Mediterranean Archaeology research group

The Mediterranean Archaeology research group has an international reputation in the field of archaeology around the Mediterranean, specializing in the Aegean and Italian Prehistoric and Protohistoric periods, the (colonial) Greek world and the (early) Roman period in Italy. The research group houses experts of many fields, ranging from burial rituals and cultic rituals to settlement and landscape archaeology.  We combine an emphasis on Mediterannean connectivity with a strong tradition of regional archaeology. Our research is partially geared towards opening up cultural heritage to the public, as well as towards sustainable management of cultural heritage, technological development (particularly digital spatial technology), urban renewal and the design of landscape parks.

Focus areas and methods

  • Aegean and Italian Prehistory and Protohistory
  • (colonial) Greek world
  • (early) Roman period in Italy
  • Settlement and landscape archaeology
  • Interconnectivity
  • Heritage and space
  • Archaeology of death and religion

Institutional embedding
The group’s research and teaching are almost exclusively interdisciplinary, with a focus on cross-pollination between (Mediterranean) archaeology, Ancient History, and historical and social sciences in general, as well as an emphasis on integration with geography and earth sciences, lanology and urban planning studies. With this interdisciplinary approach, the Mediterranean Archaeology research group has become a core member of CLUE+, the VU interfaculty research institute, particularly in the ‘Landscape and Heritage’ research cluster.

The group’s teaching is embedded in the Department of Art and Culture, History and Antiquity and the Amsterdam Center for Ancient Studies and Archaeology, a cooperative venture of VU Amsterdam and the University of Amsterdam.

The research group takes part in various international projects, which are partly financed by NWO, the European Union, regional and local authorities, and private partners. Among the projects are the following:

  • Plakari Archaeological Project (prof. dr. Jan Paul Crielaard). Multidisciplinair onderzoek naar het functioneren van een vroeg Grieks heiligdom in Karystos-Plakari (Griekenland).
  • Sea and Land Routes of southern Euboia (prof. dr. Jan Paul Crielaard). Regionale studie naar lange-termijn ontwikkelingen in interconnectiviteit (ca. 4000-1 v.Chr.).
  • Challenging Testaccio (prof. dr. Gert-Jan Burgers). Meerjarig onderzoek naar de lange termijn geschiedenis en erfgoedontsluiting van de Romeinse wijk Testaccio, in hartje Rome. Visit the Challenging Testaccio websiteempty
  • The Salento Isthmus Project (prof. dr. Gert-Jan Burgers). Meerjarig project gericht op de studie van de effecten van Griekse en Romeinse kolonisatie op samenleving en landschap van de isthmus van de Italiaanse streek Salento.
  • The Geraki Project (dr. Mieke Prent). Project gericht op de langetermijngeschiedenis van de gefortificeerde acropolis van Geraki (antiek Geronthrai) in Zuid-Oost Laconië.

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Mediterranean Archaeology staff

Professors and other academic staff
Prof. dr. Gert-Jan Burgers (Mediterranean Archaeology, landscape archaeology, heritage studies)
Prof. dr. Jan Paul Crielaard (Mediterrean Prehistory and Protohistory, interconnectivity in thediterranean area, Homeric archaeology, archaeology and identity)
Dr. Mieke Prent (Greek Prehistory and Protohistory, landscape archaeology)
Dr. Marleen Termeer (Roman archaeology)
Dr. Lieve Donellan (from 01.10.16-01.10.18), EU Marie Curie Individual Postdoc Fellow

Supporting staff
Bert Brouwenstijn (Archaeological drawings, cartography, desktop publishing, 3D illustrations)
Jaap Fokkema (IT support for archaeological fieldwork)
Anne van Hilst (field technician, field work coordinator, depot management)
Benno Ridderhof (IT support for the visualization of field work data).

PhD researchers
Kimberley van den Berg
Elisha van den Bos
Ruben Brugge
Gervasio Illiano
Stefan Kooi
Ayla Krijnen
Christian Napolitano
John Mooring
Anke Stoker
Ilona Venderbos
Dorota Biesiekirska

External PhD candidates
Gervasio Illiano
Christian Napolitano
John Mooring
Ilona Venderbos