LIFE

Greek pioneer of underwater archaeology dies at 95

TAGS: Archaeology, Obituary

Greek archaeologist Georgios Papathanasopoulos, one of the founders of the Hellenic Institute of Maritime Archaeology and a pioneer in the field, has died, the Culture Ministry said in an announcement on Monday. He was 95.

A graduate of the Athens School of Philosophy and a resistance fighter in World War II, Papathanasopoulos worked closely with Carl Blegen on the American archaeologist’s seminal excavations of the Palace of Nestor in the southwestern Peloponnese, as well as on important digs at ancient Elis and Messinia.

He was responsible for spearheading systematic excavations of the Diros Caves, a Neolithic settlement, in 1969 and the restoration of Kalamata’s historic monuments after the southern Peloponnese town was struck by a devastating earthquake in 1986.

He served in almost every high-ranking post in Greece related to archaeology, including as director of the Acropolis Museum, and on the board of the Central Archaeological Council from 1975 to 1990.

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