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Dr Argyro Nafplioti

Dr Argyro Nafplioti

Marie Skłodowska-Curie European Fellow

Research Associate, McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research

Research Associate Homerton College

Argyro Nafplioti is available for consultancy.

Downing Street
Cambridge CB2 3ER
Office Phone: +44 (0) 7849535913


Following a first-class degree in Archaeology at the University of Ioannina (Greece), for which I received the top grade awarded in 2000 in the entire School of Philosophy, in 2002 I completed with Distinction an MA in Osteoarchaeology at the University of Southampton. I immediately continued with a PhD at Southampton, during which I was the first to apply strontium isotopic analysis to Aegean Archaeology.  My studies have been significantly supported on a competitive basis through: an Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) studentship, a Teaching Assistance Studentship from the University of Southampton, a post-graduate scholarship by the Lilian Voudouri Foundation and four undergraduate state scholarships (Greek Institute of State Scholarships).

To date I have held two research posts in the American School of Classical Studies at Athens and one in the Cyprus Institute, and have received seven grants from charities for research that I lead as PI. Parts of my research have involved the targeted, combined application of strontium isotopic analysis with other isotope systems, again for the first time in the Aegean.

Subject groups/Research projects

Dorothy Garrod Laboratory:

Research Interests

There are three main, and normally interwoven, lines in my research:

i) Science-based archaeological research that uses isotope geochemistry to analyse human skeletal remains and address “big” questions in Archaeology revolving around the nature of cultural change or discontinuity and its relationship to residential mobility, migration and identities, as well as past lifeways and individual dietary records in relation to status and social variation in prehistoric communities; ii) Contextual analysis of archaeological human skeletal remains to explore issues of paleodemography, palaeopathology, biodistance, and taphonomy: It aims to reconstruct past population life histories and shed light on the practices and even the ideologies of the respective communities to achieve a more nuanced understanding of the past; iii) Technical scientific research, aimed to assess and refine scientific techniques currently used in science-based archaeology, as well as generate necessary groundwork to facilitate further development of geochemistry applications to archaeological research in the Aegean.


My project (EPOCH GeoChem) at the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research investigates the Neolithic Transition and the subsequent socio-economic developments on Crete (Greece) using a multifaceted methodological approach.  For the first time state-of-the-art isotopic analyses of multiple chemical elements (i.e. strontium, oxygen, carbon, nitrogen, sulphur and hydrogen) and Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) radiocarbon dating on the same archaeological human skeletal material from Crete dating from the Neolithic to the Early Bronze Age are used to reconstruct geographical origin/s and the individual dietary records for the people analysed. EPOCH GeoChem uses geographical origin and dietary indicators as proxies to identify different, new populations, and, along with the radiocarbon data, it will track and interpret in-context any residential mobility.


Moreover, I am in parallel involved in the following research projects:

2015 – 2017: “Publication of the excavation of the Neolithic cemetery at the site of Katsambas on Crete” directed by Mrs I.Serpetsidaki (Ephorate of Antiquities of Heraklion)

2014 – 2016: “Sissi Archaeological Project “ directed by Prof. J. Driessen (Université Catholique de Louvain)


Other Professional Activities

Member of: British Association for Biological Anthropology and Osteoarchaeology; British Association for Human Identification; British School at Athens; Society for Archeaeological Sciences

Reviewer for: National Science Foundation (NSF), Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), Journal of Archaeological Science, American Journal of Archaeology, Quaternary International.

Editor for Global Journal of Archaeology & Anthropology.


  • Stable Isotope Analysis
  • Prehistory
  • Migration and Mobility
  • Osteoarchaeology
  • The Mediterranean
  • Mortuary analysis
  • bioarchaeology
  • skeletal biology


Key Publications

[1]   Nafplioti, A. 2016. Eating in prosperity: First stable isotope evidence of diet from Palatial Knossos. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, 6: 42-52.

[2]   Nafplioti, A. 2012. Late Minoan IB destructions and cultural upheaval on Crete: A bioarchaeological perspective. In E. Kaizer, J. Burger, Schier, W. (Eds), Population Dynamics in Prehistory and Early History: New Approaches using Stable Isotopes and Genetics, pp.241-64. Berlin: De Gruyter.

[3]   Nafplioti, A. 2011. Tracing population mobility in the Aegean using isotope geochemistry: a first map of biologically available 87Sr/86Sr signatures. Journal of Archaeological Science, 38: 1560-1570.

[4]   Nafplioti, A. 2010. The Mesolithic occupants of Maroulas on Kythnos: Skeletal isotope ratio signatures of their geographic origin. In A. Sampson, M. Kaczanowska, J. K. Kozłowski (Eds), The prehistory of the island of Kythnos (Greece) and the Mesolithic settlement at Maroulas, pp. 207-215. Polish Academy of Arts & Sciences.

[5]   Papazoglou-Manioudaki, L., Nafplioti, A., Musgrave, J., & Prag, J. 2010. Mycenae Revisited: The Human Remains from Grave Circle A at Mycenae. Part 3. Behind the masks. A study of the bones of Shaft Graves I-V. Annual of the British School at Athens, 105: 157-224.

[6]   Nafplioti, A. 2008. Mycenaean political domination of Knossos following the LMIB destructions on Crete: negative evidence from strontium isotope ratio analysis (87Sr/86Sr). Journal of Archaeological Science, 35: 2307-2317. (Received a positive review in Science Magazine, 2008, Vol. 321, p. 321.)


Other Publications

[1]   Nafplioti, A. (in press). The Human Skeletal Remains. In N. Galanidou (Ed), The Neolithic Settlement by the River Kairatos. The Alexiou Excavations at Katsambas. INSTAP Academic Press.

[2]   Nafplioti, A. (in press). The Human Skeletal Remains: The question of the missing bones. In K. Gkalanaki (Ed), The Early Minoan Cemetery at Gournes. Vol. I. INSTAP Academic Press.

[3]   Nafplioti, A. (in press). The demise of the Palatial System in the Mainland and residential mobility in the Aegean: A Refugee Mycenaean Elite on LHIIIC Naxos? In G. Hasiakou et al. (Eds), Studies in honour of Geogrios Korres

[4]   Nafplioti, A. 2015.The human skeletal remains. In A. Karetsou, L. Girella (Eds), Kalochorafitis. The LM IIIA-B Chamber Tomb Cemetery: A contribution to Postpalatial funerary practices in the Mesara, pp. 279-343. Centro di Archeologia Cretese, Univesita di Catania.

[5]   Nafplioti, A. 2015. Social variation in Middle Bronze Age Knossos: Palaeodietary evidence. In Panagiotopoulos, D., Cappel S., Günkel-Maschek, U. (Eds), Proceedings of the Minoan Archaeology. Challenges and Perspectives for the 21st century. International Conference, Heidelberg, 23-27/03/2011, pp. 301-308.

[6]   Nafplioti, A. 2015. Residential mobility at Myrtos Pyrgos? In C.F. Macdonald, E. Hatzaki, S. Andreou (Eds), Studies of Crete and Cyprus presented to Gerald Gadogan, pp. 90-93. KAPON Editions.

[7]   Nafplioti, A. 2012. Strontium isotope ratio (87Sr/86Sr) analysis in past population mobility studies: Snails as local bioavailable 87Sr/86Sr tracers. In Miahua Wai, Xu Guan Gong (Eds), Strontium: Chemical Properties, Applications and Health Effects. New York: Nova Publishers.

[8]   Dickinson, O., Papazoglou-Manioudaki, L., Nafplioti, A., & Prag, J. 2012. Mycenae Revisited part 4. A reassessment. Annual of the British School at Athens, 107: 1-28.

[9]   Nafplioti, A. 2012. The Human Skeletal Remains (in Greek). In: Exhibition Catalogue for the Antikythera Shipwreck. National Archaeological Museum at Athens.

[10]  Kanta, A. 2012. The Final Neolithic tomb at Gonies, Crete. Appendix: “The Human Skeletal Remains” by Argyro Nafplioti. In E. Mantzourani, P.P. Betancourt (Eds), Philistor: Studies in honor of Costis Davaras. INSTAP Academic press.

[11]  Nafplioti, A. 2009. Early Bronze Age Manika on Euboea (Greece): A ‘colony’ or Not? Evidence from strontium isotope ratio (87Sr/86Sr) analysis. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 73(13), Suppl. 1, A925.

[12]  Nafplioti, A. 2009. Mycenae Revisited part 2. Exploring the local vs. non-local origin of the individuals from Grave Circle A at Mycenae: evidence from strontium isotope ratio (87Sr/86Sr) analysis. Annual of the British School at Athens, 104: 279-291.

[13]  Papazoglou-Manioudaki, L, Nafplioti, A., Musgrave, J.H., Neaves, R., Smith, D., & Prag, J. 2009. Mycenae Revisited Part 1. The Human Skeletal Remains from Grave Circle A at Mycenae. Stamatakis, Schliemann and the Two New Faces from Shaft Grave VI. Annual of the British School at Athens, 104: 233-277.

[14]  Konstantinidi, E. & Paschalidis, K. 2010. Honouring the dead off-stage. A case of tomb cult south of Grave Circle B, Mycenae. Appendix: “The Animal Skeletal Remains” by Argyro Nafplioti. In H. Cavanagh, W. Cavanagh, J. Roy (Eds), Honouring the Dead in the Peloponnese, Proc. of the CSPS Conference,23-25/04/2009.

[15]  Nafplioti, A. (accepted) Warfare in the Bronze Age Aegean: an Osteoarchaeological Perspective. In the Proceedings of the Round Table on Bronze Age Aegean Warfare, Univ. of Athens, 12-13/12/2009.


Book Reviews (by invitation): 

[16] Nafplioti, A. 2017. Archaeodiet in the Greek World: Dietary Reconstruction from Stable Isotope Analysis. Edited by Anastasia Papathanasiou, Michael P. Richards, and Sherry C. Fox (Hesperia Supplement 49). The American School of Classical Studies at Athens, Princeton 2015.