The American School of Classical Studies at Athens

School Welcomes Sylvian Fachard as New Mellon Professor

The School welcomes Sylvian Fachard as he begins a three-year appointment as the Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Classical Studies. Fachard is an archaeologist who has excavated in Greece for 20 field seasons. His knowledge of the sites, monuments, museums, and topography of Greece is extensive. Fachard has published sites and material dating from several periods; his survey work covers the full range from the Neolithic to the modern periods. Members of the American School have enjoyed his tours around Eretria—a site on which he is a leading expert who has published multiple studies and co-authored volumes—since 2004.

Fachard reports he was drawn to the Mellon Professorship because of the unique academic program the School offers. He explains, “Being in Greece and teaching advanced graduate students using the archaeological, historical, literary, and cultural landscape as a teaching resource in such a direct way is exceptional. I have always admired the American School, and it is a great honor to be a part of it.”

Fachard showing the new students for 2017-18 the Temple of Hephaistos

Fachard, who was born in the U.S. and lived there as a child, holds an M.A. (2002) and a Ph.D. (2009) in Classical Archaeology from the University of Lausanne, Switzerland. Most recently, from 2013 to 2016, Fachard was a Senior Research Associate in the Classics Department of the University of Geneva, dividing his time between Geneva and Athens as he conducted research funded by an Ambizione grant from the Swiss National Science Foundation. He was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World, Brown University (2012-2013) and at the Center for Hellenic Studies in Washington, D.C. (2011-2012). Previous to these posts, he served as the Assistant Director of the Swiss School of Archaeology in Greece from 2002 to 2011.

Fachard co-directs the Mazi Archaeological Project (Attica) with Alex Knodell of Carleton College and Kalliope Papangeli of the Ephorate of West Attica, Piraeus, and Islands ( His other publications include a monograph on the fortifications and defense of the Eretrian territory (Eretria XXI), as well as the co-edited volumes Pratiques militaires et art de la guerre dans le monde grec antique (2013) and Geoarchaeology of the Mediterranean Islands / Géoarchéologie des îles de la Méditerranée (2016). Fachard is currently finalizing a co-edited volume on the excavations on the Aspis Hill in Argos (with Gilles Touchais of the French School at Athens) and preparing a monograph titled The Borders of Attica: An Archaeological Study of Athens’ Borderlands. His most recent articles deal with the economy and control of the Attic-Boeotian borderlands, Greek fortifications, the importance of Attic roads, and the territorial organization of Athens and Eretria. 

Having lived in Athens for close to 13 years, Fachard has developed relationships with the foreign schools in Athens, connections with the Greek academic community, and a fluency in modern Greek that will serve the School’s academic program well. In recent years, he has also accompanied American School Members on day trips throughout Attica, the Regular Program trip to western and northern Greece, and a three-day trip to Euboea and Locris. As Mellon Professor, Fachard will introduce and supervise a GIS laboratory course during the winter term that he hopes will “provide a theoretical and practical introduction to the use of GIS in landscape archaeology and ancient history, and allow students to develop their own project and research agenda.”

Look for a Q&A with Sylvian Fachard in the print newsletter coming out later this fall!