Craig Barker

Head, Public Engagement

BA (Hons), Grad. Cert. (Educational Studies), PhD Syd.

Craig Barker

Craig Barker is Head, Public Engagement at the Chau Chak Wing Museum, overseeing the museum's public outreach activities. He has extensive experience in K-12 and adult museum education and has published and presented on museum education in teaching and academic conferences and publications. He hosts the museum's Object Matters podcast.

Craig has a PhD in classical archaeology from the University of Sydney and has considerable archaeological fieldwork experience in Australia, Greece, Turkey and Cyprus. He is the director of the Paphos Theatre Archaeological Project excavating at the World Heritage listed site of Nea Paphos in Cyprus.

  • Museum education
  • The archaeology of ancient Cyprus
  • Kinaesthetic teaching
  • Heritage touring
  • History and development of archaeology
  • Ancient theatre architecture
  • Hellenistic and Roman ceramics
  • Amphora and the ancient wine trade

Archaeological Excavations in Nea Paphos in Cyprus

Craig is a director of the University of Sydney’s Paphos Theatre Archaeological Project in Nea Paphos, Cyprus.

The University has been excavating the ancient Hellenistic-Roman theatre of Nea Paphos and surrounding environs, under the auspices of the Department of Antiquities of the Republic of Cyprus since 1995. The excavations have received financial support from the Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens (AAIA) since 2009 and has been the official excavation project of the Nicholson Museum since 2011.

More information is available on the project website:

History of Archaeology at the University of Sydney

Currently engaged in archival research and recording oral histories of academics, students and associates of the Department of Archaeology at the University of Sydney since 1948. A formal history of archaeology will be published.

Supervisor 2019, Rebecca Georgiades, Matters of the Heart: Exploring emotion in ancient Greek material culture (MPhil Candidate, University of Sydney)

Supervisor 2018, Elanor DeGabriele, Zooarchaeology of Paphos theatre (Honours Candidate, University of New England)

Supervisor 2018, Recycling Paphos, Candace Richards, (PhD Candidate, University of Sydney)

Supervisor 2012–17, Taryn Gooley, Amphorae of Classical Cyprus (MA Candidate, University of Sydney)

Ongoing guest lecturer in courses provided by:

  • Department of Archaeology
  • Department of Classics and Ancient History
  • Museum and Heritage Studies Program
  • Sydney School of Education and Social Work
  • President, The Society of Mediterranean Archaeology (SoMA)
  • Member, ICOM Australia
  • Member, Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens (AAIA)
  • Member, American Institute of Archaeology (AIA)
  • Member, Near Eastern Archaeology Foundation (NEAF)
  • Member, History Teachers Association of New South Wales
  • Member, Association of Cypriot Archaeologists
  • Member, Association for the Study of Marble & Other Stones in Antiquity (Asmosia)
  • Recipient of J Permsew Foundation donation
  • Recipient Ayios Kosmas o Aitolos Award, Australian Hellenic Educators’ Association
  • Awarded a European Cultural Capital grant to co-curate the exhibition Travellers from Australia at the Palia Elektriki, 2–15 October 2017 as part of the Pafos2017 European Cultural Capital festival program
  • Research Fellow, Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens
  • Co-Curator, Ancient Artist to Modern Artist: Art, Science and Archaeology at the Ancient Theatre of Paphos. Opening in Nicosia, Cyprus in November 2023
  • Co-curator, Travellers from Australia, Palia Elektriki, Ktima Paphos 2–15 October 2017. For the Pafos2017 European Capital of Culture festival program
  • Curator, The Sky and The Sea: Ancient Cypriot Art. Nicholson Museum, 1 March 2016–28 February 2020
  • Curator, Lego Pompeii, Nicholson Museum, January 2015–28 February 2020
  • Curator, Aphrodite’s Island: Australian Archaeologists in Cyprus, Nicholson Museum, 29 November 2012–January 2016
  • Barker, C., "Trowels, Tombs and Trials: The History of Australian archaeologists in Cyprus", The Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens Bulletin 19, 2023, 6-9
  • Barker, C. & Wood Conroy, D. “Flowers, Fillets and Columns: Evidence of painted walls in the Hellenistic-Roman theatre of Nea Paphos”, in: H. Meyza (ed.), Decoration of Hellenistic and Roman Buildings in Cyprus, Travaux de L’Institut des Cultures Méditerrnanéennes et Orientalies De L’Académie Polonaise des Sciences Tome 4 (Warsaw) 2020 (2022), 35-47
  • Barker, C., Robinson, H., Flexner, J.L., Lawrenson, A. and Burchmore A., “The Future of Museums: Recover and Reimagine (A Conversation), Museum Worlds: Advances in Research 10 (2022), 159-169
  • Green, J.R. & Barker, C., “Nea Paphos”, in: L. Bombardieri & E. Panero (eds), Cyprus: Crossroads of civilizations. Exhibition catalog, DeArtcom London, 2021, 127-130
  • Barker, C. & Merrillees R., “Cypriot Antiquities from the Cesnola Collection in the Nicholson Museum at the University of Sydney”, Mediterranean Archaeology 30, 2017 (2019), 51-71
  • Barker, C. "Nea Paphos”, in: R.S. Bagnall, et al. (eds), The Encyclopedia of Ancient History (Blackwell Publishing), 2019
  • Barker, C, “History Teaching and the Museum”, in T. Allender, A. Clarke & R. Parkes (eds), Historical Thinking in Australian Schools (Allen & Unwin: Sydney 2019), 260-275.
  • Barker, C, "Paphos Theatre Archaeological Project: 2018 Activities", The Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens Bulletin 15, 2019, 12-13.
  • Barker, C, "Nea Paphos Theatre: 2017 Season", The Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens Bulletin 14, 2018, 12-13
  • Barker, C. & D. Wood Conroy, Travellers from Australia: exhibition catalogue (Sydney).
  • Barker, C. (2017), "Nea Paphos Theatre: 2016 Season", The Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens Bulletin, Volume 13: 14-15
  • Barker, C. (2016) "Recent research at the Hellenistic and Roman theatre precinct of Nea Paphos", in: G. Bourogiannis & Ch. Mühlenbock (eds), Ancient Cyprus Today. Museum Collections and New Research, Studies in Mediterranean Archaeology and Literature PB 184 (Uppsala): 141-153.
  • Barker, C, Excavations by the Australian Mission", in: C. Blander (ed.) Nea Paphos: Fondation et développement urbanistique d’une ville chypriote de l’antiquité à nos jours Études archéologiques, historiques et patrimoniales. Actes du 1er colloque international sur Paphos Avignon 30, 31 octobre et 1er novembre 2012 (Bordeaux): 91-104
  • Barker, C. (2016) "Nea Paphos Theatre: 2015 Season", The Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens Bulletin, Volume 12: 14-17.
  • Barker, C. (2015) "Some Initial Observations on a Building Excavated on Fabrika in Nea Paphos in Cyprus by the Australian Archaeological Mission", Studies in Art and Civilisation 19 (Karakow): 169-189.
  • Barker, C. 2015. "Twenty Years of the University of Sydney Excavations of the Theatre Precinct in Nea Paphos in Cyprus", in: Australian Archaeological Fieldwork Abroad III, Ancient History Resources for Teachers. Vol. 45: 26-63.
  • Barker, C. "From Performance to Quarry: The evidence of architectural change in the theatre precinct of Nea Paphos in Cyprus over seven centuries", in: S. Chandrasekaran & A. Kouremenos (eds), Continuity and Destruction in the Greek East:The transformation of monumental space from the Hellenistic period to Late Antiquity, BAR S2765, 2015, 33-48.
  • Barker, C. with J. R. Green and G. Stennett. 2015."The Hellenistic Phases of the Theatre at Nea Paphos in Cyprus: the Evidence from the Australian Excavations", in: R. Frederiksen, E.R. Gebhard & A. Sokolicek (eds), The Architecture of the Ancient Greek Theatre. Monographs of the Danish Institute at Athens, vol. 17. 319-334.
  • Barker, C. (2015). “Nea Paphos Theatre Excavations 2014”, The Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens Bulletin 11, 16-17
  • Barker, C. (2014). “Materials-Based Teaching in Museums: the experiences of educational programs at Sydney University Museums”, Journal of Artistic and Creative Education 7.1, 166-191
  • Barker, C. (2013). “James Stewart as Nicholson Museum curator (1954-1962)”, in: A.B. Knapp, J.M. Webb & A. McCarthy (eds), J.R.B. Stewart: An Archaeological Legacy. Studies in Mediterranean Archaeology 139: Uppsala. 211-221
  • Barker, C. (2013).”Rhodian Amphorae From Cyprus: A summary of the evidence and the issues”, in: M. Lawall & J. Lund (eds), The Transport Amphorae and Trade of Cyprus. University of Aarhus Press: Aarhus. 101-110
  • Barker, C. (2013). “Australian Archaeologists in Cyprus: Over Eight Decades of Historical Investigations on a Mediterranean Island", Teaching History: Journal of the History Teachers' Association of NSW 47(1), 32-37
  • Barker, C. (2013). "Island of Archaeology: Celebrating Ancient Cyprus in the Nicholson Museum in Australia", Cyprus Today LI.1, January-March 2013, 36-39
  • Barker, C. (2012). Aphrodite’s Island: Australian Archaeologists in Cyprus: The Cypriot Collection of the Nicholson Museum. Nicholson Museum: Sydney.
  • Barker, C. (2012). “Amphora stamps”, in: R.S. Bagnall, et al. (eds), The Encyclopedia of Ancient History. Blackwell Publishing. 381-2
  • Barker. C. (2011). “Experiencing Archaeology: The Paphos Theatre Excavation Blog”, Teaching History: Journal of the History Teachers Association of NSW 44 (3), 32-35
  • Barker, C, Gabrieli, R.S. & Green, J.R. (2004). Fabrika: an ancient theatre of Nea Paphos. Moufflon Publishing: Nicosia (Greek language edition 2011)
  • Barker, C. (2004). “A Unique Burial Custom Involving Rhodian Amphorae at the ‘Tombs of the Kings’ in Nea Paphos, Cyprus”, in: J. Eiring & J. Lund (eds), Transport Amphorae and Trade in the Eastern Mediterranean. Acts of the International Colloquium at the Danish Institute at Athens, 26-29 September 2002.Monograph of the Danish Institute at Athens V: Athens. 73-84
  • Barker, C., Cincunegui, G. & Diacopoulos, L. (2004). “An Archaeological Education”, Teaching History: Journal of the History Teachers Association of NSW  38(4), 52-55
  • Barker, C., Cincunegui, G. & Diacopoulos, L. (2004). “Teaching the Archaeology of Human remains to Students: The Perspective of the Nicholson Museum Education Program”, Teaching History: Journal of the History Teachers Association of NSW 38(4), 4-10
  • Barker, C. (2002). “Three New Eponym-Fabricant Combinations on Rhodian Amphorae from the ‘Tombs of the Kings’ at Nea Pafos”, Report of the Department of Antiquities, Cyprus. 189-200
  • Barker, C. (2002). “Report on the University of Sydney ‘Tombs of the Kings’ Project, 1998-2001”, Mediterranean Archaeology 15, 109-116
  • Barker, C. (1999). “Hellenistic Stamped Amphora Handles Held in the Nicholson Museum, Sydney”, Mediterranean Archaeology 12. 111-123


  • Barker, C. Beaumont, L.A. Bollen, E. (eds.) Festschrift in Honour of Professor J.R. Green, Mediterranean Archaeology 17
  • Nathan Badoud, "Inscriptions et timbres céramiques de Rhodes. Documents recueillis par le médecin et explorateur suédois Johan Hedenborg (1786-1865)” (2017), Anzeiger für die Altertumswissenschaft. LXX, Band Janner/Juni 2017 (2019) 6-8
  • I. Hadjikyriakos & M.G. Trentin, "Cypriot Cultural Details" (2015), American Journal of Archaeology 121.3, 2017,
  • M. Corbishley, "Pinning Down the Past: Archaeological, Heritage and Education Today" (2011), Australian Archaeology 75, 2012. 121-2
  • P. Flourentzos (ed.), "From Evagoras I to the Ptolemies" (2007), Classical Review 61.1, 2011. 265-6

Craig Barker

Head, Public Engagement, Chau Chak Wing Museum and Director, Paphos Theatre Archaeological Excavations