Institute for Mediterranean Studies

Athanasios Kalpaxis†

FORTH Distinguished Member
Department of History and Archaeology, University of Crete
Laboratory of Geophysical - Satellite Remote Sensing and Archaeo-environment

Thanasis Kalpaxis (1944-2021) graduated from the German School of Athens in 1962. From 1963 to 1967 he studied Architecture at the University of Karlsruhe and from 1967 to 1971 Archeology at the University of Heidelberg receiving his PhD. in 1971. From 1972 he worked at the same University as a Lecturer and  was named Lecturer 1982. In 1984 he was elected to the University of Crete, initially as Associate Professor and, in 1990, as Professor of Classical Archeology. His scientific work is distinguished by the interdisciplinarity  combination of history and archeology with architecture and anthropology.

Thanasis Kalpaxis contributed significantly to the consolidation and development of the Institute for Mediterranean Studies (IMS) of the Foundation for Research and Technology Hellas (FORTH), of which he was Director from 1993 to 2008. During this period he undertook important initiatives to expand the actions of IMS in new scientific fields. On his own initiative, the Laboratory of Geophysics - Satellite Remote Sensing and Archaeoenvironment was established at IMS, which was a pioneer in the introduction of new technologies in archaeological excavations in Greece. The installation of the IMS in the old town of Rethymno and the restoration of the historic buildings in which it is housed are also due to his actions.

He was President of the Department of History - Archeology of the University of Crete (1985-1987, 1988-1989 and 1990) and President of the Local Council of Antiquities of Western Crete (1988-1991). He participated in excavations in Greece and Italy. In 1985 he became co-director of the excavations at Ancient Eleftherna and, in 1994, the Greek-French excavation at Ancient Itano. He was a visiting researcher at the CNRS (Directeur associé) (1992), a visiting professor at the École Des Hautes udtudes des Sciences Sociales in Paris (1995-97) and a visiting professor at the University of Paris I-Sorbonne (1996-97). He was a corresponding member of the German Archaeological Institute. In 1995 he was declared an honorary citizen of Eleftherna. In 2011 he was named Emeritus Professor of the Department of History and Archeology of the University of Crete.

Selected Publications