As an academic institute, the Finnish institute at Athens is in Greece classified as an archaeological school, which allows it to carry out archaeological fieldwork. The institute’s fieldwork is funded by external means from different foundations and/or by the institute’s support delegation.

Before the institute had field projects of it´s own Finnish researchers were already gaining skills and knowledge through their participation in different Greek and Nordic projects. One example of such a joint Nordic project is the excavation of the sanctuary of Agios Elias in Asea, Arcadia in 1997. This project brought together researchers from Finland, Norway and Sweden.

The institute’s first own excavations were led by Arja Karivieri from 1999 until 2002, and focused on the Early Christian basilica in Arethousa, Macedonia. At around the same time Jari Pakkanen led a project in Stratos in western Greece, providing new measurements of the Temple of Zeus there. Erkki Sironen’s research project took place between 2003 and 2010, studying epigrams cut in stone during the Roman period. Jari Pakkanen also organized the Kyllene harbour project between 2007 and 2017, and a research project of the city plan of Naxos, a Greek colony in Sicily, from 2012 to 2017.

The oldest still active projects of the institute are the Thesprotia Expedition, the Arachamitai project in Arcadia, and that on the island of Salamis. The first two are led by Björn Forsén and the third, between 2016–2020, by Jari Pakkanen. Fieldwork in Thesprotia has been carried out in 2004–2010, 2015 and 2020. Fieldwork at the Sanctuary of Artemis Lykoatis in Arachamitai was carried out in 2006–2008 and 2010–2019, although the study of the find material will continue for many years yet. Lastly, in 2019 two entirely new projects were initiated, one focusing on the Roman colony of Photike in Thesprotia and the other on the countryside southwest of Rethymnon, Crete.

Active Fieldwork Research

Agia Paraskevi of Arachamitai

Agia Paraskevi of Arachamitai

Agia Paraskevi of Arachamitai is a site located at the highest point of the pass leading from Asea to Arachamitai in Arcadia – more specifically, roughly between Tripolis and Megalopolis. Preliminary archaeological work, including magnetometer prospecting and opening of trial trenches, was conducted by the Finnish Institute at Athens at the site between 2006 and 2008 under the directorship of Björn Forsén.

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Salamis Urban Landscape Project 2016–2020

Salamis Urban Landscape Project 2016–2020

The collaboration between the Ephorate of Antiquities of West Attica, Piraeus and the Islands and the Finnish Institute at Athens will be carried out over five years (2016–2020) and it will concentrate on mapping the unbuilt part of the harbour town of ancient Salamis which is currently on dry land at Ambelakia Bay.

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Former Fieldwork Research

The Early Christian Basilica of Paliambela

The Early Christian Basilica of Paliambela

The Early Christian basilica of Paliambela at Arethousa, located ca. 20 km west of Amphipolis in Northern Greece, was discovered in 1994 while preparing a forestry road.

The Temple of Zeus at Stratos

The Temple of Zeus at Stratos

Länsi-Kreikan Stratoksessa, nykyisen Agrinionin lähellä sijaitseva ja osittain keskeneräiseksi jäänyt Zeuksen temppeli on yksi tärkeimmistä kyseisen siirtymäkauden monumentaali-temppeleistä.

Verse Inscriptions of Roman Greece

Verse Inscriptions of Roman Greece

The project focusing on stone poetry, which started in 2003, aims to collect and publish the over 1,000 known Greek poems cut in stone from 30 BC to 600 AD in the area of modern Greece.

Kyllene Harbour Project

Kyllene Harbour Project

The Kyllene Harbour Project was initiated in 2007, and the survey has been continued in 2008 and 2009. It is an interdisciplinary study of the coastal and underwater remains of an ancient naval base and Frankish harbour, and it is conducted as a synergasia between the Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities and the Finnish Institute at Athens with the co-operation of the Sixth Ephorate of Byzantine Antiquities at Patras.

Other Research

The Final Pagan Renaissance of Athens, AD 267 – 529

1985 – 1988

Paavo Castrén, Risto Aikonen, Arja Karivieri, Julia Burman, Vappu Pyykkö, Gunnar af Hällström, Erkki Sironen


Hellenistic Athens, 323-30 B.C

1988 – 1992

Jaakko Frösén, Mika Hakkarainen, Kenneth Lönnqvist, Tuula Korhonen, Minna Lönnqvist, Martti Leiwo, Petra Pentikäinen, Tiina Purola, Erja Salmenkivi


Dionysius the Areopagite in History and Legend

1993 – 1995

Gunnar af Hällström, Jeanette Lindblom, Markku Nikulin, Eino Palin, Leena Mari Peltomaa, Hanna-Riitta Toivanen


Mythical Bodies: Greek Myths and European Thought

1995 – 1998

Kirsti Simonsuuri, Outi Alanko-Kahiluoto, Risto Heikkinen, Kalle Kuusimäki, Martti-Tapio Kuuskoski, Mikael Olin, Anna

Pietiläinen, Anne Siikaluoma-Tervonen, Leena Viitaniemi


Late Classical and Hellenistic Heroa

2000 – 2004

Leena Pietilä-Castrén, Mari Mikkola, Mikko Suoninen, Tiina Tuukkanen, Hanne Wikström


August Myhrberg and North-European Philhellenism: Building the Myth of a Hero

Petra Pakkanen


The Image of Finland in the Greek Press during the Winter War of 1939 – 1940

Kira Kaurinkoski, Maria Martzoukou, Maria Gourdouba


Conferences and Lectures

An important part of the scholarly activities of the Finnish Institute at Athens consists of organising international conferences and lectures. Some of the proceedings are later published in the Institute’s series. Since 2006 the Institute has organised an annual Johannes Sundwall lecture, given by an internationally-renowned scholar with a broad scholarly output dealing with topics that are similar to those of Sundwall’s own research.

International conferences organized by the Finnish Institute at Athens (partly in co-operation with others)


Ancient Medicine 4 – 10.10.1986

Ancient Technology 30.3 – 4.4.1987

Roman Onomastics 17.9.1990

National Themes in Greek and Finnish Music 4 – 5.5.1992

Roman Onomastics in the Greek-speaking Provinces: Social and Political Aspects 7 – 9.9.1993

Athens in the Sixth Century AD 18 – 19.5.1994

The Pnyx in the History of Athens 7 – 9.10.1994

Greek and Roman Religions According to the Church Fathers 17 – 18.5.1995

The Writing Woman: Ritual and Religious Perspectives 21 – 22.5.1997

Recent Research in Arcadia 27 – 28.1.1998

The Greek East in the Roman Context 21 – 22.5.1999

Scribes, Language and Textual Tradition 25.1.2001

The Eastern Mediterranean in the Late Antiquity and Early Byzantine Periods 24.1.2003

Thesprotian Colloquium 12 – 13.5.2006

Experience of Empire – Responses from the Provinces 19 – 21.6.2006

Langnet seminar 1 – 4.10.2008

Defining and Interpreting Ancient Greek Cult Deposits 24 – 27.10.2008

Life is a (Greek) Tragedy II 9 – 10.2.2009

Styles of Political Theorizing: Exploring Concepts and Rhetorical Practices in History 19 – 20.2.2009

Variation and Change in Greek and Latin. Problems and Methods 17 – 20.9.2009

The Ottoman Past in the Balkan Present: Music and Mediation 30.9 – 2.10.2010

Greek Building Projects 23 – 24.5.2014

The Greek Apologists of the Second Century 20 – 21.10.2016

ARISTOTLE – Timeless and Scientifically Timely (organized by the Academy of Athens, the Centre for Historical Ontology and the Finnish Institute at Athens) Main Building of the Academy of Athens 14 – 17.1.2017

Act of the Scribe: Interfaces Between Scribal Work and Language Use (organized by a project funded by the Academy of Finland: ”Act of the Scribe: Transmitting Linguistic Knowledge and Scribal Practices in Graeco-Roman Antiquity”) 6 – 8.4.2017

Symposium in the memory of Konstantina Peppas Delmousou (organised by the Epigraphical Museum, the Swedish Institute and the Finnish Institute), Epigraphical Museum of Athens, 15.3.2019


Johannes Sundwall lectures


Jack L. Davis (University of Cincinnati), Remembering and Forgetting Nestor: Pylian Pasts Pluperfect? 8.11.2006

Robin Osborne (University of Cambridge), How the Gauls Broke the Frame: A Hellenistic Revolution in Theology on the Athenian Acropolis, 30.11.2007

Lorna Hardwick (Open University), Ancient and Modern Societies in Dialogue: the Role of Greek Drama, 19.11.2009

Cynthia W. Shelmerdine (University of Texas at Austin), Mycenaean Scribes and Literacy, 18.11.2010

Mark Janse (Ghent University), The Cappadocians and their Languages, 1911 BC – AD 2011, 15.11.2011

Joseph Maran (University of Heidelberg), Gods and Rulers in Mycenean Citadels: a Very Special Relationship, 14.11.2013

A. Bernard Knapp, Bronze Age Trade in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean: The Case of Maritime Transport Containers, 6.11.2014

Olga Palagia (University of Athens), The Sculpture from the sanctuary of Apollo Amyklaios in Sparta, 5.11.2015

Stephen Lambert (Cardiff University), Demokrates the democrat? 24.11.2016

Sofia Voutsaki (University of Groningen), The North Cemetery at Ayios Vasilios and the Transformation of Early Mycenaean Society, 20.12.2017

Mary E. Voyatzis (University of Arizona), A Tale of Two Arcadian Sanctuaries: Comparing Zeus on Mt. Lykaion with Athena Alea at Tegea, 4.12.2018

Anna Lucia D’Agata (Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Roma), Making Gender with Things: Gendered Identities and Material Culture in Late Minoan III Crete, 25.11.2019


Annual Open Meeting lectures


Margareta Steinby (All Souls College, Oxford), Monumenta: Who Built What in Ancient Rome, 17.5.2001

Jussi Nuorteva (University of Helsinki), Finnish Literature from Kalevala Epics to Modern Translations, 23.5.2002

Paavo Castrén (University of Helsinki), Hellenism and Romanization in Pompeji, 20.5.2003

Maarit Kaimio (University of Helsinki), Quarrelsome Women in a Greek Papyrus from Petra, 21.5.2004

William Bowden (University of East Anglia), Thesprotia in the Context of Late Roman Epirus Vetus, 19.5.2005

Γεώργιος Ρήγινος , Η Ελέα και η Ελεάτιδα στην ύστερη Κλασική και Ελληνιστική Περίοδο, 19.5.2005

James R. Wiseman (University of Boston), From the Acheron River Valley to the Loutros Delta: Human Settlement from Classical Times to Late Antiquity, 12.5.2006

Γεώργιος Ρήγινος, Οικιστική οργάνωση στην αρχαία Θεσπρωτία την ύστερη Κλασική και Ελληνιστική Περίοδο, 12.5.2006

Gilles Touchais (University of Paris), South Illyria in the Bronze Age and its Connections with the Aegean, 22.5.2007

Leena Pietilä-Castrén (University of Helsinki), In Pursuit of Hero Monuments, 22.5.2008

Jari Pakkanen (Royal Holloway University of London), Underwater Investigations of the Ancient and Medieval Harbour at Kyllene, 14.5.2009

Jaakko Frösén (University of Helsinki), From Carbonized Papyri to the Monastery of Saint Aaron at Petra, Jordan, 20.5.2010

Björn Forsén (University of Helsinki), Thesprotia Expedition:  Seven  Years  of Archaeological Field Work, 19.5.2011

Risto Pekka Pennanen (University of Helsinki), Ottoman  Popular  Music  in  Greece  –  Nationalization and Beyond, 18.5.2012

Mika Kajava (University of Helsinki), Ancient Oracles and Epigraphy, 23.5.2013

Manólis Korrés (National Technical University of Athens). The Olympieion at Athens, 22.5.2014

Paavo Castrén (University of Helsinki), Suomen Ateenan-instituutin perustaminen, 21.5.2015

Alexander Mazarakis Ainian (University of Thessaly), A View from the Heights: Public and Religious Buildings of Ancient Kythnos, 21.4.2016

Boris Rankov (Royal Holloway University of London), Understanding Ancient Warships, 18.5.2017

Björn Forsén (Finnish Institute at Athens), From Arkas to Hadrian: Cult and Politics at the Sanctuary of Artemis Lykoatis, Arcadia, 17.5.2018

Archaeological Survey Meetings


Yannis Lolos (University of Thessaly), The Sikyon Project: The Challenges of an Intensive Urban Survey, 1.12.2005

Nikolaos Efstratiou (Aristoteleio Univeristy of Thessaloniki), Exploring Two Contrasting Landscapes in Greece: Lowland Thrace and Highland Grevena, 20.2.2006

David Pettegrew (Ohio State University), The New Breed of Hyper-intensive Survey: A Case Study from the Eastern Korinthia, 10.5.2006

Gert Jan van Wijngaarden (Netherlands institute in Athens), The Zakynthos Archaeology Project, 23.10.2006

Georgia Kokkorou-Alevras (University of Athens) and Konstantinos Kopanias (German Archaeological Institute), Επιφανειακή Έρευνα στον Αρχαίο Δήμο των Αλασαρνιτών (σύγχρ. Καρδάμαινα) στην Κω, 27.11.2006

John Bintlif (Leiden University), Regional Field Survey in Greece – A Short History and a Review of Its Strengths and Weaknesses for Writing History, 25.1.2007

Kostas Sbonias (Ionian University), Surveying in a Mountainous Landscape. Vrysinas on Western Crete as a Case Study, 13.2.2007

Timothy E. Gregory (Ohio State University), The Australian Paliochora-Kythera Archaeological Survey: A Low-Impact, Long-Term Experience in Archaeological Investigation, 30.4.2007



Other scholarly lectures


2004 –