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Photo of Psimogiannou, Katerina

Katerina Psimogiannou

Graduate Student

Anthropology, Archaeology


Building & Room:

BSB 2102


1007 W. Harrison Street


My field of study is European and Aegean prehistory. As an anthropological archaeologist, I am interested in the evolution of pre-state societies, and specifically, in the different ways that Neolithic agricultural villages in Greece emerged and sustained themselves for millennia before the appearance of more complex systems of social organization in the area. I have comparative interests in similar processes as evidenced in both the Old and the New World. I find fascinating how people might have reacted in similar ways either as part of village societies in the American Southwest or in the southernmost tip of the Pelopponese in Greece. At the same time, I aim to highlight all the idiosyncrasies that have made specific cultures to be born and specific events to take place in my study region.

Most of my field research has taken place in Greece either in collaborative, international projects or in salvage excavations conducted by the Hellenic Ministry of Culture.  I have carried out ceramic analysis and published Neolithic pottery from sites on the central and southern Greek mainland. My current project, as part of my dissertation research, addresses issues of political centralization in the above region in the end of the Neolithic and the beginning of the EBA period (mid-5th mil. to 3rd mil. BCE.). This is a time of significant transformation in the whole of SE Europe and eastern Mediterranean, that prepared the way towards the emergence of the state societies of the Late Bronze Age. The above work and studies so far have been generously supported by various institutions, and presented in local and international conferences.

In my on-going research I am very much concerned with the relationship between archaeology, history, and epistemology. I am especially interested in the role of historical events and politics in the archaeological practice and narratives within Greek archaeology, in the role of humanities and social studies in our contemporary world, as well as in the relationship between archaeology and tourism.  My long-term research goal is to merge New and Old World anthropological and archaeological discussions, philosophy of science and epistemology, with the deep Greek archaeological tradition, and make them "meet" in my small worlds of research in the Aegean region.


Selected Grants

University of Sheffield, Department of Archaeology, Andrew Sherratt Fund - 2019, Grant to support participation in Radiocarbon Dating Workshop at Oxford Laboratory directed by Prof. Bronk Ramsey

German Academic Exchage Service (DAAD), Doctoral Research Grant (2019) for research stay at Freie Universitat/DAI, Berlin, Germany, Principal Investigator

University of Illinois at Chicago, Graduate College, Chancellor's Graduate Research Award (2018) for preliminary dissertation research in Greece, Principal Investigator

Archaeological Insititute of America, Pomerance Fellowship (2017) for radiocarbon dating costs and preliminary dissertation research in Greece, Principal Investigator

Field Museum of Natural History at Chicago, Anthropology Alliance Fieldwork Internship (2015), Co-Principal Investigator

American School of Classical Studies at Athens (ASCSA), Harry Bikakis Fellowship (2015), for research stay at the Blegen Library, ASCSA, Athens, Greece, Principal Investigator

Selected Publications

2018 Patterns of pottery consumption, destruction and deposition at Alepotrypa Diros Cave, southern Peloponnese, Greece: the case of Chamber Z during the Neolithic period. In Papathanasiou, A., P., Karkanas, W., Parkinson, M., Galaty and D., Pullen (eds.). Alepotrypa Cave. Festshcrift to Georgios Papathanasopoulos, pp. 127-157. Oxbow books: Oxford.

2012   Creating identities in the mortuary arena of the Greek Final Neolithic: a contextual definition of practices in central and southern Greece. Documenta Praehistorica XXXIX: 185-201.

Professional Leadership

President (2016-2017), Graduate Anthropology and Geography Association, Department of Anthropology, UIC

Co-Organizer Second Year Speaker Series (2015-2016), Graduate Anthropology and Geography Association, Department of Anthropology, UIC

Notable Honors

2016, Joshua J. Terry Award, Department of Anthropology, University of Illinois at Chicago

2015, Fulbright Foundation Fellowship, Fulbright Foundation

2014-2018, Alexander Onassis Foundation Scholarship, Alexander Onassis Foundation


2017- present: PhD Candidate, Department of Anthropology, University of Illinois at Chicago
2016: MA in Anthropology, Department of Anthropology, Univeersity of Illinois at Chicago
2009: MA in Prehistoric Archaeology, Department of History and Archaeology, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece
2004: BA in Archaeology and Art History, Department of History and Archaeology, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece

Professional Memberships

Archaeological Institute of America, Society for American Archaeology, Fulbright Scholars Association, Onassis Scholars Association

Selected Presentations

2019  Tempi, Modes and Regions of Political Change: The southern Greek mainland from the later Neolithic to the Early Bronze Age (mid. 5th - 3rd mill. BCE)". Invited talk at the Institute of Prehistoric Archaeology, Free University of Berlin, Germany, May 29, 2019.

2018  From an Egalitarian Neolithic to a Complex Early Bronze Age? A Reexamination of the “Eutresis culture” based on New Evidence from Mitrou, East Lokris, Central Greece. Paper presented at the 119th Annual Meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America, Boston, MA, Sunday, January 7, 2018

2016a Moving In and Moving Around. Pottery and Human Burial Deposition Practices in Alepotrypa Cave, southern Greece during the Neolithic period (7th-4th mil. BCE). Paper presented at the 2016 Second City Anthropology Conference, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, March 5, 2016.

2016b The Dark Side: Acts of Deposition in Chamber Z of Alepotrypa Cave, southern Greece during the Neolithic period (7th-4th mil. BCE). Paper presented at the Session “Neolithic Diros”, 117th Annual Meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America, San Francisco, CA, January 7, 2016

Research Currently in Progress

In the context of my dissertation reseach, I am further engaged (as PI) at a broader radiocarbon dating project, in collaboration with physical anthropologist Dr. A. Papathanasiou, Hellenic Ministry of Culture. The goal of the project is to collect absolute dates from archaelogical contexts of the end of the Neolithic and the beginning of the Bronze Age in central and southern Greece, focusing especially on the 4thmil. BCE. The results will not only help refine the relative chronology of a long-term cultural period in the area, but they will also be incorporated in the existing database of absolute chronologies for the above periods in northern Greece and the wider Balkan area. Also, in collaboration with Dr. Eleni Zahou, Hellenic Ministry of Culture, an edited book is currently under preparation. The book will focus on the Neolithic and Early Bronze Age deposits at the prehistoric site of Mitrou, central Greece (collaborative excavation by the American School of Classical Studies at Athens and the Hellenic Ministry of Culture).

Since 2019, a collaborative project with Ms. Anthi Teliakou (PhD student, Max Planck Institute, Jena, German) has been initiated. The project focuses on aDNA analysis of human remains of the Final Neolithic period (4th mill. BCE) from the central Greek mainland, into the context of a broader study by Ms. Teliakou on Neolithic and Bronze Age populations in prehistoric Aegean.