Dr Evangelos Kyriakidis

Senior Lecturer in Aegean Prehistory

About

Educated at University College London and at the University of Cambridge, Dr Evangelos Kyriakidis came to the University of Kent from the University of California, Los Angeles, where he was a Cotsen Visiting Scholar at the Institute of Archaeology. 

Evangelos has research interests in Mycenaean administration, Minoan religion and iconography, as well as ritual theory. He is also interested in the history of archaeological thought and in archaeological site management and planning.

Research interests

Evangelos is a member of the Health, Wellbeing and the Senses research cluster. He is also a member of the Centre for Heritage

Teaching

Evangelos is the Programme Director of the MA in Heritage Management at the University of Kent at Athens.

Publications

Article

  • Anagnostopoulos, A., Stefanou, E. and Kyriakidis, E. (2018). Community engagement through archaeological ethnography: learning in situ with a field school in Gonies Maleviziou, Crete. AP: Online Journal in Public Archaeology [Online] 7:85-100. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.23914/ap.v7i0.180.g160.
  • Kyriakidis, E. and Anagnostopoulos, A. (2017). Engaging Local Communities in Heritage Decision-Making: the Case of Gonies, Crete, Greece. Journal of Eastern Mediterranean Archaeology and Heritage Studies [Online] 5:334-348. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.5325/jeasmedarcherstu.5.3-4.0334.
    This article presents a community project developed through the ‘Three Peak Sanctuaries of Central Crete’ archaeological project in the village of Gonies in Crete, Greece. We propose that archaeological research should include community projects and involve locals in decision-making. We examine the limitations put on such community programs by state institutions and networks of power. We argue that archaeologists should be involved as experts through engaged long-term ethnographic research that precedes any archaeological or heritage investigation and enables them to understand the position of their research within instituted networks of power and knowledge. We make a case for local engagement that can alter the course of research towards more ethical and sustainable forms. And finally, we discuss the development of public outreach programs in collaboration with the communities themselves.
  • Grammatikakis, I., Demadis, K., Kyriakidis, E., Cabeza, A. and Leon-Reina, L. (2017). New evidence about the use of serpentinite in the Minoan architecture. A ?-Raman based study of the “House of the High Priest” drain in Knossos. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports [Online] 16:316-321. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jasrep.2017.09.029.
    Serpentinites have been widely used as a raw material in a huge repertoire of shapes during the Minoan period, for the construction of artifacts both for domestic use as well as for religious purposes. However, the utilization of serpentinites is extremely limited in the Minoan palatial architecture. In all the cases where the use of serpentinite is documented, it has been for the construction of column bases. The aim of this study is the investigation of the material used for the construction of the drain located under the stair leading to the adyton (sanctuary) of the “House of the High Priest” one of the peripheral monuments of the Palace of Knossos.

    Despite the fact that Sir A. Evans documented the stone drain and described the raw material as stone, no further comments were made regarding the exact type of stone used by the Minoans. Furthermore, the fact that a rather unusual material was used for the construction of a drain instead of a more typical material such as limestone or sandstone, enhances the ill-defined and controversial character of the “House of the High Priest”.

    The initial mineralogical characterization of the drain material was carried out by means of X-ray powder Diffraction leading to the identification of several minerals and polymorphs. Further examination of the sample in terms of microstructural and chemical analysis of the different inclusions was implemented by means of confocal ?-Raman spectroscopy. Within the concept of this study emphasis is given to the application of this nondestructive and noninvasive technique that can be applied in situ for the analysis and characterization of objects of archaeological significance made out of serpentinite minerals, where often sample acquisition is not possible.

    The choice of Raman spectroscopy as the main non-destructive analytical tool consists a strategic decision for two main reasons: (a) There are several other architectural elements implemented in the Minoan palatial architecture allegedly made out of serpentinite that macroscopically bear different characteristics and have to be examined, and (b) the majority of the Minoan stone vases corpus is consisted of artifacts made out of serpentinite but in both cases sampling is not possible. Lastly, the correlation of the data acquired from the analysis of the serpentinite outcrops on the island of Crete, with those from the archaeological objects might augment the development of knowledge regarding the cultural networks among the agricultural areas, where the serpentinite sources are located towards the centers of the Minoan civilization.
  • Kyriakidis, E. and Anagnostopoulos, A. (2016). Archaeological Ethnography, Heritage Management, and Community Archaeology: A Pragmatic Approach from Crete. Public Archaeology [Online] 14:240-262. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14655187.2016.1221988.
    This article examines the introduction of archaeological ethnography as an approach to establish positioned research and bring context-specific and reflexive considerations into community archaeology projects. It considers recent cri-tiques of heritage management in archaeology and the role of archaeologists as experts in it, contending that smaller and less prominent sites exist in different contexts and pose different problems than large-scale projects usually addressed in the literature. We describe how the ‘Three Peak Sanctuaries of Central Crete’ project, investigating prehistoric Minoan ritual sites, involves communities and stakeholders and what demands the latter pose on experts in the field. Archae-ological work is always already implicated in local development projects which create and reproduce power hierarchies. It is therefore important that archaeol-ogists maintain their critical distance from official heritage discourses, as they are materialized in development programmes, while at the same time engaging with local expectations and power struggles; they also have to critically address and position their own assumptions. We use examples from our community archae-ology project to propose that these goals can be reached through archaeological ethnographic fieldwork that should precede any archaeological project to inform its methodological decisions, engage stakeholders, and collaboratively shape heritage management strategies.
  • Kyriakidis, E. (2012). Borders and Territories: The Borders of Classical Tylissos. Cambridge Classics Journal [Online] 58:115-144. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1750270512000097.
    A few lines of a famous fifth-century treaty inscription between Argos, Tylissos and Knossos are the focus of this study which attempts to reconstruct the border between Tylissos and Knossos in the Classical period. Borders are important intangible features inscribed on the landscape, separating or uniting people. The two Classical states had a long history as neighbouring states, and the comparison between the Classical border and the projected borders of other periods is of particular interest.
  • Kyriakidis, E. (2011). Proceedings of the International Colloquium “The Inner Workings of Mycenaean Bureaucracy". Pasiphae: Rivista di filogia e antichità egee 5:17-24.
  • Kyriakidis, E. (2010). ’Collectors’ as Stakeholders in Mycenaean Governance: Property and the Relations between the Ruling Class and the State. Cambridge Classics Journal [Online] 56:140-177. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/5175027050000300.
  • Kyriakidis, E. (2008). ’Ritual and Risk in Chinese Divination Rituals’: A Comment on ’Divination and Power’ by Rowan K. Flad. Current Anthropology 49:426-426.
    The performance of ritual is infested with risk. Risk of one's status as a competent performer, risk of one's projected social status, risk of intervention and interruption by human and superhuman agents. Chinese oracle bone divination rituals, based on the interpretation of the cracking of the bones aftrer firing, where in the Lower Xiajiadian culture enriched with a specific pretreatment of these 'oracle-bones'. This preparation of bones included the drilling of holes to make the cracking of the bones more predictable. This was a strategy to mitigate risk and was soon to spread to oracle bones accross China. It is argued in this short paper that the element of risk was the motive behind the spread of this practice.
  • Kyriakidis, E. (2008). Who’s Who: The Shepherds in the Cn Series at Pylos. Pasiphae: Rivista di filogia e antichità egee 2:449-459.
  • Kyriakidis, E. (2007). Phonetic Attributions of Undeciphered Characters: The Case of *56 in Linear B. Cambridge Classical Journal 53:202-228.
    After the decipherment of Linear B and the attribution of phonetic values to most signs,
    several others still remain undeciphered. Any attempt to reconstruct their phonetic
    value is beset with difficulties. In this paper we will attempt to set out some basic
    principles for making reconstructions of undeciphered characters in well-studied
    scripts. We shall then look specifically at the range of evidence available and the various
    theories built around the decipherment of sign *56 trying to construct a strong argument
    in favour of one possible phonetic attribution. In doing so we shall comment on the
    strengths and weaknesses of the various arguments, thus illuminating the usefulness of
    such principles in making a secure attribution.
  • Kyriakidis, E. (2005). The Unidentified Floating Objects on Late Minoan Seal Iconography. American Journal of Archaeology [Online] 109:137-154. Available at: http://www.ajaonline.org/index.php?ptype=content&aid=19.
    This is the first article of a much larger project: its function is to prove that certain iconographical objects on Minoan gold signet rings are in fact constellations. This tenet has far-reaching consequences. The retracing of the Minoan sky not only can give us a huge insight into Minoan religion, mythology, calendar, agriculture, navigation and science, but can also change the trajectory of the field of archaeo-astronomy. So far, archaeo-astronomy holds that the origin of the classical constellations are to be traced in the near East and Mesopotamia. Though this might be indirectly true, it now seems that a much more likely source for the bronze-age constellation-pattern is Crete, since the Minoan constellations resemble the later Classical ones much more than any Near or Middle Eastern example.
  • Kyriakidis, E. (2004). Aniconicity in Late Minoan I Seal Iconography. Kadmos [Online] 43:159-166. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/kadm.43.1.159.
    Much has been said for the aniconicity of Minoan Religion. Most of such arguments are predicated on the study of Minoan gold signet rings. On them some figures lack facial traits which is often explained as a symptom of Minoan Religion. But is that so? In this article several cases of gold signet rings with ‘aniconic’ faces are studied. The first observation is that not all faces are entirely aniconic. There are some which have several facial features rendered and are therefore ‘iconic’. There are many other however with facial characteristics but not properly rendered that can be termed ‘semi-iconic’. Studying the importance of the iconic figures it becomes obvious that they also are the most important in status. So it does not seem to be true that the gods’ faces are not depicted, instead it seems more likely that the gods were the ones depicted, and less important figures were not. I would argue that aniconicity is not a product of religious belief, but of technique, as several ‘aniconic’ figures are the ones that are depicted in frontal or ¾ views.
  • Kyriakidis, E. (2003). Scribes Treated as Criminals: A Note on the Study of Palm and Fingerprints on the Linear B Tablets of Knossos Bennet, J. and Driessen, J. eds. Festschrift volume for John Killen 33-334:1-8.
    The Linear B tablets written in Mycenaean Greek have been an invaluable source of information for the economy, administration, religion and bureaucracy of Mycenaean society. A great number of studies have been conducted on the relatively limited corpus: graphological analyses (of hand writing style), textual analyses, clay analyses, fingerprint analyses amongst others. This paper aims to use the fingerprint analysis and combine it with what we know about the various scribes (from the textual and graphological analyses) of the palace of Knossos. The fingerprints reveal who made which tablet, and we can thus see which scribes share tablets and work together. This then is coupled with the specialisation of the scribes. There is a very interesting correspondence between scribal collaborations and specialisations: scribes who exchange tablets before they were written, also work in the same part of the economy, or at least with comparable industries
  • Kyriakidis, E. (2003). Undeciphered Tablets and Undeciphered Territories: A Comparison of Late Minoan IB Archives. Proceedings of the Cambridge Philological Society 49:118-129.
    In this article I follow Schoep’s points of evidence as presented in the first half of a recent article where she focuses on the Linear A evidence from various sites, and especially Haghia Triadha, Zakro and Khania. These tablets show considerable variation in various respects, mainly between the three ‘archives’ (simply here meaning tablet concentration). However, the differences between ‘archives’ to be comparable, it must be demonstrated that they play a structurally similar role in the respective administrations. The recording of commodities is comparable only when it is demonstrated that similar administrative stages for the same commodity are being considered. The way scribes work can be compared when the work of scribes who play similar roles in the respective bureaucracies is being compared. As we shall see below, however, most of the points of variation between the Linear A archives do not compare like to like. In this article most variations are explained either as results of the comparison between different parts or stages of similar centralized bureaucracies, or as minor and predictable differences between otherwise similar bureaucracies, such as scribal idiosynchracies, and differences of dialect.
  • Kyriakidis, E. (2001). The Economics of Potnia: Storage in ’Temples’ of Prehistoric Greece. Aegaeum [Online]:123-130. Available at: http://www2.ulg.ac.be/archgrec/IMG/aegeum/aegaeum22(pdf)/16%20KYRIAKIDIS.pdf.
    The studies on the storage of any ritual site, are not that numerous; in fact, the only paper on the topic briefly attempts to demonstrate that there is storage associated with some Minoan ‘religious’ buildings and interprets the data accordingly. This view will be firmly supported here. It has to be noted that for the purposes of this article, the term storage refers only to food storage as indicator of subsistence potential and by extension, for a non-monetary society, of relative wealth. The much-neglected coarse ceramics, especially pithoi and large vessels can give us a reasonable idea on storage. Storage, no doubt, could also be achieved by bags or baskets, which unfortunately leave no trace. Cists or boxes that were specifically made for storage are very rare and are not normally found outside large buildings. Indeed it seems to be the case that Minoan ritual sites to have large storage capacity, and therefore to be able to store and manage wealth – one of the conditions of institution building. The same picture is drawn during the ensuing Mycenaean period, since the linear b tablets provide enough evidence for the existence of Religious institutions that manage and store wealth.
  • Kyriakidis, E. (2000). A Sword Type on the Chieftain’s Cup (HM 341). Kadmos 39.
    The conventions of Minoan artists are often alien to us, and call for close and systematic observation. Here the convention used for a type of sword will be studied, with reference to frescoes from Thera and a figure on the Chieftain’s Cup from Ayia Triada. Learning more about the conventions of the Minoans does not only help us understand more about their iconography, but ultimately opens a window into their minds.
  • Kyriakidis, E. (2000). Two Spells in the Language of the Keftiu. Crete-Egypt, Three Millennia of Cultural contacts, The Greek Ministry of Culture.
  • Kyriakidis, E. and Keel, O. (1999). The Scarabs of Crete. Crete and Egypt, 4000 years of cultural contacts:304-333.
    This is the first form of a full publication of all the scarabs found in the island of Crete through the ages. They date from the third millennium to the roman period and always constitute an important dating feature in most of the related contexts. A more complete publication of these scarabs will address some of the issues that have arisen from this study.
  • Kyriakidis, E. (1999). Scribes Treated as Criminals: A Note on the Study of Palm and Fingerprints on the Linear B Tablets of Knossos. MINOS:197-204.
    The study of the palm and finger prints on the tablets of Knossos proves to be very useful in the light of the arguments set in a previous article (Kyriakidis 1998) and it refines the picture we have of the relation between the preparing and the inscribing hands. Moreover, it can give us an idea as to the relations between some of the scribes and between the scribal bureaus. It can also scertain the attribution of some tablets in cases when the scribe was identified with some uncertainty. Quite often one preparing hand makes tablets for more than one scribe. In that case, these scribes are ‘linked’, irrespective of whether one follows my argument on the identity of the scribal and the tablet preparing hand. In some cases, there is a chain of connections among three or more scribes. In this short contribution I attempt to elaborate on the links between the scribes at the palace of Knossos, since those at Pylos have already been assessed elsewhere (Kyriakidis 1998)
  • Kyriakidis, E. (1998). Some Aspects of the Role of Scribes in Pylian Palace Administration. Minos: Revista de filología egea:201-229.
    The purpose of this essay is to discuss several points, aimed at enhancing our understanding of the human aspect of the scribes: their actions, the framework in which they worked, the way they made tablets, their specialization, their movements and their co-operation with other scribes. Needless to say, such a study cannot be conclusive, and cannot account for the whole Mycenaean world; it will be limited to one palace: the Palace of Pylos. This has been chosen because it is the most thoroughly excavated and published Mycenaean palace, has a large concentration of Linear B tablets, and occupies a relatively restricted area.
  • Kyriakidis, E. (1997). Nudity in Late Minoan I Iconography. Kadmos [Online] 36:119-126. Available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/kadm.1997.36.2.119.
    The existence and interpretation of nudity in Minoan iconography has received much attention for almost a century. In this short essay a particular group of seals will be considered, namely the Minoan golden Signet rings. Their elaborate iconography includes, among other features, certain female figures in various stances, which are apparently nude. They have ‘pronounced thighs’. These female figures have been variously interpreted and sacral or divine status has often been attributed to them.

Book

  • Kyriakidis, E. (2006). Ritual in the Aegean: The Minoan Peak Sanctuaries. London, UK: Gerald Duckworth & Co Ltd.
    The function of this monograph is dual. Firstly it creates a methodology on how to identify ritual in prehistoric archaeology, and identifies the limitations of any such identification. It also proposes an avenue to explore the politics of ritual, without need for any elaborate further reconstructions, by assessing the establishment of ritual and looking at ritual institutions. This theoretical framework is then put to the test with the Minoan Peak Sanctuary material. In essence this is the first book dedicated exclusively to the material of the Peak Sanctuaries, and in doing so it takes nothing for granted. The second large contribution, beyond the theoretical, is the tracing of the role that the Peak Sanctuaries played in Minoan ideology, society, economics and politics through the ages.

Book section

  • Kyriakidis, E. (2007). In Search of Ritual. In: Kyriakidis, E. ed. The Archaeology of Ritual. 2007: Cotsen Institute of Archaeology UCLA publications, pp. 1-8.
  • Kyriakidis, E. (2007). Archaeologies of Ritual. In: Kyriakidis, E. ed. Archaeology of Ritual. Los Angeles: Cotsen Institute of Archaeology, University of California, pp. 289-308. Available at: http://ioa.ucla.edu/backdirt/sprsum04/ritual.html.
    Of all the overarching, overlapping, and sometimes overworked themes of this book, there are three that I would like the reader to keep in mind. First are issues of definition and the relationship between ritual and religion. Second is the discipline of archaeology itself, the material it deals with, and the ways it is influenced by that material as a discipline, with certain given abilities, limitations, and interests. And, last come the various perspectives of study, some new and others old, that could be seen as fruitful avenues for future research, different archaeologies of ritual. In this final chapter, I will discuss mainly the first and the third themes, though still referring to the second (for which see also chapter 2).
  • Kyriakidis, E. (2000). Miscellanea: Pithos or Baetyl? On the Interpretation of a Group of Minoan Rings. In: Altroth, B. ed. Opuscula Atheniensia. Stockholm: Paul Forlag Astroms. Available at: http://www.astromeditions.com/library/Bookresp.asp?Book=OA25-26.
    The stance of the figures leaning on a ‘baetyl’ (after Warren) is very standardized. It is not believed here that this fact is significant for the interpretation of the event/ritual that is taking place on the seals comprising these figures. It is however, important for the initial description of what is depicted; even more so when the rendering of the seal is not clear. This standardization is not only going to help us reconstruct some unclear iconography, but will also argue against the existence of the so-called ‘pithos cult’, discrediting most representations of a pithos as mirages.

Conference or workshop item

  • Kyriakidis, E. (2007). Mallia Quartier 18 and the Palaikastro Kouros Rooms: Two Homologies. In: Proceedings of the 9th International Congress of Cretan Studies.
    On the S side of the Palace at Mallia there is a group of rooms that has been strongly associated to ritual, which seems to be remarkably similar in the conception of the architecture to a group of rooms in Palaikastro where the remnants of the celebrated Kouros of Palaikastro were found. The conceptual similarities are so stark that would argue in favour of a similar use (ritual?) of the two complexes. This is interesting however, since at Mallia two large clay feet of a larger statue were found and at Palaikastro the remnants of the Kouros. Are these the first examples of cult statues that we have attested?
  • Kyriakidis, E. (2007). Finding Ritual: Calibrating the Evidence. In: The Third Cotsen Advanced Seminar. United States: Cotsen Institute of Archaeology, pp. 9-22. Available at: http://ioa.ucla.edu/backdirt/sprsum04/ritual.html.
    This paper draws attention to the challenges archaeologists face in the study of ritual evidence. Issues include the similarity of individual rituals within a system, the common use of one space for the performance of multiple rituals, the disjunction between ritual practice and belief, the inseparability of the ritual and the mundane spheres, and the finding of ritual items in secondary contexts. An awareness of the potential complications in the archaeological record, and of the need to calibrate the evidence, should facilitate secure attributions of ritual activity in archaeology.
  • Kyriakidis, E. The Classical Layers at Pyrgos Tylissos. In: 11th Cretological Congress at Chania. Philologikos Syllogos Chryssostomos.
    It is now accepted amongst scholars who work on Minoan Peak Sanctuary material that all peak sanctuaries except Youkhtas continued their use until the end of the New Palace Period (c.a. 1400). The study of the material from Pyrgos however, shows a number of finds that are consistent with the use of the site for rituals at the end of classical and the beginning of the Hellenistic period. This discovery brings the debate on continuity and affordances of material culture again to the fore.

Edited book

  • Kyriakidis, E. (2007). The Archaeology of Ritual. Vol. 3. Kyriakidis, E. ed. Los Angeles: Cotsen Institute of Archaeology, University of California.
    Of all the overarching, overlapping, and sometimes overworked themes of this book, there are three that I would like the reader to keep in mind. First are issues of definition and the relationship between ritual and religion. Second is the discipline of archaeology itself, the material it deals with, and the ways it is influenced by that material as a discipline, with certain given abilities, limitations, and interests. And, last come the various perspectives of study, some new and others old, that could be seen as fruitful avenues for future research, different archaeologies of ritual. In this final chapter, I will discuss mainly the first and the third themes, though still referring to the second (for which see also chapter 2).

Monograph

  • Kyriakidis, E. and Alexopoulos, G. (2014). Discovering the Archaeologists of Greece 2012-14. Initiative for Heritage Conservancy. Available at: http://www.discovering-archaeologists.eu/national_reports/2014/EL%20DISCO%202014%20Greece%20national%20report%20english%20.pdf.
    “Discovering the Archaeologists of Europe 2014” is an international research project funded by the European Union (Lifelong Learning Programme). The aim of the project is to collect and analyse information about employment in archaeology in the member states of the E.U., providing at the same time a basis for informed strategies for the promotion of the profession. This international research project follows up on the relevant programme that took place between 2006-2008 with 12 participant countries (including Greece).

Forthcoming

  • Kyriakidis, E. (2020). Minoan Religion: Tracing some Minoan Gods. In: Hitchcock, L. A. ed. A Companion to Aegean Art and Architecture. Wiley.
    The topic of Minoan religion has seen a lot of studies for decades. The topic is particularly difficult and beset with problems. Here we shall concentrate on the main element of religion, i.e. the identification of some gods. In this short paper we develop a methodology on how to identify gods in iconography which is employed on the Minoan material. Our finds not only challenge the idea of one great goddess, but also enrich our picture on the gods Minoans believed in and how we can study them further.
  • Kyriakidis, E. (2017). Decision making in Archaeological Heritage: Prospects and Limitations of enhancing Democracy through a Community Archaeology project in Crete. Journal of Community Archaeology and Heritage.
  • Kyriakidis, E. Scarab Seals – Scarabaeus Sacer an morphological and terminological comparison. Antenna.
    Scarab amulets were mass produced in the east Mediterranean from the Bronze age to the first centuries before Christ (they are still produced today) and have been widely used as chronological markers by archaeologists and historians. The similarity of these artefacts to the original insect species was at times remarkable. A comparison between the artefact and the insect is most beneficial as it explains a number of features on the artefact that are difficult to understand from the artefact alone, but also points out morphological differences that reflect anatomical differences between subspecies that had not hitherto been observed.
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