Forskergruppen for antikk, middelalder­ og tidlig moderne tid
Guest lecture

A Tale of Four Projects: Archaeological Research in the Aegean Islands by the Norwegian Institute at Athens (Zarko Tankosic)

Irakleia Caves Excavation Project
Zarko Tankosic


This talk provides an overview of part of the archaeological research conducted under the aegis of the Norwegian Institute at Athens from 2012 until the present. It includes four field projects that the author has directed or co-directed. The fieldwork at two of these is completed (Norwegian Archaeological Survey in the Karystia and the Irakleia Caves Excavation Project) and at two is ongoing (Gourimadi Archaeological Project and Small Cycladic Islands Project). In methodological terms these projects vary broadly and include open-air excavations, cave excavations, and surface surveys. In terms of chronology, the project results include most phases from the Palaeolithic to the Byzantine times, although the emphasis here will be on data related to prehistory. 

One of the underlying threads that connects this diverse research is the exploration of human habitation, use, and adaptation to insular environments and the diachronic evidence thereof. My own research chiefly focuses on the peopling of and early prehistoric (Final Neolithic and Early Bronze Age, c. 4th millennium BCE) interactions among communities inhabiting the Aegean islands. In this presentation I summarize the main goals and results of the four projects within their geographical and cultural context and I comment on their significance for understanding connectivity and insularity in prehistory.