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. The Archaeological Survey Meetings lecture series also has a character of its own. It consists of 4–6 gatherings per year, organised in collaboration with the Netherlands Institute in Athens and the Canadian Institute in Greece.

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

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

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