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Centre for Classical and Near Eastern Studies of Australia

A marketplace of ideas on ancient worlds
A collaborative venture, hosting research projects that span the classics, ancient history and archaeology, and home to an extensive library and archive.

About us

The Centre for Classical and Near Eastern Studies of Australia is the home of a number of groups, interests and projects. We colloabrate on exciting projects and research interests from the Department of Classics and Ancient History, Department of Archaeology, Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens, Near Eastern Archaeology Foundation and the Mediterranean Archaeology Journal.

At the University of Sydney, students and visiting scholars can make use of the library, reading room, offices, boardroom, and meeting room. The library contains more than 10,000 books from three major collections covering ancient theatre, Greek and Latin texts, and mediterranean archaeology.

Research projects

Professor Julia Kindt was awarded a Future Fellowship covering 2018-2022 to develop her research into ancient anthropology and human-animal relations. This award provides funding for a four-year project to examine how the line between humans and animals is drawn and redrawn in ancient texts and contexts.

This will be the first systematic study ever undertaken of the patterns of use made of the theatre by tyrants, regents, kings and emperors. A major international colloquium was held in 2018 and included associated public lectures which are now being developed for a published volume. 

A multi-year research project aimed at investigating the archaeology and history of extensive building remains at Glac, near Sremska Mitrovica in Serbia. In collaboration with local museums and schools, the project will undertake archaeological excavations, scientific analysis, interpretation and conservation, and will establish a field school for Serbian, Australian and other international students.

This project, by Professor Alison Betts, aims to explore the importance of Zoroastrianism of images of Avestan gods in Uzbekistan and enhance understanding of one of the world’s significant religions.

This project seeks to understand the settlement history of Northern Kythera from remote antiquity to the present. This project seeks to answer these questions: Why was the area of Paliochora not settled until ca.1000 AD? Why was it abandoned following the sack of 1537? Why did it remain abandoned thereafter? 

This project, dedicated to the study of Flavio Biondo, an Italian Renaissance humanist historian and one of the first archaeologists, is led by Frances Muecke of the University of Sydney. The Biondo Research Network aims to provide a comprehensive guide to Biondo and his close associates, offering information on new publications, planned events and conferences.

Since 1995, the University of Sydney has been excavating the ancient Hellenistic-Roman theatre of Nea Paphos in Cyprus. Fieldwork is focused on investigating the urban layout of the surrounding theatre precinct, including revealing paved Roman roads and a Roman nymphaeum (fountain).

Over the past 38 years, the University of Sydney and the Near Eastern Archaeology Foundation have been excavating Pella in Jordan, a site under human occupation since c.8000BCE. Excavations have already unearthed many important discoveries, including Neolithic housing ca. 6000 BCE and Chalcolithic period storage complexes ca. 4200 BCE.

The Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens is continuing excavations of the geometric settlement of Zagora, on the Aegean island of Andros begun by Professor Alexander Cambitoglou in 1967. The Zagora Archaeological Project utilises 21st century methods to add breadth and depth to our knowledge of this unique town.


Public Lecture

The Poet's Aesop: Appropriating Fable

Dr Gaeme Miles, Senior Lecturer in Classics in History & Classics at the University of Tasmania

Though fable preceded the appearance of the figure of ‘Aesop’ in the Greek world, and had deeper roots in Middle Eastern traditions, the imagining of a specific master of fable had profound effects on the use of fables in Greek and Latin literature. The deformed, foreign slave, with whom fables came increasingly to be associated from the 5th century BCE onward, was a quintessential outsider, and fable too appears to have been associated with the lower social classes and with slaves. Nonetheless, poets repeatedly made use of Aesop and the fable in elite literature from Aristophanes to Callimachus and beyond. This lecture looks at some of the uses to which this apparently ‘subliterary’ material was put, especially in the programmatic and polemical statements of poets about the nature of poetry.

Dr Graeme Miles is Senior Lecturer in Classics in History & Classics at the University of Tasmania. He researches Greek literature (especially of the Roman Era) and philosophy (especially the Platonic tradition).

Dr Miles completed his PhD at the University of Western Australia. Following his doctorate he was an Asialink writer in residence based at the University of Madras, then a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Ghent, Belgium (2007), before returning to teach at UWA in early 2008. He took up his current post at the University of Tasmania in 2008.

A Light supper will follow the lecture.

This event is free
Click here to register

This event is co-hosted by the Department of Classics and Ancient History at the University of Sydney

CCANESA inaugural book sale

The Centre for Classical and Near Eastern Studies of Australia (CCANESA) invites you to join us for our inaugural book sale. 

What’s on sale?

The core of the books comes from CCANESA’s main areas of research in the areas of ancient history, archaeology, and Near Eastern Studies.

Offerings include: editions of the Loeb Classical Library, other critical editions of classical texts, excavation reports, scholarly monographs, journal volumes, and more. In addition, there are also books from different areas in the School of Philosphical and Historical Enquiry, (SOPHI) some children’s books and even novels.

Come and pick up your bargain!

All proceeds will go to the continued upkeep of the CCANESA Library and research facilities.

Friday 30 August -Saturday the 31 August
CCANESA, Madsen Building

Free entry, books as marked.

Centre Director

Associate Professor Julia Kindt
Professor Julia Kindt
View academic profile

Centre for Classical and Near Eastern Studies of Australia

Executive Officer AAIA - Management
  • Level 4 Madsen F09