Webinar Information: 

In this webinar, Dr. Jane Buikstra will first define bioarchaeology, the archaeological science approach taken to investigate the lives of those buried in the Phaleron cemetery. Excavated between 2012-2015 by the Ephorate of Piraeus and Islands under the direction of Dr. Stella Chryssoulaki, the Phaleron cemetery brought to light thousands of burials during the construction of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC).
Dr. Buikstra will consider the Phaleron historical and archaeological contexts as well as up-to-date results of the Phaleron Bioarchaeological Project, a collaborative undertaking between the Malcolm H. Wiener Laboratory for Archaeological Sciences of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, Arizona State University, and the Ephorate of Piraeus and Islands.
To close, Dr. Buikstra will introduce viewers to a few of the people who had been interred in the Phaleron cemetery providing insight into the past lives of Greece.

About our speaker:

Dr. Jane Buikstra (PhD, University of Chicago) defined the discipline of bioarchaeology, an international field that enriches archaeological knowledge of past peoples. Her research encompasses bioarchaeology, paleopathology, forensic anthropology and paleodemography, spanning North America, the west-central Andes, Mayan Mesoamerica, and the Mediterranean.  She has published more than 20 books and 150 articles and has mentored more than 55 doctoral students and is currently investigating the evolutionary history of ancient tuberculosis in the Americas via archaeologically-recovered pathogen DNA, and is Project Director for the Phaleron Bioarchaeological Project in Athens, Greece.

At Arizona State University, Dr. Buikstra is a Regents Professor and the Founding Director of the Center for Bioarchaeological Research. She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences & American Academy of Arts & Sciences and served as president of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (AAPA), the American Anthropological Association, and the Paleopathology Association.

Dr. Buikstra is a Regents' Professor of Bioarchaeology at Arizona State University (ASU). She is also the Founding Director of ASU’s Center for Bioarchaeological Research and Project Director for the Phaleron Bioarchaeological Project in Athens, Greece. She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences. and American Academy of Arts & Sciences. She is currently the president of the Center for American Archaeology and a Trustee of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. She has served as president of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists, American Anthropological Association, and Paleopathology Association. 


  • Pomerance Award, Scientific Contributions to Archaeology, Archaeological Institute of America
  • T. Dale Stewart Award, American Academy of Forensic Sciences
  • Charles R. Darwin Lifetime Achievement Award, AAPA
  • Eve Cockburn Award, PPA, Honorary DSc, Durham University
  • Lloyd Cotsen Prize for Lifetime Achievement in World Archaeology
  • University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology
  • Lucy Wharton Drexel Medal
  • Gorjanovic-Kramberger Medal in Anthropology
  • Croatian Society of Anthropology
  • Ales Hrdlicka Medal
  • Czech Anthropological Society
  • Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Shanghai Archaeological Forum


About Phaleron Archaeological Project:

A leader in archaeological scientific research, the Malcolm H. Wiener Laboratory was recently granted permission to study the cemetery at Phaleron (the old port of Athens). The cemetery is being excavated by Dr. Stella Chryssoulaki, Ephor of Piraeus and Western Attica, and is one of the most significant necropoleis in Attica during the Archaic Period. It was used for almost three centuries, from the late 8th to the early 5th century B.C. To date, over 1,500 burials have been recovered, including nearly 400 infant and child inhumations in jars. A team of top bioarchaeologists representing the Wiener Lab and the American School – led by Prof. Jane Buikstra of Arizona State University (a Trustee of the School and a member of the American Academy of Sciences) in collaboration with Dawnie Steadman, Director of the Forensics Laboratory of the University of Tennessee – will manage the study and scientific analysis of the skeletal remains.

The scope and range of the burials are of unparalleled importance for the study of ancient Athens and its port of Phaleron in the Archaic Period. The potential that these burials provide for increasing our understanding of ancient Greek society is significant. Questions concerning ancient diet and disease as well as social and political processes--such as the death penalty, political reforms, and legislation-- can potentially be answered. These answers could then lead to comparative studies that would eventually have global impact.

For further information you can visit the Phaleron Bioarchaeological Project’s webpage here.