i11Summer 2020

During these unprecedented times, our thoughts are with those in need. We are all hoping for the best.!

Despite the difficulties, we do our best to keep work and progress going. Health and safety above all.

Our conservation troops fully in gear, here Anna and Foteini, keep the spirits up!




Watch the webinar by Jane Buikstra on “The Birth of Democracy in Ancient Athens: A Bioarchaeological Perspective” in the American School of Classical Studies at Athens (June 18, 2020)



Winter 2020

Enjoying the view from Lycabettus

Bright welcome to our new amazing PBP team members!

Kerri Widrick, senior at SUNY New Paltz, and Elizabeth Hannigan and Jessica Hotaling, graduate students at California State University, Chico, just joined us in Athens. All three were also trained in the Center for American Archaeology, bringing us the wise breeze and energy of Kampsville (https://www.caa-archeology.org/programs/advanced-field-school/).

While working at the Wiener Lab. All about the bones.

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Elizabeth Hannigan
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Jessica Hotaling
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Kerri Widrick

Fall 2019

Meet our new conservators!

Let us welcome Annie Nikolakopoulou! Annie has a lot of experience in the conservation of archaeological human remains as she worked at the Phaleron excavation by the Ephorate of Antiquities of Piraeus and Islands in the past.
Remember Phoebe (Fwteini) Papaswtiriou? She worked with us during her internship through the Vocational Technological Institutes Petras and Zwgrafou. We are delighted to welcome her now as staff.

Wiener Lab BBQ


Always time for a good BBQ especially when Takis is grilling! Good food and pleasant company comes after the Wiener Lab orientation and tour for the new ASCSA Regular and Associate Members. Great way to integrate students, fellows, and staff!

Jessica Rothwell enjoying the group after giving a presentation on her dissertation work on the Phaleron Bioarchaeological Project. Note Jessica’s amazing bone outfit!

First work: Lefteris is carrying the “weight” of conservation. We produce tons of mud every day… This is absolute mud-ness!
Then party: Time to enjoy the BBQ! Our new conservation staff member Petros Zymperdikas (one of our former interns), Lefteris, and Panagiotis relaxing while the charcoal is burning!

!Οur new logo!


img_0537_aA beautiful day at the ASCSA gardens

Jane, Jessica, and Eleanna in front of the Malcolm H. Wiener Laboratory after giving an interview on the Phaleron Bioarchaeological Project to ASCSA Social Media Manager Lilly Kustec (far left) for the ASCSA News. We thank Lilly for her help with our project logo!

Meeting with the Dipylon teamimg_0528_a

We met with the amazing team of the Dipylon Society for the Study of Ancient Topography (https://dipylon.org/en/home/). During our productive meeting we had the chance to discuss the scopes of both PBP and Dipylon, exchange ideas, and discuss plans for possible collaboration regarding, among others, the mapping of archaic and classical Athens in relation to the Phaleron project. Here at the Dipylon headquarters with part of their team: (from left to right) Matina Lampraki, Orestis Goulakos, Evi Sempou, Annita Theocharaki, Eleanna Prevedorou, and (sitting) Christina Giannakoula. We are looking forward to hosting them at PBP and the Wiener Lab!

New pet…                                                      and a mascot…


Meet our new friends for the fall season: We have a pigeon pet that hangs out with us getting friendlier day by day… Here, our new pet perching on Panagiotis’ arm and eating off Lefteris’ hand. Things got even more exciting when Irene found the cutest little (Ninja) turtle on the sidewalk just outside the School here posing in our photo booth!

Jessica is back!


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Jessica Rothwell, Arizona State University  graduate student, is back at the Wiener Lab for 3 months. Jessica is doing her dissertation on Phaleron focusing on jar burials and juvenile remains.

img_20190910_112007Anna on the block!

Anna is microexcavating an infant skeleton removed within a soil block. She has carefully exposed the skeleton and she is cleaning the bone surfaces before removal. All the soil will go through dry and wet sieving.

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Jane is here!

How can the fall season start without Jane Buikstra? Jane is with us for a month. Yay!

Can you guess what is happening? Jane just discovered a bunch of periostitis and sclerosis on the lower limbs of the two skeletons! Go paleopath!
Jane already started data collection. Eirini at the back keeps laying out skeletons for her. Notice the beautiful vintage anatomy charts on the wall? These are the ones that Phoebe Papasotiriou, our former conservation intern, conserved for the Wiener Lab.

Summer 2019

Welcome Elena!


Elena Pérez López, a student in Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Heritage at University of Seville, just arrived for her 2-month Erasmus program. Here, Elena is working on her first skull under the direction of Irene. See the pretty smiles?

Welcome Clarissa!

Here, Clarissa is enjoying her first day working with human remains, doing what else but wet cleaning! She was not expecting to get so dirty so early on….
Bright Clarissa swiftly moved onto reassembling skeletal elements and basic inventorying. Here learning anatomy trying to identify ribs under the supervision of Foteini.

Clarissa Frascadore, archaeology student from University College Roosevelt just started a 6-week internship at the Phaleron Bioarchaeological Project.

Research on Cancer


The amazing Carina Marques at work at the Wiener Laboratory. Carina is recording taphonomic changes on the Phaleron skeletons before they get x-rayed for pathological changes. We just love having her with us!

Spring 2019

Cancer in Antiquity Research


Our PBP research project on cancer in antiquity is featuring in the News of the Biomedicine Group (Βιοιατρική). We are grateful to Carina Marques for joining our team and for leading the cancer project. We want to thank Charis Fontrie, Georgia Pappa, Panagiotis Toulas and all the Biomedicine staff for a wonderful collaboration. We look forward to continuing working with you!

Nowadays, high cancer frequency and cancer-related mortality are global phenomena, however the history and evolution of the disease in the ancient past are controversial matters. Questions arise as to whether or not the apparent low frequency of archaeological skeletal examples is artificial due to methodological challenges in our paleopathological diagnostic methods. Focusing on the large and diverse skeletal sample from Phaleron we systematically screen for cancer-related skeletal finds through digital radiography in addition to macroscopic observations in collaboration with the Biomedicine Group.

PBP publication

prevedorou-and-buikstra_2019bioarchaeological_practice_and_the_curation_of_human_skeletal_remains_in_a_greek_context_the_phaleron_cemetery_page_1Our paper on PBP and the curation of the Phaleron skeletal remains just came out on a special issue in Advances in Archaeological Practice.

Thanks again to Carolyn and Katie for organizing the wonderful session in the 2017 SAAs. All contributions are worth reading. Congratulations!

Happy 2019

Where is Jane?


In Athens, of course! Jane, Eleanna, Aliya, and Hannah contemplating over a skeleton at the stury area of the osteology lab at the Wiener Laboratory. What fun!

Fall 2018

PBP is growing and expanding!

We are very fortunate to have new members in our conservation team. Foteini Diatsigkou (our former intern) and Lefteris Kosmidis just joined our professional conservation crew. Growing in numbers came with expanding in space. The “old” lab space at the ASCSA is revived and converted into our conservation laboratory along with storing the hundreds of crates with the Phaleron skeletal remains. This way we are able to work on the large soil blocks without having to move them.

Anna and Foteini in action!
Lefteris and Panagiotis in action!

Welcome Hannah


Hannah Liedl just joined our team! She was awarded a 6-month fellowship from the Austrian Academy of Sciences to work on the Phaleron Bioarchaeological Project at the Wiener Laboratory. Here, she is recording pathological changes on a skeleton from a pit burial from Phaleron.

Jane at work!


Jane Βuikstra came back to Athens to begin our fall season! Here at the storage facilities of the Ephorate of Piraeus and Islands while examining the fettered legs en bloc from the mass grave of four young men discovered in 2013!

Summer 2018

ASCSA Summer Session

What is a summer at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens without a Summer Session seminar at the Wiener Lab! Here, Takis Karkanas and Eleanna Prevedorou with the wonderful group led by Prof. Georgia Tsouvala on a hot summer day following a “cool” visit at the new Wiener Laboratory.

Welcome on board Jessica and Foteini!

Jessica Rothwell (PhD student, School of Human Evolution and Social Change, Arizona State University) is starting her dissertation on the jar burials and juvenile remains from Phaleron focusing on issues of health, diet & survival, and childhood identity. What a better way to familiarize herself with the preservation of the Phaleron skeletal remains than microexcavating a skeleton! At the back, you can see Foteini Diatsigkou, our new conservation intern from the Vocational Training Institute Petra and Zografou.


Our new multi-talented conservation intern


Phoebe (Foteini) Papasotiriou, our new conservation intern from the Vocational Training Institutes Petra and Zografou, has also experience in conservation of art work. During her internship, she helped us conserve vintage human anatomy posters we found in the archives -now up on the Wiener Lab walls. Thank you Phoebe!

May 2018

Jane in Athens!

Project Director Jane Buikstra travels to Athens frequently for the needs of PBP. Here while looking for some shade at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center after visiting the skeletal remains from the large mass grave of 2016 that remain in situ at the Phaleron site. Let the summer season begin!


En bloc!


Our conservator Anna Lachana working on a torso from a pit burial removed within a large soil block. It takes time, patience, and skill!

Following the microexcavation of the block, the skeletal remains are cleaned and conserved in detail, while all soil is dry and wet sieved. We have a strict protocol of keeping selected specimens untreated, so that we can ensure biochemical analysis.

WL seminar for the University of Athens

The graduate students in Archaeology at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens return to the M. H. Wiener Laboratory for a seminar on the lab’s facilities, current research, and the Phaleron Bioarchaeological Project by Eleanna Prevedorou. Here is a photo along with our PBP conservation team!


Flint Dibble, the faunal specialist working on the Phaleron horse remains, is giving a seminar on archaeozoological research. You never know when you may have to take an animal bone quiz!


April 2018

Washington DC: SAAs

M. H. Wiener Laboratory Session “Archaeological Science Meets the Classics: Emerging Knowledge in the Ancient Eastern Mediterranean World” (organizers: Eleanna Prevedorou & Calla McNamee) at the 83rd Society for American Archaeology Annual Meeting. Lovely reunion, great talks, and exciting research! Warm thanks to all participants for a wonderful session!


Right after our SAA session, Jane Buikstra, Takis Karkanas, and Eleanna Prevedorou along with George Orphanakos had the joy to present the work of the M. H. Wiener Laboratory and the Phaleron Bioarchaeological Project to the Hellenic Society Prometheas at St. George Greek Orthodox Church at Bethesda MD.


Hikaru Fujii at the Wiener Lab: The art of science!


History and archaeology inspire art! We were fortunate to have Hikaru Fujii and his team at the Wiener Lab filming The Primary Fact, for the Onassis Fast Forward Festival 5 (Onassis Cultural Centre, Athens). It was great fun, as well as an amazing experience to be part of art in the making and to collaborate with such a wonderful crew. Here is how photographer Thanos Lazopoulos captured our conservation work on the Phaleron remains through his artistic lens and we thank him for sharing this shot with us: our conservator Anna Lachana using the ultrasonic dental scaler to remove the thick crust from a cranium.

March 2018

Meet our new conservators!

Let us welcome with great joy conservators Eirini Stathopoulou and Anna Lachana working along with Panagiotis, Thomas, Zoe, and Anastasia! Such a great team!


February 2018

ASCSA Regular Program Seminar

Eleanna holding a Wiener Lab seminar and hands-on workshop on Bioarchaeology and the Phaleron Project for the Regular Program of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens along with Lukas Waltenberger (left). Many thanks to Cindy Levesque (right), our new graduate intern coming all the way from Canada, for her help!


January 2018

New student volunteers

We welcome Anastasia Solomos (left) and Nefeli Kouvela (right), both undergraduate students in Archaeology at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, to our Phaleron curation team! So many bones, so little time…


December 2017

Bioarchaeology Seminar

The students of the Graduate Seminar in Mortuary Archaeology of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens are visiting the Wiener Laboratory for Archaeological Science of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens for a hands-on session in Bioarchaeology by Eleanna Prevedorou: human osteology, sexing skulls and pelves, measuring juvenile long bones for age-at-death estimation. Feel the thrill of a bone workshop!





December 2017

Visit at the SNFCC

Stella Chrysoulaki and Jenifer Neils looking at the excavation site at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center.

November 2017

Lukas just came from Vienna full of enthusiasm

We are welcoming PhD student Lukas Waltenberger who won a 6-month scholarship by the Austrian Academy of Sciences to join the Phaleron Bioarchaeological Project research team. Lukas is working on the skeletons buried in cist graves. Here, he is taking sophisticated notes on burial position using photos and drawings while excavating a thorax block -see how fun bioarchaeology really is?

October 2017

Conservation of the Esplanada mass grave begins

Selected skeletons from the large mass grave recovered at the Esplanada area at Phaleron in 2015 were removed and transferred to the Wiener Laboratory for curation and study. Photo from left to right: Tatiana Panagopoulou (Head conservator, Ephorate of Antiquities of West Attica, Piraeus and the Islands), Varvara Giannakena (Conservator, Ephorate of Antiquities of West Attica, Piraeus and the Islands), Eleanna Prevedorou (Phaleron Bioarchaeological Project Coordinator), Zoe Chalatsi (Phaleron Bioarchaeological Project Conservator), and Dimitris Michailidis (M. H. Wiener Laboratory Coordinator). Great start!

September 2017

Heavy lifting

Our conservator Zoe Chalatsi repositioning the rib cage of a skeleton before excavation.

August 2017

The messy side of the conservation lab

Our conservator Panagiotis Papavasileiou taking photos during excavation of a torso.

July 2017

New conservation intern

We welcome Iliana Argyriadi, senior at the Vocational Training Institute Petra, who joined us for her 6-month practicum. Here, Iliana is excavating a soil block with a pelvis from a pit burial from Phaleron.

June 2017

Our conservation team is growing!

Petros Zimperdikas (left), senior at the Vocational Training Institute Petra, will be with us for his 6-month practicum in conservation of antiquities. Panagiotis Papavasileiou (middle) is a conservation technician and a new addition to our staff. Ioannis Mpraziotis (right), conservation technician, joined our team of interns to be trained in conservation of archaeological skeletal remains. Welcome everyone!

May 2017

Aliya’s visit

Aliya Hoff (PhD student, School of Human Evolution and Social Change, Arizona State University), is starting her dissertation research on the Phaleron human remains. Here Zoe, Aliya, and Eleanna in action!

Society for American Archaeology, 82nd Annual Meeting, Vancouver 2017

Curating the Past: The Practice and Ethics of Skeletal Conservation

Great session, wonderful people! Jennifer Newton, Patricia Powless, Harriet “Rae” Beaubien, Christine Lee, Martha Palma Malaga, Carolyn Freiwald, Eleanna Prevedorou, Jane Buikstra, Anna Novotny, Katherine Miller Wolf (left to right). Thank you all for your interest on the Phaleron Bioarchaeological Project!

April, 2017

Welcome Fernando!

Fernando Bentué Martínez, is a student in Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Heritage at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, currently doing his study abroad at the Technological Educational Institute at Athens. Here is Fernando’s first day working on the infant remains from jar burials under the supervision of Eleanna and Zoe.

March, 2017

Science through the shades

New members in our team! Marialena Andrikopoulou, Eleni Neofytou and Matina Papasarantou, seniors at the Archaeology Department, University of Athens, cataloging and photographing cremation burials.

February, 2017

Conservation update

Conservation of the deviant burials has began. Here Zoe working on a skeleton found in a mass burial with the hands tied at the back. Note the development of the muscle attachments at the nuchal area at the back of the skull -very robust!

February, 2017


Marianna Manali, a graduate of the MSc program in Bioarchaeology and Forensic Anthropology at UCL, and Aliki Giannikou, a conservator and a recent graduate of the Department of Archaeology, University of Ioannina, just joined our wonderful team of volunteers!

February, 2017

Bird buried with infant

Skeletal elements of a dove were identified with the human remains of a young infant buried within a jar at Phaleron cemetery. Many thanks to the Wiener Lab Coordinator Dimitris Michailidis (paleoornithologist) for his contribution!

The Phaleron Bioarchaeological Project and the Wiener Lab feature in Kathimerini:


One of the skeletons from the Phaleron mass burials preserving the arms tied at the back at the Wiener Laboratory storage area.

January, 2017

Safe storage

Storing the os coxae in ethafoam sheets during the curation process.

December, 2016

Conservators in action

Conservation never ends at the Wiener Lab. Zoe working with conservation apprentices Dimitris Kotsaptis and Spyridoula Magoula.  Volunteer Thomas Iossifidis, undergraduate student in archaeology at the University of Athens, is being trained in cleaning skeletal elements while learning human osteology. Thank you all for your help!

Zoe, Dimitris, and Spyridoula

Zoe and Thomas

November, 2016

Ambassador visit

U.S. Ambassador to the Hellenic Republic Geoffrey R. Ryatt visited the Wiener Laboratory and the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. Here, at the conservation lab of the Phaleron human remains with Eleanna Prevedorou and incoming ASCSA Director Jenifer Neils.

October, 2016

Welcome Dimitris

Dimitris Kotsaptis, senior at the Public Vocational Training Institute in archaeological conservation (IEK Ilioupolis), will do his 6-month practicum with us.

September, 2016


Conservator Zoe Chalatsi working on the cranium from a jar burial.

July, 2016


Conservator Panagiotis Papavasileiou and volunteer Dan Ehrlich organizing and inventorying hundreds of crates with human skeletal remains.

June, 2016

Transferring the Phaleron material

The Phaleron human skeletal remains are being transferred at the Wiener Laboratory of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. Here, Jane Buikstra, Melinda Zeder, and Jenifer Neils peeking in on the crates at the storage area.

June, 2016

New Wiener Lab Opening

Jane Buikstra and Malcolm Wiener before the inauguration of the new building for the Malcolm H. Wiener Laboratory for Archaeological Science, American School of Classical Studies at Athens, wherein the Phaleron Bioarchaeological Project is housed.

October 6, 2015

Visit at the SNFCC

Jane Buikstra and Takis Karkanas visited the ongoing excavations at the Phaleron cemetery.

Stella Chrysoulaki and Jane Buikstra during the excavation tour.

Jane Buikstra looking at an exposed burial against the stratigraphy.

Jane Buikstra and Takis Karkanas in front of a burial removed with the “block technique” stored inside the climate controlled facility.