The American School of Classical Studies at Athens

Director Jim Wright presents a trowel to Malcolm Wiener at the inauguration


New Wiener Lab Opens

On June 4, 2016, the American School of Classical Studies at Athens (ASCSA) inaugurated the Malcolm H. Wiener Laboratory for Archaeological Science, which will propel the School into a new era of research opportunities and solidify its standing as the preeminent center for high level archaeological science in the Mediterranean and Southeastern Europe. 

Approximately 400 people were in attendance for this historic event including the President of the Hellenic Republic, Mr. Prokopios Pavlopoulos, US Ambassador to Greece David Pearce, a number of directors for the foreign archaeological schools, and other distinguished guests.

The state-of-the-art building is a product of the vision and philanthropy of Malcolm H. Wiener, Aegean prehistorian and Chairman of the School’s Board of Trustees.

Former School director Jack Davis noted, “No one has made such a contribution to the growth and development of the prehistory of Greece since the 1920s.” Mr. Wiener’s love of Greece runs deep. In 2015 his philhellenism was recognized by the President of Greece who awarded him with the Gold Cross of the Order of Honor of the Hellenic Republic.

Left to right: School Director James Wright, Malcolm and Carolyn Wiener,
Lab Director Panagiotis Karkanas, US Ambassador to Greece David Pearce

Left: Mr. Wiener and family members Elizabeth and Thomas proceed into the Lab for a private tour.
Right: Mr. Wiener receives congratulations from President of the Hellenic Republic Prokopios Pavlopoulos,
while Ambassador Pearce looks on

In dedicating the Laboratory, the School recognizes the continuing potential for the natural sciences to enlighten aspects of human history. According to the Lab’s director Panagiotis Karkanas, “One of the most fascinating endeavors in archaeology is the reconstruction of the everyday life of people in the past. Here is where science comes in. The scientific enquiry into the past is a microscope through which we can inspect the diverse activities of ancient people — we see how they processed their food, how they maintained their working spaces and homes, how they exploited the landscape . . . how they coped with climate and environmental changes, how they were buried, and what sicknesses they suffered from. . . . This is how the remote past reaches out to us.” Adds School director James Wright: “We are actually entering a world of Scientific Humanism, where laboratories such as ours serve the fundamental interest of human enquiry, asking the questions: Who are we? Where did we come from? How do we understand our place on the world?” 

Before the formal inauguration, the Lab held an open house in the afternoon and Mr. Wiener, his wife Carolyn and their children toured the building with the Lab’s coordinator Dimitris Michailidis. The previous evening Dr. Melinda Zeder (member of the National Academy of Sciences and a senior researcher at the Smithsonian Institution), presented an engaging lecture entitled “Tales from the Wiener Lab: Contributions of the Archaeological Sciences to Classical Studies” 

The new building replaces the former lab that Mr. Wiener founded in 1992 and adds cutting edge equipment like a scanning electron microscope, a portable X-ray fluorescence spectrometer and a Fourier transform infrared spectrometer. In his presentation of a key and spade to Mr. Wiener, Prof. Wright remarked that “today, with the inauguration of this splendid fully furnished laboratory, Dr. Wiener makes it possible for the American School of Classical Studies to raise the excellence and the scope of humanistic research in Greece to the highest level.”

Takis Karkanas leads President Pavlopoulos on a private tour of the Wiener Laboratory

Watch a video of the inauguration:

View more photos from the event:

Click on an image below to start the slideshow:

Lab directors past and present gather with Malcolm Wiener: Takis Karkanas, Sherry Fox, Scott Pike,  and Sarah VaughanA green oasis on school groundsASCSA members working in Wiener Laboratory for the open house: Kaitlyn Stiles and Voula TritsaroliWiener family gets a private tour of the labLab coordinator Dimitris Michalidis gives a tour of the collectionsMr. Wiener and family check out the new equipment in the labJonathan, Carolyn, Malcolm, Kate, Thomas and Elizabeth Wiener, Takis Karkanas, Jim Wright, and Jane BuikstraMr. Wiener and Sarah Vaughn, the first Director of the Wiener LabSchool staff Niamh Michalopoulou and Dylan RogersAmbassador David Pearce, and Malcolm and Carolyn Wiener greet Bishop AgathangelosGeneral Manager Tellos Panos and School Director Jim Wright greet the President of the Hellenic Republic, Prokopis PavlopoulosThe blessing of the Wiener Laboratory, performed by Bishop AgathangelosReceptionPresident Pavlopoulos speaks with Thomas WienerLab Director Takis Karkanas leads President Pavlopoulos on a private tourTakis Karkanas with Apostolos and Maria DoxiadisLana Mandilas, Jim Wright, Nicholas Stampolidis, Malcolm WienerTakis Karkanas with Alexandra Athanassiadis and Dimitris SotiriouThomas and Marina Doxiadis with Jim WrightMr. Wiener greets Helen Philon, Gennadius Library Overseer Emerita, and Ambassador Alekos PhilonPost inaugural receptionASCSA Trustee Stathis Andris, Susan Heide, Mary Dabney, and Executive Director George OrfanakosINSTAP Director Tom Brogan, Barbara Kowalzig, and Stella ChrysoulakiJenifer Neils (Managing Committee Chair), William Loomis (Acting President, ASCSA Trustees), and Katja Sporn (Director, DAI)Katie Petrole, Phil Katz, Sebastian Anderson, Dan Diffendale, Elina SalminenPhilipp Stockhammer, Shari Stocker, Jack Davis, Johannes Krause, and Melinda Zeder (Chair, Committee on the Wiener Laboratory)Kristen Seaman, Andy Stewart, Samantha Lloyd-Knauf, John OakleyOlivia Jones, Kaitlyn Stiles, Anna Moles, Maggie BeelerHallie Franks, Michalis Alexandrakis, former Wiener Lab Director Sherry Fox, Heather SharpSchool staff: Maria Tourna, Gennadius Library Director Maria Georgopoulou, Maria Smali, Eleftheria Daleziou, Irene Mantzavinou