Ertegun Staff and Scholar Profiles

Nefeli Piree Iliou

Current course: 
MSt in Classical Archaeology

I am a Mediterranean archaeologist with a regional focus on Greece and the Aegean Islands. Born in Athens, Greece and raised in New York City, I completed my undergraduate degree in Ancient History and Archaeology with a minor concentration in Art History at the University of St Andrews in Scotland. My dissertation focused on the socio-political transformations of Late Bronze Age Attica through an analysis of the region’s tholos (or bee-hive) tombs.

At Oxford I plan to expand my background of Mediterranean archaeology by filling in gaps in my knowledge, specifically of Roman Imperial times, and to delve deeper into Aegean island archaeology and diachronic networks of interactions from later prehistory into history. My interest in island archaeology grew out of my participation on prehistoric excavations at the islands of Limnos (Palaeolithic site) and Salamis (Mycenaean settlement). More recently, along with Professor Rebecca Sweetman I co-authored a paper on the Christianization of The Cyclades in the Late Antique Period. My research interests further include issues of identity during exchange, landscape archaeology and the application of recording technologies to fieldwork, such as GIS and photogrammetry. I was fortunate to develop these interests during my involvement in numerous archaeological projects in Greece and in Italy, including the Mazi Archaeological Survey (MAP) where I worked on survey pottery and finds photography and the Cambridge Keros Project where I headed the lab-based photogrammetry team for the Early Bronze Age settlement on the islet of Dhaskalio. I also served as Assistant Field Supervisor at the excavations of the Hellenistic to Roman city of Ancient Messene, developing an interest in archaeological site management and archaeotourism. In the past I worked in exhibition development and the organization of an international conference on Prehistoric Attica at the Benaki and Cycladic museums in Athens, respectively.

In my free time I enjoy travelling and swimming, attending theatrical performances and museum exhibitions, and going to the cinema. I am also an amateur photographer.

It is an immense privilege, honour and joy to be a member of the Ertegun community. I am incredibly grateful to Mica Ertegun and the late Ahmet Ertegun for this extraordinary gift. I cannot imagine a better environment to begin my graduate studies than working in a home that fosters the exchange of ideas with such an inspiring group of scholars.