Events program

Excavations in the Adriatic: Orikos, a Euboean foundation in Albania, or a case of ‘fake news’ in Antiquity?

by Professor Jean-Paul Descoeudres - University of Geneva, University of Sydney


6:30pm - Wednesday October 25, 2017
CCANESA Boardroom
Madsen Building, level 4, room 480
The University of Sydney


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Situated in the southern corner of the Bay of Vlore (Valona) in southern Albania, Orikos boasts one of the best harbours along the entire Balkan coast of the Adriatic Sea. Julius Caesar, whose naval forces used it during the Civil War, has left a detailed description of it which shows that the site has undergone little change since antiquity.

Considered by ancient writers to be a Greek, and more particularly Euboean, foundation, Orikos occupies a key position in the Adriatic: it constitutes with Otranto on the opposite side of the Straits of Otranto a convenient link between the Balkan and the Italic peninsulas, and offers at the same time a safe place to ships sailing along the Illyrian coast. The valley of the Dukati river which forms its hinterland is very fertile in its lower part and must have produced significant agricultural surpluses in ancient times, whilst its upper reaches give access to another much sought-after resource, timber.

Following the government’s decision to demilitarize part of the site (that had served since the time of the Ottoman empire as naval base), the Albanian Archaeological Institute invited Professor Jean-Paul Descoeudres in 2004 to assist it with a Swiss team in the archaeological exploration of the site. Excavations started in 2007 and are ongoing, since 2017 under the direction of Professor Jean Terrier of the University of Geneva.

Professor Jean-Paul Descoeudres is Emeritus Professor at the University of Geneva, where he held the Chair of Classical Archaeology from 1997-2009, and Honorary Professor at the University of Sydney, where he taught from 1973-1996. He is a member of the Council of the AAIA and chief editor of Mediterranean Archaeology. He now lives once again in Sydney.

The lecture will be followed by light refreshments.

This is a free event. For catering purposes, we ask you to register.


For bookings please click here here or contact us on: arts.aaia@sydney.edu.au / (02) 9351 4759

Directions can be found here and parking details here .



Recent explorations on the island of Aphrodite: The Australian Paliochora-Kythera Archaeological Survey (APKAS) 2016-2017

by Dr Lita Tzortzopoulou-Gregory and Professor Tim Gregory

6:30pm - Thursday November 23
CCANESA Boardroom
Madsen Building, level 4, room 480
The University of Sydney


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The APKAS project, under the aegis of the AAIA and the University of Sydney, in the past two years re-commenced its investigations in the northern part of the island of Kythera after a break of approximately 10 years. Aiming at a final, volume-length publication, the current project is focusing on areas with high archaeological potential that for various reasons were not thoroughly investigated in the earlier phase of the project. APKAS also extending into new areas north, west and east of the previous survey boundaries, covering the whole extent of the northern part of the island coast to coast, which until now have been mostly unexplored and archaeologically unknown. Using updated techniques in survey navigation, fieldwalking, and mapping, and aided by the use of drone technology and photogrammetry, the last two seasons of the project have contributed greatly to a better understanding of diachronic human activity in the northern part of Kythera. The present lecture will provide an overview of some of the key finds from the last two seasons of investigations, and their ramifications concerning not only the archaeology of Kythera itself but also that of the broader Aegean and mainland regions of Greece

Dr Lita Tzortzopoulou-Gregory's research interests focus on the archaeology of post-medieval and modern Greece, and especially on issues relating to local, regional, and national identities. She is Co-Director of the Australian Paliochora-Kythera Archaeological Survey, and Executive Officer in Athens of the AAIA.

Professor Tim Gregory is Professor of History at The Ohio State University, with special research interests in Byzantine History and Classical Archaeology. He has studied and done research in Greece for nearly half a century and he is Director of the OSU Excavations at Isthmia (in the Korinthia) and Co-Director of the Australian Paliochora-Archaeological Survey.

The lecture will be followed by light refreshments.

This is a free event. For catering purposes, we ask you to register.


For bookings please click here here or contact us on: arts.aaia@sydney.edu.au / (02) 9351 4759

Directions can be found here and parking details here .