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The Team 2015

Permanent Members 2015-2019

jan driessen

Jan Driessen, the director of the project, is professor of Greek archaeology at the UCL where he was head of the Department of Archaeology and Art History till 2009 and vice-head of the research institute INCAL till 2015. He is also director of the Belgian School at Athens. He did his PhD at the KULeuven and was member of the French School at Athens and the British School at Athens. With the first he excavated Quartier Nu at Malia (with Alexandre Farnoux), with the second he excavated at Palaikastro (with Hugh Sackett, J.A. MacGillivray and Carl Knappett). Jan also excavated at Knossos, Myrtos Pyrgos, Iuktas-Alonaki, Monastiraki and on Pyla and Maroni on Cyprus. His research focuses especially on Neopalatial Crete. At the UCL he directs the research group « Aegean Interdisciplinary Studies » (AEGIS) and the ARC ‘A World in Crisis?’, focusing on the 13th c. BC. At Sissi, he runs around. See also


Charlotte Langohr studied archaeology and art history at the UCL. As an aspirant of the FNRS she finished her PhD in 2008 focusing on the Late Minoan II-IIIB period in Crete. Since 2003, she has been involved in archaeological and study campaigns on Crete at Palaikastro, Malia and Sissi, where she is currently responsible for ceramic studies. Member of AEGIS, Charlotte is in charge of the apothiki, the store-rooms where all the material of Sissi is processed.


Quentin Letesson studied archaeology at the UCL with a dissertation on space syntax applied to Minoan architecture, which was also the topic of his DEA and PhD (From Phenotype to Genotype: Space Syntax Analysis in Minoan Architecture (MM IIIB-LM IB), which he finished in 2007 as an aspirant of the FNRS. He participated in archaeological fieldwork in Belgium and Greece, at Palaikastro, Sissi and Myrtos Pyrgos. Member of AEGIS, Quentin was BAEF-fellow at Bryn Mawr from October 2008 to June 2009, and Research Fellow at the Agean Material Culture Lab at the University of Toronto from December 2010 to June 2011. Chargé de recherches FRS-FNRS at the UCL between 2009 and 2013, Quentin is now Marie Curie International Outgoing Fellow between the University of Toronto and UCL. With Florence Gaignerot-Driessen, Quentin directed the work on the summit of the hill and uncovered a large LM III communal building (Building CD). He is now in charge of additional tests on the summit and of a future zone, immediately east of zones 3/4/5. For additional information:


Maud Devolder is currently a Humboldt Research Fellow (TOPOI-Berlin) and Associate Researcher of AEGIS (UCLouvain). She did her PhD at the UCLouvain on the ‘Social Components and Interactions in Neopalatial Crete’, as an aspirant funded by the F.R.S.-FNRS. She graduated in Archaeology at the UCLouvain and holds a Master in Eastern Mediterranean Archaeology from the KULeuven. After her PhD, she spent four years in Athens as a Post-doctoral Researcher of the F.R.S.-FNRS and Belgian Member of the French School at Athens. She is directing the research and publication projects of the Palace and the Building Dessenne at Malia (EfA) and is involved in excavations and post-excavation studies of Cretan sites such as Palaikastro, Myrtos Pyrgos (BSA) and on the Anavlochos (EfA). She also excavated at Thorikos in Attica, with Robert Laffineur, and at Tournai in Belgium, with Raymond Brulet. At Sissi, Maud directs the work in zone 5, the South part of the top of the hill. In 2015, she will direct also the work in zone 11. See also


Florence Gaignerot-Driessen received her Ph.D. in Greek Archaeology from the Sorbonne University (Paris IV) and is affiliated to the CNRS (UMR 8167-Equipe Antiquité Classique et Tardive). She is an external collaborator in the Aegis research group and a member of the ARC Programme “A world in crisis” (UCLouvain). She has been excavating on Crete since 1996 at Malia, Itanos, Eleftherna, Palaikastro, Sissi, Dreros and Anavlochos. She directed the work in Zone 3 at Sissi (2007-2011) and is currently preparing the final publication of the results. From July 2015 onwards, Florence is directing an archaeological, topographical and geomorphological investigation on the Anavlochos, which overlooks Sissi, under the auspices of the French school in Athens (EfA).


After graduating in geology (ULg) and archaeology (UCL), Simon Jusseret completed a PhD in geoarchaeology supervised by J. Driessen and C. Baeteman (RISNB) (Neolithic and Bronze Age coastal landscapes in Crete: a geoarchaeological approach). He is currently F.R.S.-FNRS postdoctoral researcher at UCL and member of Aegis as well as of the ARC ‘A World in Crisis?’ and a visiting researcher in the Department of Geography at Durham University (UK). At Sissi, he supervises excavations in Zones 6 and 7 and also acts as a field director for the UCL team at Pyla-Kokkinokremos (Cyprus).


Sylviane Déderix is currently a postdoctoral researcher at UCLouvain (ARC “A World in Crisis”). She studied Archaeology as well as Oriental Languages and Literature, before completing a PhD under the supervision of Prof. J. Driessen and Dr. A. Sarris (IMS-FORTH). Her research interests include Aegean and more specifically Minoan archaeology, archaeological GIS, landscape studies and burial practices. She has participated in archaeological excavations in Belgium (Tournai), Crete (Sissi, Malia-Magasins Dessenne) and Cyprus (Pyla Kokkinokremos), and in geophysical prospections in Greece, Cyprus and Italy (with Dr. A. Sarris’ team). At Sissi she excavated in the cemetery between 2008 and 2011, before being assigned the task of studying and publishing the architectural remains of the house tombs. In 2015, she will direct the excavation in Zone 12.


Ilaria Caloi is currently a FSR-Marie Curie post-doc fellow at the Université Catholique de Louvain and as a member of the Aegis group, she has been working at the Minoan site of Sissi as pottery specialist since 2013. She is also involved in many research projects on Crete in collaboration with the Italian Archaeological School (Phaistos, Kamilari), with the French Archaeological School (Malia) and with the KD-Ephoreia of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities (Dreros). She worked as research fellow at the Université de Strasbourg (2012) and at the Università Ca’ Foscari of Venice (2011). She obtained her PhD at the University of Florence on the Kamilari cemetery (2010) and an MPhil at the Italian Archaological School at Athens on Protopalatial Phaistos (2007).


Hannah Joris did an MFA in Jewelry & Corpus at Konstfack, University College of Arts, Crafts and Design (Stockholm, Sweden) after completing a BFA at the MAD-Faculty (Belgium). In 2013 Hannah completed her PhD in Arts, entitled “Via the body. A research on the expression of the human condition through body fragmentation – jewelry art as contemporary relics” (KULeuven – UHasselt – MAD-Faculty, Belgium). Her works—drawings, objects and jewelry—have been exhibited internationally. Hannah’s jewelry is represented by Gallery Caroline Van Hoek, Brussels. Since 2006 she has been drawing for excavations in Egypt, Turkey, Crete and Cyprus. Hannah has been an


Isabelle Crevecoeur (Ph.D. 2006, Université Bordeaux 1 and Katholieke Universiteit Leuven) is a researcher of the CNRS in France (UMR 5199 PACEA, Université de Bordeaux). Her research interests include palaeo-anthropological and bio-archaeological studies of Late Pleistocene fossil specimens and Early Holocene populations from Europe and Africa. At Sissi, she is member of the physical anthropologist team excavating the burial area of the Bouffos (Zone 1).


Aurore Schmitt is « chargée de recherche » at the CNRS (UMR 7268 – ADèS) in Marseille (France). Her research focuses on the archaeology of death and biological features of Mediterranean Neolithic and Bronze Age populations. At the UMR, she also directs the research group «Archeo-anthropology: gestures, practices and funerary rituals» and teaches on archeothanatology. At Sissi, she is member of the physical anthropologist team excavating the burial area of the Bouffos (Zone 1).


Nicolas Kress (aka Léo) finished an MA dissertation in archaeology at the UCL (Belgium) on the integration of different field techniques (excavation, survey, GPR, GPS, aerial photography, …) in Geographical Information Systems (GIS). He is also a professional topographer. As Jan’s right hand, he is taking care of logistics in the ARC programme ‘A World in Crisis?’ as well as of AEGIS publications. He has participated in excavations at Sissi, Palaikastro and Pyla.


Valasia Isaakidou (Univ. of Oxford) is the bioarchaeology co-ordinator and zooarchaeology specialist for the Sissi project. She studied zooarchaeology and Aegean prehistory at UCL (London) and Sheffield. Her PhD thesis (UCL 2004) explored animal consumption based on zooarchaeological analysis of a large diachronic (7000-1300 BC) assemblage from Knossos. Her research interests focus on methodological and theoretical aspects of prehistoric cuisine, ideological and ritual dimensions of animal product consumption and the nature and socio-economic implications of early farming. She is currently exploring the latter as a member of the AGRICURB team in Oxford through systematic integration of bioarchaeological and isotopic evidence with original ethnographic research which she has been conducting since 2000 in collaboration with Prof. P. Halstead (Sheffield). With other Sissi colleagues, she is hoping to apply advances in this field in the study of bioarchaeological materials from the Sissi excavations.


Alexandra Livarda (Univ. of Nottingham, UK), the archaeobotanist of the project. She is Assistant Professor (Lecturer) in Archaeology at the University of Nottingham. Alex has long experience working on many projects, mainly in Greece, Turkey and Britain. In Crete she is currently co-directing the Bronze Age excavation at Palaikastro with Prof. Carl Knappett (University of Toronto, Canada) and Dr Nicoletta Momigliano (University of Bristol, UK), and she has participated in various projects, including Little Palace North and Villa Dionysos at Knossos, and Zominthos.


Rena Veropoulidou (Hellenic Ministry of Culture & Univ. of Thessaloniki) is the SArPedon Project land and marine mollusc analyst. She studied archaeology (BA, MA, PhD) at the Univ. of Thessaloniki. Her PhD (2011) explored mollusc and shell consumption in prehistoric (6700-1000 BCE) Northern Greece based on large archaeomalacological assemblages from several sites. Rena has experience working on many projects as an archaeomalacologist throughout mainland Greece (e.g. Makriyalos, Revenia, Paliambela, Kleitos, Toumba, Methoni) and Crete (Knossos, Little Palace North, Palaikastro, Trypiti, Kato Zakros). Her research interests focus on the development of new methodologies for analysing and interpreting shells, the dynamic interplay between people and their environment, methodological and theoretical aspects of food consumption and craft technologies (including ornament manufacture and purple-dye production), and social and ideological dimensions of coastal activities.


Christina Tsoraki is the ground stone specialist for the SArPedon project. She is currently a Marie Curie Intra-European Research Fellow at Leiden University (Material Culture Studies). Her project investigates the role of technology in the development of social networks in early farming societies through an interdisciplinary research strategy that integrates stone technology and functional analysis with a wide range of other inorganic and organic materials (e.g. plants, animal bones, pottery, shells). She holds an MA and a PhD from the University of Sheffield where she studied lithic technology and Aegean Prehistory. Her PhD focused on the technological and contextual analysis of the ground stone assemblage from Late Neolithic Makriyalos, Northern Greece. After finishing her doctoral thesis Christina held the Geoarchaeology Fellowship at the Wiener Laboratory at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, Greece. Christina has worked as a ground stone specialist for various Neolithic, Bronze Age and Archaic projects in mainland Greece, Crete, Cyprus and Turkey. Her research interests focus on theory and material culture, cross-craft interaction, social and technological networks, use-wear analysis, physical and mechanical properties of rocks and their affordances, household economies, and the constitution of household and communal identities through daily practice.


Maria Anastasiadou is a specialist of Aegean glyptic. After a postdoctoral fellowship in Louvain-la-Neuve she is currently employed by the University of Heidelberg where, among others, she is supervising the work at the archive of the CMS. She participated in the Sissi campaigns of 2010 and 2011 and is also a member of the Koumasa excavations team. Her research interests concentrate on the subjects of seals and sealing practices in the Aegean, Minoan scripts, regionalism and transculturality in the Bronze Age Aegean.


Thérèse Claeys is a graduate student in archaeology at the UCLouvain with a master’s thesis on Minoan iconography. She is currently doing a master degree in conservation at the Lemaire Institute in Leuven with a thesis on conservation practices of Minoan sites. She assisted Flo and Quentin in Zone 3 & 4 during the 2007-2011 campaigns.


Rosemarie McGuire continues her role as artist in residence for the 2015 season. The London born artist who lives in Vrachasi, is a graduate of Manchester University. She has exhibited her paintings, covering the 2007-2011 season.


Gavin McGuire is a New Zealand archaeologist and resident photographer at Sissi. Gavin has won several awards for his photographs taken during the Sissi excavations. He lives in Vrachasi, Crete.


Afroditi Chalkidi is an architect engineer, member of the Technical Chamber of Greece. She holds a Master in Preservation and restoration of architectural monuments of the Faculty of Engineering, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTh). She worked as Architect engineer at the 9th Ephorate (Ephoreia) of Byzantine Antiquities, Thessaloniki, Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Tourism. She has worked at Zominthos, Akrotiri-Thera, Panormos on Naxos etc. and has published several papers on the conservation and restoration of ancient monuments.


Tristan Carter is associate professor at McMaster University in Toronto and director of the Naxos prehistoric (SNAP) project. He is the obsidian specialist of our project and is also doing the obsidian of many other excavations, including Mochlos, Azoria etc.


Chronis Papanikolopoulos is INSTAPEC-photographer. He has been shooting all Sissi objects since 2007.


Pepi Saridaki studied Conservation of Antiquities and Works of Art at the Technological Institute of Athens, specialized in Conservation of Archaeological and Historical objects and is currently an MSc student in Management of Cultural Units at Hellenic Open University. She has worked at several sites on Crete and is the conservator of the Sissi project.

Also participating in the 2015 campaign are:


Constantina Hadjivasili is an archaeological conservator. She completed her first degree in History and Archaeology at the University of Cyprus and afterwards received a MSc degree in Conservation Practice at Cardiff University in 2012, specializing in ethnographic and archaeological objects. As a freelance conservator from 2013 she participated in a number of conservation projects throughout Cyprus (including Pyla) and Crete. Also, she collaborates with many museums in Cyprus. Her areas of expertise include archaeological conservation (metals, ceramics, stone, glass), project management for conservation projects, preventive conservation in facility design and operations pest management, condition surveys, emergency planning, and policies and procedures.


Nikos Liberopoulos holds a degree of Conservation Technician and has worked in various important projects like Akrotiri and Vergina and has a lot of experience.


Ann Aertssen has an MA in Archaeology. She worked as a field laboratory supervisor on the excavations of Palaikastro, Malia and Knossos. She currently an administrator at the University of Antwerp. She was responsible for the logistics in the Sissi Apothiki during the 2007 and 2008 campaigns and is currently student counselor at the University of Antwerp, Faculty for Social Sciences.


Apostolos Sarris holds a B.A. in Astronomy & Physics and an M.A. in Physics from Boston University and a M.Sc. and a Ph.D. in Physics/Geophysics from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He is Research Director & Deputy Director of IMS-FORTH and Head of the Laboratory of Geophysical-Satellite Remote Sensing and Archaeo-environment (GeoSat ReSeArch Lab) of IMS-FORTH and at the same time a contracted lecturer of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and a Research Associate of the Dept. of Anthropology, The Field Museum of Natural History of Chicago, Illinois, USA. Dr. Sarris has organized, planned and participated in more than 170 geophysical/satellite remote sensing/GIS/GPS projects in Greece, U.S.A., Cyprus, Hungary, Albania, Italy, Turkey and Egypt & participated in than 73 Greek and international large scale projects. His Lab is part of the Association of Geographic Information Laboratories of Europe (AGILE), European Association of Remote Sensing Laboratories (EARSEL) and of EPOCH consortium.


Meropi Manataki holds a degree in Mineral Recourses Engineering and an M.Sc in the field of Geotechnology and the Environment from the Technical University of Crete. Since November 2013, she is a PhD candidate at the Technical University of Crete in Geotechnology and Environment and at the same time is collaborating with the Laboratory of Geophysical-Satellite Remote Sensing and Archaeo-environment (GeoSat ReSeArch) IMS-FORTH as a research assistant. She has participated in several research project in Greece and abroad.


Alexandra (aka Ale) Kriti graduated in 2015 from the Department of History and Archaeology in the University of Crete. She will soon become a postgraduate student at the University of Sheffield in environmental archaeology. Since 2010, she has excavated on Gavdos island with prof. Katarina Kopaka (UoC) and in many other excavations around Crete and coastal Greece, especially in Minoan and prehistoric sites. She is passionate about mud!


Tia Sager is an MA student at the University of Oxford and has excavated on Despotiko in the Cyclades.


Vasiliki Choleva is a final year undergraduate at the University of Ioannina. On Crete she has worked for the Knossos-Gypsadhes Excavation Project and at Sissi she will be assisting Valasia Isaakidou (Univ. of Oxford) in the study of the mammalian faunal remains.


Sofia Avramidou is a final year undergraduate at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. She has worked on post-ex study of materials from the excavation at Bronze Age Toumba Thessalonikis (dir. by Prof. S. Andreou) and held an internship at the BSA-Fitch Laboratory, under the supervision of Drs E. Kiriatzi and S. Triantaphylou. This summer she will be working on Crete for the Knossos-Gypsades and Sissi Projects as a member of the bioarchaeology teams.


Ioanna-Eleni (Eleanna) Nikolaou is an undergraduate student at the University of Crete, department of history and archaeology, who has worked on excavations on Gavdos, Dispilio (Kastoria) and Agios Nikolaos Pallon (Athens). She is part of the bioarchaeological team at Sissi.


Aria Kopidaki is an undergraduate student at the University of Crete who has participated in her university’s excavations on Gavdos island (’11-’14). She is part of the environmental team at Sissi.


Irene Kritikopoulos studied Classical Civilisation and Near and Middle Easter Civilisations at the University of Toronto (Canada). She later completed her Masters of Science in the technology and analysis of archaeological materials at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London under the supervision of Prof. Ian Freestone.  The topic of her dissertation was a chemical-mineralogical analyses and comparative study of 5th millennium pottery from three sites in Darab, Fars. She participated in Sissi during the 2010 and 2011 seasons working in the Apothiki, and has worked with J. Perreault at Argilos in 2008.


Nicolas Cauwe is curator of prehistoric and oceanic collections at the Royal Museums of Art and History in Brussels as well as professor of prehistory at the Université Catholique de Louvain. He has excavated in many different countries (Belgium, Russia, Portugal, Syria, Uzbekistan, Turkey, Easter Island…) and brings a prehistoric touch to the excavation of the court in area 6.


Arnaud Meulemeester did an MA in archaeology at the UCL before specializing in museum studies. He has excavated at Sissi in 2011.


Laura Mary is an MA student at the Université Catholique de Louvain doing a dissertation on the origin of the stirrup jar in the Aegean. She participated in excavations on the Anavlochos (2012) and Dréros (2013), and also acquired post-survey experience for the site of Sissi (apothiki of Malia, 2012).


Théo Terrana is an MA student at the Université Catholique de Louvain doing a dissertation on the pictorial style during the Late Bronze Age. He has worked at Kirrha and excavated at Palaikastro before.


Roxanne Dubois first did a BA at the University of Namur and is now an MA student at the Université Catholique de Louvain doing a dissertation on Quartier Mu at Malia. She has excavated in France and in Belgium.


Antoine Attout is a graduate student in Archaeology and Art History at the UCL with a master’s thesis on the development of plaster cast collections for Classical Archaeology in European universities during the 19th c. Currently he is a research student at the J. Jacobs Collegio in Bologna. He has participated in several excavations in Belgium, on Sicily and in Latium.


Emilie Vannet is a graduate student in Archaeology of the University of Paris IV-Sorbonne who was excavated in France as well as on Crete (Dreros) and Delos.


Charlotte Figueroa Arriagada is a BA student at the Université Catholique de Louvain.


Justine Simons is a BA student at the Université Catholique de Louvain.


Justine Genevois is a BA student at the Université Catholique de Louvain.


Marie-Laure Bourgoin is a BA student at the Université Catholique de Louvain.


Heinz Bouillon is a professor for German Language at the Université catholique de Louvain. – Former director of the “Institut des Langues Vivantes” (1997-2004) and former Dean of the “Faculté de Philosophie, Arts et Lettres (2004-2009). He is member of the “Conseil Scientifique de l’Agence universitaire de la Francophonie” (network of 804 universities).


Eddie Marcelis has a degree in archaeology and art history at the Free University of Brussels.


Giancarlo Cataldo became a secondary school teacher after having been a journalist. He has accompanied Sylviane on many of her travels and will take care of logistics during the 2015 campaign.


Antonella Coco is an MA student at the Università degli Studi di Catania. She has excavated and worked on several archaeological projects on Sicily.


Jasmine Zitelli is an MA student at the Università degli Studi di Catania. She has excavated and worked on several archaeological projects on Sicily.


Roberta Riciputo is an MA student at the Università degli Studi di Catania. She has excavated and worked on several archaeological projects on Sicily and on Crete at Eleftherna, when she was Erasmus student at Rethymnon University.


Paolo d’Angelo is an MA student at the Università degli Studi di Catania. He has excavated and worked on several archaeological projects on Sicily and in Greece (Oropos, Zerelia Magoula) and was an Erasmus student at Volos.


Salvatore Passanisi is an MA student at the Università degli Studi di Catania. He has excavated and worked on several archaeological projects on Sicily.


Patrizia Mendola is a graduate student at the Università degli Studi di Catania with an MA in archaeology. She has excavated and worked on several archaeological projects on Sicily.


Francesca Genovese is an MA student at the Università degli Studi di Catania. She has excavated and worked on several archaeological projects on Sicily.


Jeanne Pacco is a bachelor student in History and Art History & Archeology at the University of Namur. She has participated in excavations in Belgium (Evelette).


Siel Leemans is a bachelor student in archaeology at the University of Gent in Belgium.


Gwendoline Guillaume is a Bachelor student in archaeology at the Université de Paris-Panthéon Sorbonne I and has excavated at Tautavel and Arcy-sur-Cure.


Panagiotis Kaplanis is a student in archaeology at the University of Ioannina and has excavated at Patras.


Arnaud Melin is a civil engineer and CEO of the Enterprises Melin, a company active in the road building sector.


Caroline Heering is a postdoctoral researcher in Art History at the Université catholique de Louvain. She is working in the field of ornament and culture of spectacle in the Group of Early Modern Cultural Analysis (GEMCA).


Nikola Petritsch is a secondary student from Vienna.


Simon Schlapansky is a secondary school student from Vienna who has excavated at Carnuntum.


Sophia Karafola is an undergraduate student in the Department of History and Archaeology at the University of Ioannina


Sophia Kontiza is an undergraduate student in the Department of History and Archaeology at the University of Ioannina


Antonia Koutsiofyti is an undergraduate student in the Department of History and Archaeology at the University of Ioannina.


Maria-Anastasia Kontogianni is an undergraduate student in the Department of History and Archaeology at the University of Ioannina.


Chrysafo Soulele is an undergraduate student in the Department of Fine Arts & Sciences of Art at the University of Ioannina


Sarah Lund is entering her final year at the University of Toronto where she is specializing in Fine Art History. She intends to pursue graduate studies in Art History or Museum Studies. Her interest lies mostly in Ancient art and architecture, as well as the Renaissance. She has gained interest in this area, and specifically this project, during a course this year on Aegean Wall Painting by Professor Carl Knappett.


Joseph ‘Joe’ Locke is doing a masters in Classical Archaeology at Oxford University with a dissertation on Pre- and Protopalatial Minoan burial practices. Prior to this he completed an undergraduate degree at the University of Kent in 2013.


Enrique Fernández-Palacios Rodríguez, also known as Quique, is a student in archaeology at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, and has excavated at the Celtiberian site of El Cerrito, Aragón and has fieldwork experience in Lanzarote on the Canary Islands.


Pablo Gutiérrez de León Juberías is a student in archaeology at Complutense University at Madrid and a member of IMBEAC. He acquired experience in the Monte Bernorio excavations in Spain.

And our epoptis Nikos Thanos
Nikos Thanos

And our workers :

Michalis Tzannakis Michalis Tzannakis
Kristian Jacobsen Kristian Jacobsen
Manolis Tzannakis Manolis Tzannakis
Nikos Kivernitakis Nikos Kivernitakis
Andreas Vrachnakis
 Dimitris Kivernitakis Dimitris Kivernitakis
Michalis Vlassis Michalis Vlassis
 Dimitris Papandonakis Dimitris Papandonakis