory to Pre-modern times British School at Athens.

I strongly believe that archaeology classes are not the place where students just learn about the past, but instead they form the platform on which students built their skills in critical thinking and cross-disciplinary synthesis of scholarly ideas and approaches, by actively engaging with the most recent research on the field and by gaining valuable hands-on experience.

Since 2015 I have been running the educational projects Archaeology Meets Fashion, My Name is Royal Purple and Tales from the bottom of the sea: Pavlopetri to which our UG students are welcome to volunteer as outreach and research assistants.

I am on research leave in 2017/18 but in previous years I have convened and taught modules on The Archaeology of Mycenaean Greece; The Greek Early Iron Age; The Origins and Rise of Aegean Civilisation; Archaeological Research: Theory and Practice; Prehistory from the Bronze Age to the Iron Age; Dissertation in Archaeology; Extended Essay in Archaeology.

At MA by Research level I usually offer the following 30-credit options: Topics in Aegean Prehistory; The Archaeology of Death and Commemoration; The Archaeology of Cult and Ritual.

PhD/MRes/MA SUPERVISION I am keen to supervise PhD projects in Aegean prehistory and Early Iron Age Greece, the archaeology of Sparta and Laconia, the archaeology of death, the archaeology of cult and ritual, the archaeology of colour and fashion, and the archaeology of children and childhood.

I currently (co)supervise the following PhD students:

(1) Thea Wolff, The Potnia Theron in early Greek art

(2) Matt Thompson, Spartan Victory Monuments and Graves

(3) Paz Ramirez Valiente, Writing and Self-awareness in the Bronze Age

(4) Charlotte Round, Experience, Memory and Place in Classical Delphi

(5) Mila Andonova, Baskets and basketry in south-eastern European prehistory (second supervisor)

(6) Fabio Saccoccio, Cultures at the edges: Iron Age interaction in the western Veneto, northern Italy (second supervisor)

(7) Elisavet Fergadiotou, Early Islamic glass in the Persian Gulf (second supervisor)

Current MA by Research supervisees:

1. Despoina Sampatakou, The talking dead in Late Bronze Age Dendra: storytelling, outreach and public engagement

2. Frasier Quar, Tales from Pottery: A study into how the iconography on pottery can help us determine and reconstruct Mycenaean rituals and metaphysical beliefs

Current MA Distance Learning in Mediterranean Archaeology supervisees:

1. Eleni Itsou, Basketry and weaving in Neolithic Greece: The evidence from western Macedonian bone tools

2. Keith Ross, Assessing risks in maritime trade in the 2nd millennium Mediterranean

3. Effimia Angeli, Comparative study for the development of painted ware in Central Greece and Thessaly during the Middle Neolithic and Late Neolithic I. The case of Halai in East Lokris

4. Janet Morris, Boat imagery on Minoan minor arts

In previous years I have supervised the following MA and PhD theses to completion:

1. Vasilki Brouma, Understanding Hellenistic Thanatos - Death, Ritual and Identity in the south-eastern Aegean in the 3rd to 1st c. BC (PhD)

2. Claudia Alonso, The end of the Mycenaean civilisation (visiting PhD student, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid)

3. Amy Jolliffee, The archaeology of post-palatial Achaia (MA by Research)

4. Michael Curtis, The contextualisation of three ports of Hellenistic and Roman Crete (MA by Research)

5. Petrus Scholten, Child burials in Middle Helladic Peloponnese (MA by Research)

6. Ioan Huw Espley, Recreating Maritime Trade in the Peloponnese During the Middle Helladic period (MA by Research)

7. Gerasimos Trasanis, Fortification and Defence systems in classical and Hellenistic Elis, Greece: the case of Triphyllia (MA by Research)

8. Joseph Jordan, A Comparative Analysis of Regional Feasting Practices in Late Neolithic and Early Bronze Age Aegean (MA by Research)

9. Athanasia Panopoulou, Interpreting identical votive offerings from 8th c. BC Sparta and Tegea: the contribution of visual evidence (MA in Classical Antiquity)

10. Stephenie Tsoi, Spartan Women in in comparative perspective: a view from China (MA Archaeology)

11. Lena Nieves, Early Bronze Age harbour towns in the Peloponnese in their wider Aegean context (MA Archeological Research)

12. Anja Kuehn, The use of drugs and stimulants in Bronze Age Crete (DL MA Mediterranean Archaeology)

13. Kyriakos Xanthopoulos, Osteoarchaeological analysis of two Byzantine cemeteries in the prefecture of Aitoloakarnania in western Greece (DL MA Mediterranean Archaeology)

14. Alison Roberts, The evolution of Neolithic burial architecture and practices (DL MA Mediterranean Archaeology)

Current Research

I specialise in Aegean prehistory and my research focuses on four main strands: the archaeology of death, the archaeology of cult and ritual, the archaeology of children and childhood, and the archaeology of Sparta and Laconia.

I currently direct/am involved in the following research projects:

Rethinking Mycenaean Death - A view from Lakonia (principal investigator). This project offers fresh insights into how Mycenaean society conceived of death and the afterlife, with focus placed on the under-studied deathscape of Lakonia, southern Greece.

The Pavlopetri Underwater Archaeology Project (archaeological co-ordinator for the UoN)

Tiny Archaeologies: Reconstructing the world of children in Late Bronze Age Greece (principal investigator). The aim of this research project is to redress the omission of children from archaeological research in the prehistoric Aegean, to introduce the interdisciplinary study of children and childhood to Greek archaeology, and to place it to the forefront of prehistoric archaeology in the Old World.

Past Research

My PhD thesis studied the evidence for the performance of ancestor veneration in Mycenaean Greece with emphasis placed mainly on the data from the typical Mycenaean tomb types, i.e. tholos and chamber tombs, excavated in the central areas of the Mycenaean dominion, viz. the Argolid, Korinthia, Attica, Boeotia and Euboea, during the acme of Mycenaean civilisation, i.e. the LH IIIA-B period. Through a thorough examination of the available archaeological material, namely the products of controlled archaeological excavation (architecture, pottery and ritual remains), the iconographic evidence and Linear B documents, the study aimed to assess and challenge assumptions, which amount to prejudices relegating the cult of the dead as a disreputable and taboo subject. I have argued that for the Mycenaeans the ancestors were not simply motionless and decomposing livid bodies, but spiritual entities considered to dwell in a sphere between the human and the sacred, invoked to provide benefits and placated with sacred rituals and offerings to ensure the well-being of the living community. The primary objective of the study was not only to illuminate obscure aspects of Mycenaean religious and eschatological beliefs, but also to document the diversity of repeated diagnostic indicators of symbolic value appropriate for the recognition and study of rites performed in honour of the venerated ancestors in Mycenaean times. The results of the thesis were published as a monograph in 2005: Gallou, C. (2005) The Mycenaean Cult of the Dead [BAR International Series 1372]. Oxford: Archaeopress.

Future Research

More than a century of archaeological excavations in the modern town of Sparti has left scholarship with an enormous amount of evidence from the town's ancient past. Instrumental to the advancement of research have been the excavations conducted by the British School at Athens in the ancient city's sanctuaries. From the early 1900s to 1980s the British excavations resulted in more than 120,000 artefacts ranging from the Early Iron Age to the Late Antique. Despite the sheer number of artefactual evidence though, our knowledge of the archaeology of Sparta is paradoxically still limited. In 1998 Professor Stephen Hodkinson called for the construction of a systematic database of the sanctuary finds and he indicated the gains in understanding Spartan society that a systematic database would produce. The University of Nottingham's Centre for Spartan & Peloponnesian Studies has taken up the idea of directing an international, interdisciplinary collaborative research project aiming at a detailed study and general re-assessment of the old finds from and of cult practices in the sanctuaries that were excavated by the British School at Athens in the early twentieth century with focus on the sanctuary of Artemis Orthia, the sanctuary of Athena Chalkioikos on the acropolis, Lycurgus' Altar, the 'Leonidaion' (or shrine of Karneios Oiketas), the Heroon of Astrabacus, the Achilleion ('shrine on the Megalopolis Road'), the Eleusinion at Amyklai, and the sanctuary of Zeus Messapeus at Aphyssou.

  • GALLOU, C., 2018. Review of Slane (K.W.) Tombs, Burials, and Commemoration in Corinth’s Northern Cemetery. (Corinth. Results of Excavations Conducted by the American School of Classical Studies at Athens 21.) Princeton, NJ: The American School of Classical Studies at Athens, 2017. Classical Review. 68(2), (In Press.)
  • GALLOU, C., 2017. Review of P. Militello and H. Öniz (eds), SOMA 2011. Proceedings of the 15th Symposium on Mediterranean Archaeology, held at the University of Catania, 3-5 March 2011’ Journal of Greek Archaeology. 2, 478-486
  • C. GALLOU, 2016. Mycenaean skulls: “αμενηνά κάρηνα"or social actors in Late Helladic metaphysics and society? In: Metaphysis. Ritual, Myth and Symbolism in the Aegean Bronze Age. Proceedings of the 15th International Aegean Conference, Vienna, Institute for Oriental and European Archaeology, Aegean and Anatolia Department, Austrian Academy of Sciences and Institute of Classical Archaeology, University of Vienna, 22-25 April 2014, edited by E. Alram-Stern et al.. 405-414
  • GALLOU, C., 2016. Review of D. Lancy, The Anthropology of Childhood: Cherubs, Chattel, Changelings (revised edition, 2015) Childhood in the Past. An International Journal. 9(1), 82-83
  • C. GALLOU, 2015. "What would the world be to us if the children were no more?": The archaeology of children and death in LH IIIC Greece. In: Z. THEODOROPOULOU-POLYCHRONIADIS and D. EVELY, eds., Aegis. Essays in Mediterranean Archaeology presented to Matti Egon by the Scholars of the Greek Archaeological Committee. Arcchaeopress. 57-67
  • GALLOU, C. and HENDERSON, J., 2012. Pavlopetri, an early Bronze Age harbour town in South-East Laconia Pharos: Journal of the Netherlands Institute in Athens. 18(1), 79-104
  • J. HENDERSON, C. GALLOU, N.C. FLEMMING AND E. SPONDYLIS, 2011. The submerged prehistoric town at Pavlopetri in southern Greece. In: J. BENJAMIN, CL. BONSALL, C. PICKARD AND A. FISCHER, ed., Underwater Archaeology and the Submerged Prehistory of Europe Oxbow. 207-218
  • C. GALLOU AND M. GEORGIADIS, 2010. Funerary games and the Mycenaean cult of the dead Groniek. 185, 383-393
  • GALLOU, C., 2010. Children at work in Mycenaean Greece (ca. 1680-1050 BCE): a brief survey. In: BROCKLISS, L. and MONTGOMERY, H., eds., Childhood and violence in the Western tradition Oxbow Books. 162-171
  • GALLOU, C., 2010. Review of ‘W.D. Taylour and R. Janko, 2009. Ayios Stephanos. Excavations at a Bronze Age and Medieval settlement in southern Laconia, BSA Suppl. Vol. 44. https://www.ajaonline.org/book-review/684 American Journal of Archaeology. 114(2),
  • CAVANAGH, W.G., GALLOU, C. and GEORGIADIS, M., eds., 2009. Sparta and Laconia from prehistory to pre-modern times: proceedings of the conference held in Sparta, organised by the British School at Athens, the University of Nottingham, the 5th Ephoreia of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities and the 5th Ephoreia of Byzantine Antiquities 17-20 March 2005 British School at Athens.
  • M. GEORGIADIS AND C. GALLOU, ed., 2009. The Past in the Past: The significance of memory and tradition in the genesis and transmission of culture Archaeopress.
  • C. GALLOU, 2009. Epidaurus Limera: The tale of a Laconian site in Mycenaean times. In: W.G. CAVANAGH and C. GALLOU, eds., Sparta & Lakonia: From Prehistory to Pre-modern times:: Proceedings of the Conference held in Sparta, organised by the British School at Athens, the University of Nottingham, the 5th Ephoreia of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities and the 5th Ephoreia of Byzantine Antiquities, 17-20 March 2005. British School at Athens. 85-93
  • C. GALLOU, 2008. Arcadian theriomorphic deities and their Mycenaean echoes. In: Y. PIKOULAS, ed., Stories for ancient Arcadia. International Symposium in honor of James Roy.: International Symposium in honor of James Roy. Horos Publications. 91-104
  • C. GALLOU, 2008. Between Scylla and Charybdis: Vatika in Mycenaean times. In: C. GALLOU, M. GEORGIADIS AND G.M. MUSKETT, ed., Dioskouroi.: Studies Presented to W.G. Cavanagh and C.B. Mee for their 30-year joint contribution to Aegean Archaeology BAR IS-1889. Archaeopress. 292-321
  • C. GALLOU, M. GEORGIADIS AND G.M. MUSKETT, ed., 2008. Dioskouroi. Studies Presented to W.G. Cavanagh and C.B. Mee for their 30-year joint contribution to Aegean Archaeology Archaeopress.
  • C. GALLOU AND M. GEORGIADIS, 2007. The cemeteries of the Argolid and the South-eastern Aegean during the Mycenaean period: A landscape and waterscape assessment Opuscula Atheniensia. 31-32, 171-182
  • GALLOU, C. and GEORGIADIS,M., 2006. Ancestor worship, tradition and regional variation in Mycenaean Greece. In: C. GALLOU AND M. GEORGIADIS, ed., The Archaeology of Cult and Death Archaeolingua. 125-149
  • M. GEORGIADIS AND C. GALLOU, ed., 2006. The Archaeology of Cult and Death Archaeolingua.
  • GALLOU, C., 2005. The Mycenaean cult of the dead Oxford: Archaeopress.
  • GALLOU, C., 2004. More than little perishers: child burials and the living society in Mycenaean Greece Ethnographisch-Archäologische Zeitschrift. 45(2-3), 365-375
  • GALLOU, C., 2004. Tomb design and the Cult of the Dead in Mycenaean Greece In: Cult and Death. Proceedings of the Liverpool Interdisciplinary Symposium in Antiquity.. 17-28
  • 2004. Tomb Design and the Cult of the Dead in Mycenaean Greece. In: M. GEORGIADIS, G.M. MUSKETT AND D. NAOUM, ed., Cult and Death. Proceedings of the Liverpool Interdisciplinary Symposium in Antiquity Archaeopress. 17-28
  • C. GALLOU, 2002. Ες Hλύσιον πεδίον και πείραηα γαίης: The Mycenaean sea journey to the Underworld. In: M. GEORGIADIS AND G.M. MUSKETT, ed., The Seas of Antiquity University of Liverpool. 18-33

Department of Archaeology

University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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