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Department of History and Archaeology


Assistant Professor of Prehistoric Archaeology

Vassilis Petrakis holds a first degree in archaeology (2002, Athens) and a PhD in prehistoric archaeology (2010, Athens). Since 2002, he has participated in several field research and study projects in Greece and Cyprus. He also collaborates with the Eleusis Archaeological Project (west Attica), the Iklaina Archaeological Project (Messenia) and at the excavations at Koukonisi on Lemnos. He worked as a contract archaeologist in the Greek Archaeological Service and as a research fellow at the National Hellenic Research Foundation. Before joining the Faculty of History and Archaeology in Athens (2021), and parallel to his active teaching in Greek public education (2007-2021) he offered specialist lectures and courses Mycenaean archaeology and epigraphy at the University of Athens (occasional visiting lecturer since 2012), at the International Hellenic University at Thessaloniki and as visiting scholar at the Program in Aegean Scripts and Prehistory, University of Texas at Austin (2011, 2016, 2020). His current research and study engagements include the study and publication of the Linear B documents from the ongoing excavations the Mycenaean palace complex of Ayios Vasileios in Laconia and the study of Bronze Age inscriptions and administrative documents from the Minoan palace site of Kato Zakros in East Crete.

Research interests

  • Aegean prehistory (focus on the Greek Mainland)
  • Aegean Bronze Age writing systems
  • Linear B and Mycenaean economy and administration
  • Mycenaean art and iconography
  • Mortuary practices and funerary architecture
  • Mycenaean religion
  • Kingship and the ideologies of power in the Bronze Age Aegean
  • Warfare in the prehistoric Aegean
  • Trade and intercultural contact in the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean during the 2nd millennium BCE.

Select publications

  • “The arrival of the rhyton in Early Mycenaean Greece”, Journal of Prehistoric Religion 25 (2016) [volume in memory of Robin Hägg], 47-63.
  • “Writing the wanax: spelling peculiarities of Linear B wa-na-ka and their possible implications”, Minos. Revista de Filología Egea 39 (2016), 61-158, 407-410.
  • “Reconstructing the matrix of the ‘Mycenaean’ literate administrations” in P.M. Steele (ed.) Understanding Relations Between Scripts: Τhe Aegean Writing Systems. Oxford: Oxbow Books 2017, 69-92.
  • “The adventures of the Mycenaean palatial megaron” in B. Davis and R. Laffineur (eds.) ΝΕΩΤΕΡΟΣ. Studies in Bronze Age Aegean Art and Archaeology in Honor of Professor John G. Younger on the Occasion of his Retirement, Aegaeum 44 (Annales liégeoises et PASPiennes d’archéologie égéenne 44), Leuven/ Liège: Peeters 2020, 283-309.
  • “Mycenaean thórnoi, Homeric θρόνοι: textual perspectives” in L. Naeh and D. Brostowsky Gilboa (eds.) The Ancient Throne: The Mediterranean, Near East, and Beyond, from the 3rd Millennium BCE to the 14th Century CE. Proceedings of a Workshop held at the 10th ICAANE in Vienna, April 2016, Oriental and European Archaeology 14, Vienna: Austrian Academy of Sciences Press 2020, 61-84.
  • “Transforming expressions and perceptions of prestige in the Early Mycenaean Southwestern Peloponnese” in B. Eder and M. Zavadil (eds.) (Social) Place and Space in Early Mycenaean Greece: International Discussions in Mycenaean Archaeology, October 5–8, 2016, Athens, Mykenische Studien 35, Vienna: Austrian Academy of Sciences 2021, 295-319, open-access: (DOI: 0xc1aa5576 0x003c7f4b)
  • “Slaughter, blood and sacrifice: Mycenaean *sphag- in context” in R. Laffineur and T.G. Palaima (eds.) Zoia: Aninam-Human Connections in the Aegean Middle and Late Bronze Age. Proceedings of the 18th International Aegean Conference, originally to be held at the Program in Aegean Scripts and Prehistory, in the Department of Classics, The University of Texas at Austin, May 28-31, 2020, Aegaeum 45 (Annales liégeoises et PASPiennes d’archéologie égéenne 45), Leuven/ Liège: Peeters 2021, 343-371.

Most of his publications may be found on