Front Quad of Lincoln College, the walls covered in bright green ivy

Professor Maria Stamatopoulou

Professor Maria Stamatopoulou

  • Tutorial Fellow in Classical Archaeology


I studied Classical Archaeology and Ancient History (BA, 1991) at the University of Athens, Greece, where I developed an interest in Greek archaeology, especially funerary iconography. I came to Oxford in 1993, to study for the MSt and DPhil in Classical Archaeology (1999, Somerville College) focusing on the mortuary archaeology of Thessaly in the Classical and Hellenistic Periods, as a scholar of the Greek State Scholarships Foundation (IKY), and as the Mary Somerville Junior Research Fellow (1997-2000). I then held various postdoctoral grants by the British Academy (British Academy Reckitt Travelling Fellowship 2000-2001) and the Greek State Scholarships Foundation (IKY, 2001-2). I joined Lincoln College in 2002 initially as Early Career Fellow and since 2006 as a Tutor in Classical Archaeology.

College teaching

I organise teaching for the BA in Classical Archaeology and Ancient History and teach Lincoln students during all years of their course. Typically in the first year of the course I teach the Core class, ’From Aristocracy to Democracy, 550-450 BC' in faculty-led classes and the special subjects: Greek Sculpture and Greek Vases. For the final two years I teach Greek Art and Archaeology, 500-300 BC; Rome, Italy and Hellenistic East, 300-100 BC, and supervise Museum or Site Reports. Much of my tutorial and class teaching is linked to the lectures I give at the Department of Classics on a wide range of options in Greek archaeology of art.

Please note: I will be away from College for three years from 1 September 2022 onwards to work on a project funded by a Leverhulme Research Award. During this time I will not be teaching in College, but I will still be accepting DPhil students.


My research focuses on the archaeology of central and northern Greece, especially Thessaly (7th-1st century BC). Since my doctoral dissertation on the funerary archaeology of Thessaly, my interest in the region has expanded to include research on its sanctuaries, urban development, athletics, and art.

My major research projects focus on the publication of early twentieth century excavations, at Demetrias, a major cosmopolitan port and military stronghold of the Macedonian kings; Pharsalos (cemeteries); Phthiotic Thebes (sanctuary of Athena Polias); and Metropolis (cemeteries). Collaborating closely with colleagues and research institutions in Greece I have been able to rediscover both archival material relevant to these early investigations and the findings themselves, and have published on archival material, cults, funerary architecture, and painting.

Select publications

‘From Alcestis to Archidike: Thessalian Attitudes to Death and the Afterlife’, in G. Ekroth and I. Nilsson (eds), Round Trips to Hades in the Eastern Mediterranean Tradition. Visits to the Underworld from Antiquity to Byzantium  (Leiden/Boston 2018), 124-162 – with S. Kravaritou

‘Demetrias: The Archaeology of a Cosmopolitan Macedonian Harbour’, in M. Kalaitzi, P. Paschidis, C. Antonetti and A.-M. Guimier-Sorbets (eds), Βορειοελλαδικά. Tales from the lands of the ethne. Essays in honour of Miltiades B. Hatzopoulos / Histoires du monde des ethné. Études en l’honneur de Miltiade B. Hatzopoulos (Athens 2018), 343-376

‘The ‘banquet’ motif on the funerary stelai from Demetrias’, in C.M. Draycott and M. Stamatopoulou (eds), Dining & Death. Interdisciplinary perspectives on the 'Funerary Banquet' in ancient art, burial and belief. (Louvain 2016), 405-479

‘Forging a Link with the Past. The Evidence from Thessalian Cemeteries in the Archaic and Classical Periods’, in O. Henry and U. Kemp (eds.), Tumulus as Sema: Space, Politics, Culture and Religion in the First Millennium BC. Proceedings of the International Symposium Tumuli Istanbul, Istanbul 1-3 June 2009 (Berlin 2016), 181-204

‘The Pasikrata Sanctuary at Demetrias and the alleged funerary sanctuaries of Thessaly: a re-appraisal’, KERNOS 27 (2014) 207-255.

‘A New Look at Old Finds: The Bronze handle NAM X15463 from Thessaly and the Sanctuary of Athena Polias at Phthiotic Thebes’, in V. Lambrinoudakis, L.G. Mendoni, M. Koutsoumbou, T.-M. Panagou, A.S. Sfyroera, X. Charalambidou (eds), ἔξοχος ἄλλων. Τιμητικός τόμος για την καθηγήτρια Εύα Σημαντώνη-Μπουρνιά (Athens 2021) 673-692.

'Monumental funerary architecture in Thessaly in the Classical and Hellenistic Periods: An Overview’, in C. Berns and C. Huguenot (eds), Griechische Monumentalgräber. Regionale Muster und ihre Rezeption im ägäischen Raum im klassischer und hellenistischer Zeit. Gateways 7 (Düren 2020) 147-173 – with S. Katakouta.

‘An Officer and a Gentleman: The Stele of Aristokydes Son of Xenokles, a Keian in Demetrias’, in R. Raja, K. Welsh, W. T. Wooton (eds), Visual Histories: Visual Remains and Histories of the Classical World. Essays in Honour of R.R.R. Smith (Turhout 2019), 387-402