Meet the Team
Apart from director Efi Sapouna-Sakellarakis, a multidisciplinary team consisting of archaeologists, architects, petrographers, archaeobotanists, zooarchaeologists, conservators, and other specialists, is studying not only the archaeology of Zominthos, but also the environmental (flora and fauna) and geographical history of the area.
Professor Yannis Sakellarakis (1936–2010) was born in Athens. He studied at the University of Athens and read for a PhD at Heidelberg University. He was an instructor at the universities of Athens, Heidelberg, and Hamburg. He gave lectures and presented papers in symposiums and conferences around the world, including Oslo and Petra, Tokyo, New York, Oxford, London, Princeton, and Harvard. He was published widely in Greek and foreign scientific magazines, including ARCHAEOLOGY in 1967 (pp. 276–281). He was director of the Archaeological Museum of Iraklion, Crete, and the second director of the National Archaeological Museum at Athens. Also, he was a member of the Archaeological Society at Athens, the Deutsches Archäogisches Institut, and the Society of Antiquaries of London.
He excavated at Archanes, the Idaean Cave, and Kithira, and in recent years had been systematically excavating, along with his wife, Dr. Efi Sapouna-Sakellarakis, the archaeological site of Zominthos. He received awards from the Academy of Athens, the Technological Education Institute of Crete, and the National Bank of Greece Cultural Foundation. Also, he was honored with the Gold Medal of the University of Crete and the Gold Cross of the Order of Honor of the Greek Republic.
Dr. Efi Sapouna-Sakellarakis was born in Piraeus and grew up in Athens. She graduated from the faculty of Philosophy at the University of Athens and she read for her PhD in the same department. She also graduated from the School of Industrial Studies (University of Piraeus). She continued her studies with postgraduate degrees in London and Heidelberg. As a scholar of the Deutsches Archäogisches Institut, she wrote two books.
She worked as a curator at the museums of Nafplion, the Acropolis, Olympia, and Iraklion (Crete), and for many years she was an executive of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens for the excavations in the ancient Agora and specifically the Stoa of Attalos. She also worked in the archives department of the Ministry of Culture and for the ephorate of underwater archaeology. She took part in many excavations in ancient Olympia, Kerkyra, the Acropolis, Knossos, Zakros, etc. Along with Professor Yannis Sakellarakis, she directed the excavations at Archanes for which they got the freedom of the city and were awarded by the Academy of Athens. Since 1984, she has been a curator in Euboea, running and publishing the results of numerous excavations on the island, as well as in Skyros and east Boeotia.
The design, organization, and creation of museum exhibitions are among her main interests (Chalkida, Eretria, Skyros, Karystos, Collection of Potamia Kymis, Aedipsos, Archanes, and Zominthos), along with the production of educational programs, guides, and newsletters. She collaborated on many publications, including the History of Greek Ethnos, Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae, Britannica, Encyclopedia Italiana, and Soviet Encyclopedia, where she wrote all the entries for the prehistoric period. She has also collaborated with French Television as a costumier for a film about Troy (Pathé Cinema).
Efi Sapouna-Sakellarakis is a member of the Archaeological Society at Athens, the Panhellenic Numismatic Society, the German Archaeological Institute at Berlin, and a lifelong member of Psycha Foundation that finances numerous excavations. She has also taken part in numerous world symposiums and congresses, and has traveled around the world with her husband, invited by the Soviet Academy of Sciences in Moscow and the Metropolitan Museum in New York, and as delegates from the Council of Europe to Japan, the Near East, Scandinavia, and many universities in Europe and the U.S.
She has written more than 150 books and articles related to the Minoans, Mycenaeans, and Cycladic culture. In recent years, she has been occupied with the publication of scientific reports for Euboea since the Palaeolithic period, the Early Helladic Manika, and Hellenistic Amarynthos. She now works along with Professor Yannis Sakellarakis on forthcoming publications about the Idaean Cave and Zominthos.
Members of the Team
Yannis Georgiou was born in Patras in 1970. In 1993 he graduated from the department of Archaeology and History of Art at the University of Athens with a First Class result. From 1994 to 1999 he studied classical archaeology, the archaeology of the Ancient Near East, and Egyptology at Heidelberg University with a DAAD postgraduate scholarship. He is now undertaking his doctorate at the Institute of Classical Archaeology of Heidelberg University, studying the pithos burials of the Minoan cemetery at Phourni, Archanes. He has been a member of the Zominthos excavation since 1989.
Eleni Christaki was born in Heraklio, Crete. She graduated from the Department of History and Archaeology at the University of Athens and she has a master degree in modern Geotechnologies and Archaeology from the University of Siena in Italy. Within the framework of the postgraduate programme she had a practical training in the Laboratory of Geophysical – Satellite Remote Sensing & Archaeo-environment at the Institute for Mediterranean Studies (I.M.S-F.O.R.T.H.). She has worked as an archaeologist under fixed term contracts for The Ministry of Culture and Tourism in Crete and Eubea. She has participated in Surveys conducted by the American School of Classical Studies and the British School at Athens in Crete. Also, she has worked at the Benaki Museum and at the Municipal Art Gallery and Museums Directorate of the Athens City Hall. She has been a member of the Zominthos excavation since 2011.
Georgios Panagiotis Georgakopoulos was born in Athens in 1987 and grew up in Kalamata. He studied History and Archaeology at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. He has participates in several excavations, including Kalamakia, Melitzia in Lakonia and Messini, as well as pottery recording in Zakros and survey in Lakonia. He has finished his postgraduate studies of prehistoric archaeology at the same university, mainly interested in the Aegean Late Bronze Age, and especially in the pottery and domestic architecture of the Neopalatial period.
George Kalomoiris graduated from the Department of History and Archaeology at the University of Crete. His postgraduate studies are on Management of Culture (MsC) at Open University of Greece. He has worked as archaeologist from 2008 until now at Zominthos excavation. His previous experience was in Museology. Specifically he had made his university’s practice for one semester on Museums of Athens in 2012.
Yiannos Petrou was born in Limassol, Cyprus, in 1987. He graduated from the department of History and Archeology at the University of Athens. He is currently a postgraduate student of prehistoric archaeology at the same university. He has participates in several excavations, including ancient Alassarna in Kos, Amygdalia hill in Patra, West hills (Filopappou, Pnyka) area in Athens.
Konstantinos Stefanakos was born in Agioi Anargiroi of Athens. He graduated from University of Crete in July 2012 and continues his post graduation studies in University of Crete in Ancient Mediterranean World: History and Archaeology. He has participated in excavations dated in prehistorical ages at Meganisi Leukada (survey and excavation project) and at Vrysina Rethymno (excavation project).
Dimitris Kokkinakos, was born and raised in Sparta, graduated from University of Crete in March 2012 and currently continues his post graduation studies in “Ancient Mediterranean World: History and Archaeology”. He has participated in survey projects at the islands Meganisi and Dia, at the excavation project of Dispilio and currently works at Zominthos.
Myros Nikakis was born in Agios Nikolaos, Crete. He graduated from the University of Tuscia in Italy with a major in the conservation of antiquities, obtaining a First Class result. He delved into the restoration of archaeological sites at Crete, examining artifacts at Festos and Symi (Il Restauro Archeologico a Creta: I Casi di Festos e Symi). He worked at the Museo de Ceramico at Viterbo in Italy, the Sanctuary of Hermes and Aphrodite in Symi, the settlement at Çeşme-Bağlararası in Turkey, the palace of Zakros on Crete, and in Karpathos. He is now working in Zominthos, Crete.
John Theodosiou was born in Halkida in 1978. In 2001 he graduated from Techological Education Institute of Piraeus (T.E.I. Pireaus) department of Civil Engineering. From 1999 to 2004 he works as a civil engineer in a technical company ‘’Stadia o.e.’’. From 2004 to 2013 he works as a civil engineer and as a designer in Ministry of Culture and Sports [ IA E.P.K.A (Halkis and Eretria) and I E.P.K.A (Delphi)]. From 2013 to 2014 he works with Swiss School of Archaeology in Eretria. In 2014 he is a member of Zominthos excavation as a designer.
Alexandra Livarda (archaeobotanist) is currently working as a postdoctoral research assistant to Dr. Amy Bogaard (University of Oxford, UK) for the Çatalhöyük Research Project, Turkey. She holds a Master’s degree in Environmental Archaeology and Palaeoeconomy (Sheffield University, UK) and a PhD in archaeology (titled “Introduction and dispersal of exotic food plants into Europe,” University of Leicester, UK). She has worked on various archaeological projects in Greece, England, Italy, Turkey, and Albania since 2000. In Crete, apart from Zominthos, she has participated in the excavation projects of the Little Palace North, Knossos; Villa Dionysos, Knossos; Palaikastro (assisting Dr. Anaya Sarpaki); and Sissi, Mallia. Her research interests include archaeobotany, economic archaeology, and food culture. She has published widely in these fields.
Angelos Boufalis was born in Athens in 1984. He is a graduate of the Department of History and Archaeology of the University of Crete, and continues his studies with a BA in Philology. He has taken part in excavations in Eleutherna I (Director Petros Themelis) and III (Director N. Stampolidis), the peak sanctuary of Vrysinas (Director Iris Tzachili), and the Zominthos Central Building, as well as surveys at Knossos (Director Todd Whitelaw), Thirasia (Director Iris Tzachili), and Vrysinas (Director Iris Tzachili). He has also participated in the recording of the inscriptions in Melidoni Cave (Director Yiannis Tzifopoulos).
He is a member of the Hellenic Alpine Club and the Greek Speleological Society. He founded, along with Costas Papadopoulos (see above), the amateur team “Modern Archaeological Documentaries.” His research interests are mainly focused on Greek epigraphy, the archaeology of the landscape, and Early Iron Age Crete.
Antonios Papadopoulos was born in Athens in 1989. Since 2007 he has been studying at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens in the Department of History and Archaeology. He has taken part in excavations in Oiniades, Xombourgo of Tinos, Eleutherna III, and Tell Nader (Erbil) in Iraq. He participates in the male polyphonic choir of St. Alexander at Paleo Phaliro.
Charalampos G. Fassoulas graduated from Aristotle University, in Thessaloniki, in 1989, with a degree in geology. He wrote his thesis on Tectono-metamorphic conditions of the Kranea tectonic window, Thessali, N. Greece (Advisor A. Kilias). He is now the Curator of Geology and Paleontology at the Natural History Museum, University of Crete. His principal research focuses on the geodynamics and tectonics of the south Aegean, the exhumation processes of HP rocks, tectonic geomorphology in modern orogenic zones, and basin development. He has published widely on these fields.
Fassoulas is a member of the Geological Society of Greece, the Tectonic committee of the G.S. Greece, the International Association of Structural/Tectonic Geology, and ProGEO, the European society for the protection of Geological Heritage. He is an ex-student member of the Geological Society of America and an advisory expert for UNESCO’s Global Geoparks.
Christos Trigonakis was born in 1987 in Iraklion, Crete. Since 2005, he has been studying at Aristotle University’s School of Architecture in Thessaloniki. In 2004 and 2008, he attended drawing and painting classes. During 2008 and 2009, he worked as an architect for the Zominthos Project.
Constantinos Papadopoulos is at the last stage of his PhD candidature in Archaeology at the University of Southampton employing formal and informal analytical tools and computer graphics to critically evaluate the ways that modern methodological tools and especially three-dimensional visualisations can enhance archaeological interpretation. He has studied Archaeology and History of Art (BA – First Class) and Archaeological Computing (MSc – Distinction), and he is interested in the theory of visualisation, perception and interpretation in prehistoric archaeology, the processes of recording in archaeological fieldwork, as well as the importance of light in the understanding of ancient built spaces. He has received grants and scholarships for both his undergraduate and postgraduate studies and has published his work in peer-reviewed journals, edited volumes, conference proceedings and a monograph. He has also produced archaeological documentaries which have been presented in internationally acclaimed festivals. Constantinos has organised several workshops, roundtables and conferences and has delivered invited lectures both in the UK and abroad. He has teaching experience of both undergraduate and postgraduate students, and he is a member of the reviewing committee for The Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology Conference (CAA) since 2009. He has been elected as a publication officer at the board of CAA – Greek Chapter. He recently finished the co-editing and publication of the book Thinking beyond the Tool: Archaeological Computing and the Interpretive Process.
Eleni Maloupa is an agronomist, with a PhD in biology and the physiology of plants from University Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris. Since 1998, she has been a regular researcher at the National Agricultural Research Foundation, and is responsible for the Balkan Botanical Garden at Kroussia and the Laboratory for the Preservation and Development of Self-Sown and Floricultural Species. She is in charge of several national and international research programs regarding the preservation, development, and protection of Greek flora. Maloupa is chairman of the organization of international conferences of the International Society for Horticultural Science. Since 2002, she has been a national representative at the international network for the preservation of the flora at botanical gardens (BGCI) and member of the European Committee PLANTA EUROPA. She has published widely on the preservation, development, and protection of Greek flora, agriculture, ecosystem and environment, botanic gardens etc.
Eleni Nodarou received a Master of Science degree in Environmental Archaeology and Paleoeconomy in 1998 from the Department of Archaeology and Prehistory, University of Sheffield (UK). She wrote her MSc thesis on geoarchaeology, entitled: Soils and Sediments from the Habitation Site at Chrysokamino, East Crete: a Geoarchaeological Study (Supervisor Dr. Charles Frederick). In 2003, she received her PhD from the University of Sheffield’s Department of Archaeology and Prehistory, writing her dissertation on: Pottery Production, Distribution and Consumption in Early Minoan West Crete: An Analytical Perspective (Supervisor Dr. Peter M. Day). She has published widely on the petrographic analysis of pottery, from the Neolithic to Byzantine period. She currently lectures on Greek civilization at the Hellenic Open University and is the director of INSTAP Study Center’s petrography internship program.
George Charitos graduated from the Department of History and Archaeology of the University of Athens, obtaining a First Class result. He is now a postgraduate student in prehistoric archaeology at the University of Athens, working on his dissertation entitled Rituals of the Vegetation Cycle in Minoan Religion.
He has taken part in the recording of Minoan pottery at the palace of Zakros (Director Lefteris Platon), in the excavation of the Pan’s Cave at Ymittos (Director Lilian Karali), and in the excavation of Zominthos Central Building on Crete. He also worked at the B’ Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities for the excavation of the Railway in Acharnes (Director Maria Platonos). He is mainly interested in the social and religious reconstitution of Minoan civilization.
Georgia Kotzamani is currently employed as a contract archaeologist-archaeobotanist at the Ephoreia of Palaeoanthropology and Speleology of Southern Greece, Hellenic Ministry of Culture. She holds a BA in history and archaeology (University of Thessaloniki, Greece), an MSc in environmental archaeology and palaeoeconomy (University of Sheffiled U.K.), and is completing her PhD at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki on the following subject: “From gathering to cultivation: archaeobotanical investigation of the early stages of plant exploitation and the beginnings of agriculture in Greece.”
She has worked on various excavation projects in Greece and Italy, and has undertaken the archaeobotanical analysis of different archaeological sites in the Greek territory. Her archaeobotanical work in Crete involves, apart from Zominthos, the sites of Aghia Fotia, Kephala Petras, and Priniatikos Pyrgos in the area of Lasithi. She has received study and research fellowships and grants by the Greek State Scholarship Foundation, The British School at Athens, the European Science Foundation, and the European Union. Her main research interests include the following topics: plant domestication and the beginnings of agricultural systems, hunter-gatherer and early agricultural plant exploitation strategies, palaeoehtnobotany and the uses of wild and cultivated plants, and prehistoric and early historic economic archaeology. She has numerous publications in these fields.
Giagkos Chairetis was born and grew up in Anoghia, Crete. He studied journalism and is professionally working as a musician. He is also a photographer for the excavation at Zominthos.
Giorgos Christodoulou received a BA, with honors, from Brunel University, London, UK, and an MA in mass-media production in 2000, from Canterbury Christ Church University College, UK. He has worked as a cameraman at Zominthos, and has extensive professional experience in all aspects of film, including stage direction, sound engineering, and lighting design.
Giorgos Tserkis was born in 1988 in Thessaloniki. Since 2006, he has been studying at Aristotle University’s School of Architecture. In 2008 and 2009, he worked as an architect for the Zominthos Project.
Giorgos Xylouris was born in Iraklion, Crete. He studied at the National Technical University of Athens in the School of Rural and Surveying Engineering, and has worked at the Idaean Cave and Zominthos, Crete.
Konstantinos Sarantidis is a graduate of the department of History and Archaeology of the University of Athens and postgraduate student in the ‘Protection of Monuments, Sites and Complexes’ at the National Technical University in Athens. He has participated in numerous excavations and recordings, including Xombourgo in Tinos, Plaka in Athens, the City of Rhodes and Kastraki in Agathonisi. He has also received a scholarship from the Municipality of Hymettus and Lentakis Foundation for his performance. He has worked in excavations in Nisyros and Leipsous at Dodecanese, as well as educational programmes at the New Acropolis Museum and the University of Athens. His research interests are related to the roofing techniques in antiquity and especially Late Antiquity in the Dodecanese.
Maria Ntinou was Born in Ioannina, Greece, in 1968, but moved to Thessaloniki for her university studies at the Department of History and Archaeology, University of Thessaloniki, where she obtained her degree in Archaeology in 1990.
In the following years, she started working for the Greek Archaeological Service and has been collaborating with Greek archaeologists since then on various projects. In 1994, she moved to Valencia, Spain, where she followed a two-year postgraduate course, and was introduced to archaeological sciences; in particular, anthracology (charcoal analysis) in the Department of Prehistory and Archaeology, University of Valencia. There, she received her postgraduate degree in 1997 and immediately afterward she started working on her PhD dissertation on charcoal analysis from three prehistoric sites in Greece: the Boila rock shelter (Epirus), Makri (Thrace), and Dispilio (Western Macedonia). In 2001, she received her PhD from the Department of Prehistory and Archaeology, University of Valencia. Her dissertation, titled El paisaje en el norte de Grecia desde el Tardiglaciar al Atlantico. Formaciones vegetales, recursos y usos, was published in 2002 as BAR, International Series 1038.
Since she finished her studies, she has been working on charcoal analysis at various Greek sites dating from the Palaeolithic to the Neolithic: Theopetra Cave (Thessaly), Klissoura Cave I and Lakonis Cave I (Peloponnese), Cyclops Cave (Youra, Northern Sporades), Knossos (Crete), Limenaria (Thassos), Paliambela and Avgi (Macedonia), and Drakaina Cave (Cephallonia). Recently, she has started collaborating on projects concerning the Bronze Age, including Mochlos (Crete) and Arhontiko (Central Macedonia), and historical periods, e.g., Azorias (Crete) and Kalaureia (Poros).
She has carried out the greatest part of her laboratory work at the Wiener Laboratory of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, where she was a Geoarchaeology Fellow and Research Associate from 2000 and until 2002, and again in 2005.
In 2004, she received a postdoctoral scholarship for the research project “Economie des combustibles au Paléolithique” at CNRS, Centre d’Etudes Préhistoire, Antiquité, Moyen Âge (CEPAM), Sophia Antipolis, University of Nice, France under the supervision of Dr. I. Théry. The results of her research have been presented at various conferences and published in books and/or journals.
Michalis Zotos is a graduate of the School of Architecture of the National Technical University in Athens and postgraduate student in the ‘Protection of Monuments, Sites and Complexes’ at the same university. He has worked at the department of buildings construction of the Public Power Corporation, at the architectural firm Munipulazione Internazionale in Moscow and the Acropolis Restoration Service. From 2008 onwards he has collaborated with the architecture firm of Y. Rodanas and the Architecture Studio of D. Nikolaou for the design of an industrial unit and a complex of houses accordingly. Also, he took part at the International competition Europan10 for the improvement of the historic centre of Eisenstadt in Austria, achieving the third place.
Sevi Triantaphyllou obtained her first degree in archaeology (1990) and M.Phil. in prehistoric archaeology (1992) at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. She then completed her M.Sc. in osteology, paleopathology, and funerary archaeology (1993) and Ph.D. (2000) at the University of Sheffield, U.K. She has excavated, cataloged, and studied human skeletal material in Macedonia, the Peloponnese, Crete, and the Cyclades. She has worked as freelance researcher in various projects on the prehistoric Aegean (Neolithic Paliambela, Neolithic Knossos, Middle Helladic in the Argolid, Nemea Valley, EM Odigitria tholos tombs, EM/MM Petras, LM Mochlos, etc).
Triantaphyllou held the 1994-1995 J. L. Angel Fellowship at the Wiener Laboratory, American School of Classical Studies at Athens, an IKY (Greek State Foundation) post-doctoral fellowship to study the skeletal material of a 4th-century B.C. mass burial in Pydna, and a post-doctoral fellowship from the Institute of Prehistoric Aegean to examine the dental micro-wear of prehistoric skeletal populations from northern Greece, the Peloponnese, and Crete. She has also taught as part-time lecturer in undergraduate and postgraduate courses at the department of archaeology and history in Thessaloniki and Crete, and was recently elected as a lecturer in prehistoric archaeology and osteoarchaeology at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. Since 2008, she has been actively involved in the excavation, study, and publication of the human remains from Petras Rockshelter and the House Tombs Cemetery.
Her research interests include mortuary practices and the manipulation of the deceased, dietary reconstruction, and the study of prehistoric populations in the Aegean.
Wolf-Christian Dittrich Hübner received his PhD in geology from Albert-Ludwigs-University, Germany, in 1993. Over the past two decades, he has been involved with the geophysical mapping of archaeological remains in Germany, Switzerland, France, Greece, Syria, Turkey, Lebanon, Georgia, and Saudi Arabia. He has published widely on geomagnetic and geophysical prospection and geoinformatics. In 1991, he launched “GGH, Solutions in Geosciences,” a company that specializes in geophysical prospections.
Yenetzakis Apostolos is a pharmacist working at Archanes, Crete. He specializes in the processing and preparation of products derived from herbs, as well as the use of attars (essences) in pharmacy. He has taken part in numerous seminars, and given lectures at symposiums and conferences in Greece and abroad (Italy – Assisi). He is member of the Greek Society of Ethnopharmacology at Athens and the Societa Farmaceutica del mediteraneo latino.
Zacharias Mauridakis was born and raised in Chania, Crete. He is a graduate of the Department of History and Archaeology of the University of Crete.