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
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, northwestern Greece – specifically the Kokytos river basin – from prehistoric...
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.
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.
Former Fieldwork Research
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.
Länsi-Kreikan Stratoksessa, nykyisen Agrinionin lähellä sijaitseva ja osittain keskeneräiseksi jäänyt Zeuksen temppeli on yksi tärkeimmistä kyseisen siirtymäkauden monumentaali-temppeleistä.
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.
The fifth-century BC orthogonal city grid is the best-known and most-researched aspect of urban Naxos, the first Greek colonial foundation in Sicily. It was founded in 734 BC by settlers from Chalcis in Euboea and Naxos in the Cyclades and it was completely destroyed in 403 BC by Syracuse.
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.
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
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