Parthenon, Greece

Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens

Discovering the Hellenic world within and beyond Greece
Founded in 1980, the Institute’s mission is to support and promote research undertaken by Australian scholars and students into Hellenic culture within and beyond Greece.

About us

While much of its traditional focus has been on antiquity, the Institute’s activities extend to the modern day. Our researchers employ arts, social science and scientific methodologies within an Arts and Humanities orientation, with disciplinary coverage embracing archaeology, art history, classics, history, literature, religious studies, philosophy, and creative practices, among others.

 As one of nineteen foreign archaeological institutes in Greece, the AAIA is the formal liaison with the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports for the acquisition of permits to undertake archaeological research and examine museum collections in Greece on behalf of Australian students and scholars. 

From our premises in Athens (AAIA-A), we offer accommodation, research and teaching space, and our Athens-based administrative team facilitates access to Greek sites and museums for our research community members. We also coordinate and host a range of events and activities in Athens throughout the year for our members, friends, and the public. 

The home of our specialist research library and main administrative offices is in the Vere Gordon Childe Centre at the University of Sydney (AAIA-S). From here, we coordinate a range of educational and public engagement opportunities across Australia and in Greece and host a number of events.

Our people

Tamar took up the position of Director in August 2023. She is a world expert on the interactions the ancient Greeks had with the cultures they came into contact around the Mediterranean during the Iron Age (c.1100-600 BCE). She holds degrees from Bryn Mawr College (BA), University College London (MA), and Oxford University (DPhil). She has over thirty years of fieldwork experience honed around the eastern Mediterranean and has overseen a variety of lab-based analytical studies to better understand the lived experiences of past peoples. Tamar leads on the strategic development of the AAIA. She is committed to expanding research and learning opportunities for students, early career researchers and established colleagues, and sharing the latest findings on the Hellenic world’s rich and diverse past with the wider public.

Stavros has been as our Deputy Director since 1996, and he served as Acting Director between 2016 and 2023. He holds BA and MA degrees from the University of Sydney and a DPhil from Oxford University. His research interests include the Greek world’s links with Lydia and the Achaemenid Empire, the archaeology of the northern Aegean during the Archaic and Classical periods, and the Early Iron Age Aegean. An extremely experienced field archaeologist, he currently co-directs the Zagora Archaeological Project (with Associate Professor Lesley Beaumont and Dr Paul Donnelly, both University of Sydney) and the Australian Paliochora Kythera Archaeological Survey with Dr Lita Tzortzopoulou-Gregory. Stavros oversees the AAIA’s educational, academic and public engagement programmes in Greece and the annual Gale Visiting Professorship schedule in Australia. He also coordinates our annual Bulletin.


Lita has been with the AAIA since 2014. She holds degrees in Anthropology and Archaeology from the University of Sydney (BA and MPhil) and La Trobe University (PhD). She is an active field archaeologist and researcher, and she has worked extensively in Greece, Cyprus, and Jordan. At the AAIA, Lita manages the Athens office and coordinates all fieldwork and museum study permits for Australian and New Zealand researchers and students. She also facilitates our collaborations with Greek-based institutions. In addition, she leads on the administrative arrangements for our educational and public engagement activities in Athens, and she manages our Hostel. 

Panagiota has been a part of the AAIA since 2019. She holds undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in English and Philosophy, and Human Resources Management, and she has previously worked with organisations affiliated with the Hellenic Ministry of Culture in the undertaking of research and dissemination of ancient and modern Greek history and culture. She has also worked as a translator.  At the AAIA, she supports Lita in managing the Athens side of our operations, including correspondence, finances, and the delivery of our educational and public engagement activities in Athens.


Brett has worked at the AAIA since 2000. He holds BA and MA degrees in Archaeology from the University of Sydney as well as postgraduate degrees in Museum and Heritage Studies, He is an experienced field archaeologist with a particular interest in pre-Roman South Italy.  Brett is the administrative lynchpin for the AAIA’s national network of Friends groups, and he coordinates our Australia-based activities.

Our Events

AAIA Oxi Day event 2022 audience and speakers

The Australian Archoaelogical Institute at Athens has a lively events calendar, exploring the archaeology and culture of Greece, and celebrating Australia's links with Greece, both past and present. 

Our friends

Since 1982, our Institute has relied upon support from an Australia-wide network of Friends groups. Our Friends make significant contributions to the Institute in terms of its finances and also promote archaeology and Hellenic studies through their diverse activities.


Mr Angelo Hatsatouris OAM
c/- PO Box 320
Maroubra Junction 
Sydney NSW 2035

Mr Brian Cleary
c/- AAIA Athens Office
Zacharitsa 17, Koukaki
Athens 11741 Greece
P +30 (210) 924 3256

Follow on Facebook here.


Prof. Elizabeth Minchin. FAHA

The Canberra (ANU) 
Friends of the AAIA
c./ Prof. Elizabeth Minchin, FAHA
School of Literature, Languages & Linguistics, 
College of Arts & the Social Sciences
AD Hope Building (14) 
The Australian National University
Canberra ACT 0200 Australia


Mr Chris Griffiths
PO Box 5047
Mt Gravatt East 4122


Spiros Sarris
Mob: +61 404 145 455

Introducing the second AAIA Director, Professor Tamar Hodos

Theodora Gianniotis, Engagement and Outreach Officer, AAIA interviews incoming AAIA Director, Professor Tamar Hodos.

History of the AAIA

Emeritus Professor Alexander Cambitoglou, AO
Commander of the Order of the Phoenix, DUniv h.c.

From his arrival in Australia the late Professor Alexander Cambitoglou worked tirelessly to promote Australian research in Greece, beginning in 1967 with the establishment of the first Australian excavation in Greece at the Early Iron Age settlement of Zagora on the Aegean island of Andros. This pioneering endeavour was a collaboration between the Archaeological Society at Athens and the University of Sydney.

He was appointed the Arthur and Renee George Professor of Classical Archaeology in 1978 and retired from his chair in 1989. Perhaps the greatest legacy Professor Cambitoglou provided Australian students and scholars of Greek and related studies was the establishment of the Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens in 1980.

He continued as the Curator of the Nicholson Museum until December 2000 and retired from the position of the Institute’s Director in 2016.