Workshops and artisans in the ancient Aegean

Online seminar (in Greek and English)
February – December 2023

In ancient Greece the process of crafting materials into usable objects or works of art was described as dêmiourgia, and skilled artisans were often called dêmiourgoi. The terms derives from the words δήμιος(=public) and ἔργω(=to work) and means “those who work for the people”. This suggests that artisans held an important place in ancient Greek society.

But what exactly do we know about them? Where did they have their workshops? How did they acquire their materials and tools? What techniques did they use? How were the workshops organized? How did they sell their products? What was their social status?

These are some of the questions to be discussed in the online seminar organized by the Paul and Alexandra Canellopoulos Museum (Greece) and the University of Lille (France). Specialized researchers will explore the world of ancient Greek artisans and their working spaces, based on evidence provided by written sources, excavations, inscriptions, scientific studies etc. The speakers will shed light on the social dimension of ancient Greek crafts and on the people who made the objects that we admire in museums.

The lectures will be in Greek or English (see program). They will be ca. 50’ long, followed by discussion. They are addressed to archaeologists, conservators, students and the general public.

Organized by
George Sanidas, Université de Lille (UMR 8164 Halma)
Nikolas Papadimitriou, Paul and Alexandra Canellopoulos Museum
The seminar is held in memory of Myrto Georgakopoulou, a precious colleague, who passed away untimely in 2022, leaving a rich legacy in the study of ancient technology


Thursday 9 February 2023
at 19.30 EET
Εισαγωγή: Εργαστήρια και τεχνίτες στην αρχαία Ελλάδα
Nikolas Papadimitriou (Canellopoulos Museum)
George Sanidas (Université de Lille)

Thursday 16 February 2023
at 19.30 EET
Potters at work in ancient Greece: skills, sequences, spaces                 
Eleni Hasaki (University of Arizona)

Thursday 16 March 2023
at 19.30 EET
Η συμβολή των νέων τεχνολογιών στη γνώση της αρχαίας ελληνικής γλυπτικής
Philippe Jockey (Université Paris Nanterre)

Tuesday 25 April 2023
at 19.30 EET
Δημιουργοὶ σιδήρου πρῶτοι: τεχνικές του σιδήρου και αρχαιολογική έρευνα
George Sanidas (Université de Lille)

Thursday 18 May 2023
at 19.30 EET
Σὺν Ἀθηνᾷ καὶ χεῖρα κίνει. Δημιουργία υφασμάτων στην αρχαία Ελλάδα
Stella Spantidaki (ARTEX Research Center)

Thursday 22 June 2023
at 19.30 EET
From sand to masterpiece: origins and the evolution of ancient glass technology
Αrtemios Oikonomou (NCSR ‘Demokritos’/Τhe Cyprus Institute)
Τhilo Rehren (The Cyprus Institute)

Thursday 21 September 2023
at 19.30 EET
From wax to copper alloy: techniques of Greek bronzes
Sophie Descamps-Lequime (Musée du Louvre)

Thursday 12 October 2023
at 19.30 EET
Foundries and bronze-casting in antiquity
Gerhard Zimmer (Katholische Universität Eichstätt-Ingolstadt)

Thursday 16 November 2023
at 19.30 EET
Art in miniature: the skills of the Greek goldsmith
Jack Ogden (Birmingham City University)

Thursday 14 December 2023
at 19.30 EET
H φυσικοχημική έρευνα της αρχαίας τεχνολογίας στο Εθνικό Αρχαιολογικό Μουσείο της Αθήνας
Georgianna Moraitou (National Archaeological Museum, Athens)

By clicking on the above links you can register for the lectures you are interested in. Then you will receive
emails with the links and passcodes of the corresponding lectures.