The Finnish Institute at Athens is classified, according to Greek legislation, as an archaeological school, and is therefore allowed to carry out archaeological fieldwork in Greece. Such projects are mainly funded by different Finnish foundations and universities.

The Institute’s first excavation concerned the Early Christian basilica at Arethousa in northern Greece. The actual fieldwork of the project, directed by Arja Karivieri, took place between 1999 and 2002. In 2000 and 2001 a second project, directed by Jari Pakkanen, was organised in Stratos, western Greece. It aimed to create a 3D model of the Temple of Zeus at Stratos through an exact measurement of the temple’s architectural remains.

A third project, directed by Erkki Sironen, began in 2003. It aims to re-study all known Roman epigrams in Greece. Finally, a multidisciplinary project studying the history of the Kokytos river basin in Thesprotia, north-western Greece, began in 2004 under the directorship of Björn Forsén.

Before the Institute had archaeological projects of its own, Finnish scholars acquired experience by participating in, among others, Greek, Norwegian and Swedish excavations and surveys. A good example of Nordic collaboration is the excavation of the temple of Agios Elias at Asea in the Peloponnese. This project, which was directed by Jeannette Forsén under the auspices of the Swedish Institute at Athens, brought together researchers from Norway, Sweden and Finland.

Active Fieldwork Research

Thesprotia Expedition

A Regional, Interdisciplinary Survey Project in Northwestern Greece The Thesprotia Expedition is an interdisciplinary project that combines archaeology, geology, and history with the aim of writing the diachronic history of one part of Thesprotia in Epirus,...

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Agia Paraskevi of Arachamitai

The aim of this work was to clarify the date and function of the site. The preliminary results indicate the existence of a small sanctuary dating to between the mid-sixth and late first century BC.

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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.

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Former Research

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

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.

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

International workshop – Defining and Interpreting Ancient Greek Cult Deposits 24. – 27.10.2008

Colloquium – Life is a (Greek) Tragedy II 9. – 10.2.2009

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

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

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

Workshop – Greek Building Projects 23. – 24.5.2014

Colloquium – Gestures and Performances in Ancient and Medieval Greek Art and Literature (organised by the Finnish Institute at Athens and the Byzantine Society of Finland) Helsinki 30.10.2015

Conference – The Greek Apologists of the Second Century (organized by Åbo Akademi University and the Finnish Institute at Athens) 19. – 22.10.2016

Conference – 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

Workshop – 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

Colloquium – PERI ΗΠΕΙΡΟΥ – Northwestern Greece from the Hellenistic to the Byzantine Period (organised by the Finnish Institute at Athens and the Byzantine Society of Finland) Helsinki 22. – 23.5.2017

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

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

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

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

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