American School of Classical Studies at Athens

American School of Classical Studies at Athens

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The American School of Classical Studies at Athens (ASCSA) is one of 17 foreign archaeological institutes in Athens
Athens , is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, as its recorded history spans around 3,400 years. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state...

, Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....


General information

Founded in 1881, the ASCSA is the most significant resource in Greece for American scholars in the fields of ancient and post-classical studies in Greek language, literature, history, archaeology, philosophy, and art. The mission of the School is to advance knowledge of Greece in all periods, as well as other areas of the classical world, by training young scholars, sponsoring and promoting archaeological fieldwork, providing resources for scholarly work, and disseminating research. The ASCSA is also charged by the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Tourism with primary responsibility for all American archaeological research, and seeks to support the investigation, preservation, and presentation of Greece’s cultural heritage.

The School offers two major research libraries: the Blegen Library, with 94,000 volumes dedicated to the ancient Mediterranean world; and the Gennadius Library, with 116,000 volumes and archives devoted to post-classical Hellenic civilization and, more broadly, the Balkans and the eastern Mediterranean. The School also sponsors excavations and provides centers for advanced research in archaeological and related topics at its excavations in the Athenian Agora and Ancient Corinth, and it houses an archaeological laboratory (the Wiener Laboratory) at the main building complex in Athens.

Resources, services

The ASCSA offers graduate students enrolled in member universities an unparalleled immersion into the sites and monuments of Greek civilization. Although there are many activities and programs at the School, its core programs are:

The Academic Year or ‘Regular’ Program, which runs from early September to early June, offers advanced graduate students from a variety of fields an intensive survey of the art, archaeology, history, and topography of Greece, from antiquity to the present. The program for Regular Members is an integrated participatory program over nine months. Regular Members are expected to be in attendance for the full nine-month program. Students receive comprehensive training through visits to the principal archaeological sites and museums of Greece as well as in seminars led by resident and visiting scholars. They also take part in the training program at the Corinth excavations. The School accepts 15 to 20 students in this program.

The Summer Sessions, which run for two six-week periods each, are open to North American graduate and advanced undergraduate students and to high school and college instructors of classics and related fields. In these sessions, the School condenses its academic year program into an intensive introduction to the sites, museums, and monuments of Greece. The Summer programs are open to 20 participants each session.

The School welcomes scholars to its libraries year-round for research. In addition, the School is a recognized leader in digital resources, providing an ever-expanding collection of books, journals, photographs, excavation notebooks, personal papers, maps, and scientific data sets online.

Archaeological fieldwork

ASCSA Projects

Throughout its existence, the ASCSA has been involved in a large number of archaeological projects, as well as a major programme of primary archaeological publications. It is responsible for two of the most important archaeological sites in Greece, the Athenian Agora and Ancient Corinth
Ancient Corinth
Corinth, or Korinth was a city-state on the Isthmus of Corinth, the narrow stretch of land that joins the Peloponnesus to the mainland of Greece, roughly halfway between Athens and Sparta. The modern town of Corinth is located approximately northeast of the ancient ruins...

. The Corinth Excavations
Corinth Excavations
The Corinth Excavations by the American School of Classical Studies at Athens began in 1896 and have continued with little interruption until today. Restricted by the modern village of Ancient Corinth, which directly overlies the ancient city, the main focus of School investigations has been on the...

 commenced in 1896 and have continued to present day with little interruption, and the Athenian Agora excavations first broke ground in 1932. At both sites, the ASCSA operates important museums and extensive facilities for the study
Post excavation
In archaeology once the archaeological record of given site has been excavated, or collected from surface surveys, it is necessary to gain as much data as possible and organize it into a coherent body of information. This process is known as post-excavation analysis, and is normally the most...

 of the archaeological record. Excavation records and artifacts are made available to wider audiences via

ASCSA Affiliated Projects

Other archaeological projects with ASCSA involvement, past and present, include surveys
Archaeological field survey
Archaeological field survey is the method by which archaeologists search for archaeological sites and collect information about the location, distribution and organization of past human cultures across a large area...

 in the Southern Argolid, in Messenia
Messenia is a regional unit in the southwestern part of the Peloponnese region, one of 13 regions into which Greece has been divided by the Kallikratis plan, implemented 1 January 2011...

 and at Vrokastro (Crete
Crete is the largest and most populous of the Greek islands, the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, and one of the thirteen administrative regions of Greece. It forms a significant part of the economy and cultural heritage of Greece while retaining its own local cultural traits...

) and excavations at Olynthus
Olynthus was an ancient city of Chalcidice, built mostly on two flat-topped hills 30–40m in height, in a fertile plain at the head of the Gulf of Torone, near the neck of the peninsula of Pallene, about 2.5 kilometers from the sea, and about 60 stadia Olynthus was an ancient city of...

 (Greek Macedonia), Samothrace
Samothrace temple complex
The Samothrace Temple Complex, known as the Sanctuary of the Great Gods , Greek Hieron ton Megalon Theon , is one of the principal Pan-Hellenic religious sanctuaries, located on the island of Samothrace within the larger Thrace...

 (North Aegean
North Aegean
The North Aegean is one of the thirteen regions of Greece. It comprises the islands of the north-eastern Aegean Sea, except for Samothrace, which belongs to the region of East Macedonia and Thrace, and Imbros and Tenedos which belong to Turkey....

), the islet of Mitrou (Central Greece
Central Greece
Continental Greece or Central Greece , colloquially known as Roúmeli , is a geographical region of Greece. Its territory is divided into the administrative regions of Central Greece, Attica, and part of West Greece...

), Halai (Phthiotis
Phthiotis is one of the regional units of Greece. It is part of the administrative region of Central Greece. The capital is the city of Lamia. It is bordered by the Malian Gulf to the east, Boeotia in the south, Phocis in the south, Aetolia-Acarnania in the southwest, Evrytania in the west,...

), Isthmia
Isthmian Games
The Isthmian Games or Isthmia were one of the Panhellenic Games of Ancient Greece, and were named after the isthmus of Corinth, where they were held...

, Kenchreai
Kechries is a village in the municipality of Corinth in Corinthia in Greece. It is part of the community of Xylokeriza...

, Nemea
Nemea is an ancient site near the head of the valley of the River Elissos in the northeastern part of the Peloponnese, in Greece. Formerly part of the territory of Cleonae in Argolis, it is today part of the prefecture of Corinthia...

, Sicyon
Sikyon was an ancient Greek city situated in the northern Peloponnesus between Corinth and Achaea on the territory of the present-day prefecture of Corinthia...

 (all in Corinthia
Corinthia is one of the regional units of Greece. It is part of the region of Peloponnese. It is situated around the city of Corinth, in the north-eastern part of the Peloponnese peninsula.-Geography:...

), Lerna
In classical Greece, Lerna was a region of springs and a former lake near the east coast of the Peloponnesus, south of Argos. Its site near the village Mili at the Argolic Gulf is most famous as the lair of the Lernaean Hydra, the chthonic many-headed water snake, a creature of great antiquity...

, Argos
Argos is a city and a former municipality in Argolis, Peloponnese, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Argos-Mykines, of which it is a municipal unit. It is 11 kilometres from Nafplion, which was its historic harbour...

, Franchthi cave and Halieis
Porto Cheli
Porto Cheli or Portocheli is a village in the municipality of Kranidi in the southernmost part of the Argolis prefecture and the Argolic Peninsula. It is located E of Tyros and eastern Arcadia, SE of Argos and Nafplio, S of Corinth, Ancient Epidaurus and 7 km S of Kranidi and SW of Trizina...

 (Argolid), Mt. Lykaion (Acadia),
Nichoria is a site in Messenia, on a ridgetop near modern Rizomylos, at the northwestern corner of the Messenian Gulf. From the Middle to Late Bronze Age it cultivated olive and terebinth for export...

 and the Palace of Nestor
Palace of Nestor
The Palace of Nestor is the central building of a Middle Helladic era settlement surrounded by a fortified wall. The palace was a two-storey building with store rooms, workshops, baths, light wells, reception rooms and a sewage system...

 at Pylos
Pylos , historically known under its Italian name Navarino, is a town and a former municipality in Messenia, Peloponnese, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Pylos-Nestoras, of which it is the seat and a municipal unit. It was the capital of the former...

Messenia is a regional unit in the southwestern part of the Peloponnese region, one of 13 regions into which Greece has been divided by the Kallikratis plan, implemented 1 January 2011...

), Haghia Irini (Keos
KEOS is a listener-sponsored, commercial-free, non-profit community radio station serving the Brazos Valley in Bryan, Texas. The station, which has an all-volunteer staff, is affiliated with National Public Radio, Pacifica Radio and Public Radio International.- Mission :KEOS is committed to the...

), as well as Azoria
Azoria is an archaeological site on a double-peaked hill overlooking the Gulf of Mirabello in eastern Crete in the Greek Aegean. "Azoria" is a local toponym, not apparently an ancient place name or epigraphically-attested Greek city...

, Mochlos
Mochlos is a modern island in the Gulf of Mirabello in eastern Crete, and the archaeological site of an ancient Minoan settlement. There is evidence that Mochlos was not an island in Minoan times, but was attached to the mainland and acted as an eastern harbor.The name Mochlos also applies to the...

, Gournia
Gournia is the site of a Minoan palacecomplex on the island of Crete, Greece, excavated in the early 20th century by theAmerican archaeologist, Harriet Boyd-Hawes. Gournia lies in the municipality of Ierapetrain the prefecture of Lasithi.-External links:...

, Kavousi
Kavousi is a historic village in the municipality of Ierapetra in the prefecture of Lasithi in eastern Crete. It is situated 19 kilometers northeast of Ierapetra, 26 km east of Agios Nikolaos and 42 km west of Sitia. The village is located in the northern foothills of the Thripti...

 and Kommos
A kommós is a lyrical song of lamentation in an Athenian tragedy that the chorus and a dramatic character sing together. A kommós occurs "when the tension of the play rises to a climax of grief or horror or joy"...

 on Crete
Crete is the largest and most populous of the Greek islands, the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, and one of the thirteen administrative regions of Greece. It forms a significant part of the economy and cultural heritage of Greece while retaining its own local cultural traits...



ASCSA publishes the peer-reviewed journal Hesperia
Hesperia (journal)
Hesperia is a peer-reviewed journal published quarterly by the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. It was founded in 1932 for the publication of the work of the school. This is still the main aim of the journal today...

quarterly as well as monographs for final reports of archaeological fieldwork conducted under School auspices, supplements to Hesperia, Gennadeion monographs; and miscellaneous volumes relating to the work of the School. These books range in format from large hardbacks to slim paperback guides.

External links

  • ASCSA website
  • AMBROSIA The Union Catalogue of the Blegen and Gennadius Libraries of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens and the Libraries of the British School at Athens
  • Online database of the ASCSA
  • ASCSA Publications