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«…In 1988 I ‘succeeded’ –as we then used to say with great enthusiasm- in the exams to the University of Athens. It was summer 1989 when I first joined archaeological fieldwork at the Cave Skoteini, in the central mainland; within a big team of specialists and students I have then opened my explorations to prehistory. There, in the afternoons when we used to do some laboratory work in the old elementary school of the village following the morning dig, I have for the first time undertook some pottery research, on the Mycenaean and Classical-to-Roman ceramics from the cave.

In 1990 I took part in the surface surveys for Neolithic sites on the islet of Yali, Dodecanese, and joined the Neolithic pottery-recording project for that site, while later that year I went to the dig of the Bronze Age settlement of Kalogerovrysi, lying inside a pine forest outside of the town of Halkis, central mainland. Soon the following months, I joined the project for cataloguing pottery of various periods, excavated from the Nestor Cave in Pylos. In 1991, already in my 3rd undergraduate year, I would follow the second and third seasons of Skoteini project, as I was very much interested in keeping in touch with the theory and conclusions of this certain site. Later that year I started working for the Ephorate of Paleoanthropology-Speleology in Athens, the institute running the cave projects in Greece, as an assistant to the Cave Skoteini animal bone identification.

Between 1992 and 1995 I participated in two major Neolithic projects of this Ephorate, one in the Cave of Cyclops on the island of Youra, North Aegean, and the other in the Cave of Lakes at Kalavryta, Peloponnese. Both projects have been very rewarding to me for their particularity of finds, but mostly for being very educational in terms of prehistoric stratigraphy, excavation methodology, and systematic team work. I have followed both to the end and have studied both projects as a member of their research teams –Cyclops has actually provided me with the ceramic material for my thesis.

So, when I graduated in 1993, I had already acquired special interest in the domain of Neolithic pottery. In 1992 and 1993 I participated in surface surveys for Paleolithic lithics in Mani and Kephallonia. In 1994 I got a position in the Ephorate of the Antiquities of the Cyclades, and soon after I joined a new dig in the Neolithic settlement of Ftelia, Mykonos. Later this year, another new project was initiated, in the Cave of Sarakenos, Boeotia, central Greece mainland and I was also involved. Both projects were run by the same excavation team who had already run the previous digs in the Cyclops and the Lakes, and have worked very hard to guarantee the systematic methodology in each case; I was part of that team.

Since 1995 I have been involved in the pottery research of the Theopetra project, a major site in Thessaly, which has opened a new big chapter in my career as a scholar. Concurrently I was working as copy editor for books on archaeology and folklore, which has later proved to be very useful for my future duties in the Ministry of Culture involving some editing work.

In 1993 I published my first paper in the Mycenaean and later pottery from Skoteini; in 1996 I made my first conference presentation in a local workshop in Alonessos, on the Middle Neolithic ware from the Cyclops; in 1997 I published my first full contribution to the excavation monograph on the Cave of Lakes.

In 1998 I travelled to Israel to join the dig run by Harvard at Hayonim Cave in North Galillee. When I was back I started working for rescue excavations in the north suburbs of Athens, and particularly in an Archaic-Classical cemetery. I have soon become involved in the research projects of pre-Mycenaean Koukounaries, Paros, and Early Helladic Helike, Aigion, which were so challenging for their major architecture and stratigraphy.

In 2000 I took an exploration trip to Guatemala. Later that year I got a grant to study the Neolithic of Cyprus and went to Nicosia, for a month. I have been meanwhile working for new papers and conference presentations. In 2000 I have met my future husband Spyros Tzevelekis dancing tango and we have got married a year later; we have three children now, Nefeli, born in 2002, Orfeas in 2004 and Electra in 2006. Soon I got involved in several activities on educational archaeology programs run by their schools.

Since 2001 I have got a position back in the Ephorate of Palaeoanthropology-Spelaeology where I am still today working, after I took some brief intermediate move to the Ephorate of the Antiquities of Attiki, and to the office of the General Antiquities Director. In 2004 I presented Koukounaries in the Cyclades Conference in Cambridge, while a preliminary paper on this site appeared on the Annual of the British School of Archaeology at Athens in the same year. In 2005 I submitted my thesis on the Middle Neolithic wares from the Cyclops to the University of Ioannina, and got my PhD. Starting from this project, I have been gradually involved in archaeological theory and soon took a good turn towards this concept of doing archaeology, after gradually realizing that typology in prehistory was so much disproportionally improved against interpretation and meaning.

In October 2005 I coorganized the International Conference on the lyric poet Archilochos in his place of origin, Paros, as being a member of the Paros and Cyclades Institute of Archaeology; the conference has had such great response from greek and foreign scholars.

I started teaching Prehistoric Archaeology of the Mediterranean at the University of the Aegean in Rhodes in 2005-6, which has been so far one of my most rewarding, challenging and enthusiastic activities as a scholar.

New archaeological projects have recently started and (some) old finish and will finish soon. Meanwhile I always like joining conferences; it is a great experience to think of a new issue or take an older one further, also to meet friends and get to know other scholars’ work. Since 2009, I am following the Theoretical Archaeology Group in the US…»