Nicholson Museum research projects

The Nicholson Museum currently conducts, supports and collaborates on a range of research projects, which includes:

  • hosting local, interstate and international researchers accessing the Nicholson Museum’s extensive collections for publication purposes
  • faciliting cross departmental research
  • assisting students to access the collections for honours and postgraduate studies and research projects
  • supporting new and ongoing archaeological investigations.

Current Projects

Corpus Vasorum Antiquorum Vol II

The volume, a collaboration between Michael Turner Senior Curator of the Nicholson Museum and Professor Alexander Cambitoglou, Director of the Archaeological Institute of Australia, is published under the auspices of the Union Académique Internationale in Paris. It is due for publication 2014.

Cover Page for CVA

Established in 1919, the Corpus Vasorum Antiquorum (CVA) series brings together the known holdings of Greek and Italian pottery held in museums and private collections around the world into a standard format. There are now nearly three hundred and fifty volumes from twenty-six countries in the series.

This will be the second CVA to be written on an Australian collection. The first was written by the same authors and published in 2008 (currently available for purchase via This second volume focuses on the Nicholson Museum's collection of South Italian pottery from Lucania, Paestum, Campania and Sicily. Many of the pieces to be published were acquired by the museum's founder Sir Charles Nicholson and given to the University in 1860. Since then the South Italian collection has grown through gifts and purchases and now numbers over two hundred and fifty items.

The volume has been made possible through the support of the CVA Committee of the Australian Academy of the Humanities and with the generous financial support of the late Professor J.A. Young, Mr Spiros Arvanitakis, Mrs Zoe Kominatos, the Faculty of Arts, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, the School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry at the University of Sydney, and the Nicholson Museum.

Archaeological excavations in Nea Paphos in Cyprus

This project is co-directed by Emeritus Professor J Richard Green, Dr Smadar Gabrieli, and Dr Craig Barker, Manager of Education and Public Programs, Sydney University Museums

The Theatre at Paphos; © The University of Sydney.

The Theatre at Paphos; © The University of Sydney.

The Nicholson Museum is a sponsor and major supporter of the University of Sydney’s archaeological excavations at Nea Paphos in Cyprus along with the Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens. Excavations of the Theatre have been ongoing since 1995, conducted under the auspices of the Department of Antiquities of the Republic of Cyprus. Current fieldwork is concentrating on the excavations of the Hellenistic-Roman period theatre, in use in antiquity for over 6 centuries, as well as investigating the urban layout of the theatre precinct including paved Roman roads and a Roman nymphaeum (water house). To find out more about this research project or how to get involved please visit the Paphos Theatre project website or contact Dr Craig Barker via email .

Woodhouse Photographic Collection

This is a collaborative project involving Snr Curator Michael Turner, Prof. John Papadopolous (UCLA), Prof. Vrasidas Karalis, Emeritus Prof. Richard Green, Dr. Craig Barker, Dr. Elizabeth Bollen and Dr. Rowan Conroy


Fallen column drums of the Temple of Olympian Zeus, Athens. NM2007.59.16

The Nicholson Museum is currently undertaking a new publication of the W J Woodhouse historic photograph collection. Whilst travelling throughout Greece between 1890 and 1936, former curator William J Woodhouse captured both the monumental ruins of the Ancient Greek world and the contemporary Greek landscape and culture.

This volume will encapsulate the majesty of the Greek country side and Classical archaeological monuments as Woodhouse found them on his travels in the early 20th century.

Tomb VI, Asproyi, Cyprus


Mycenean Bowl from Asproyi, Cyprus. NM 55.23

This project was undertaken by the late Professor Hector Catling former Senior Assistant Keeper at the Ashmolean Museum, Honorary Fellow of St John’s College Oxford and former Director of the British School at Athens

The late Professor Catling, completed research on the material from Tomb IV at the site of Asproyi, Kouklia (Paleopaphos) in Cyprus in preparation for publication. The material was excavated during the St Andrews University and Liverpool Museum expedition to Cyprus in 1954. A portion of the material from the tombs was given to the Nicholson Museum during the Curatorship of J.R. Stewart, another prominent Cypriot archaeologist. The material in the Nicholson includes ceramics, ivory and bone artefacts and some metals. The material dates to the late thirteenth and early twelfth centuries BC.

Contact Us:

If you would like further details about current research at the Nicholson Museum please contact our curatorial staff via email or call us on (+61) 2 9351 2812