Scuola Archeologica Italiana di Atene

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The Scuola Archeologica Italiana di Atene ( Greek Ιταλική Αρχαιολογική Σχολή Αθηνών , also SAIA for short ) is one of 17 foreign archaeological institutes in Greece , all of which have their headquarters in Athens . The institute is supported by the universities and government research institutions in Italy.

History and tasks

It was founded on May 9, 1909 by resolution of the Italian Parliament, after Italian research in Greece had been carried out for decades on a private initiative and without a central point of contact and the Missione Archeologica Italiana di Creta had been a predecessor institution that had been established for a decade. The first director of the new institute was Luigi Pernier . Continuing previous Italian activities in Greece, work continued to focus on exploring Gortyn , Rhizenia , Phaistos and Haghia Triada in Crete . After the First World War , the research area was extended to the Aegean Islands under Alessandro Della Seta . Luciano Laurenzi was director from 1941 to 1943 . After the Italian armistice in 1943 , the school was closed by the Germans. After the end of the war, the 30-year phase began under the direction of Doro Levi , who, along with Iasos , now also brought Turkey into the focus of the institute. From 1977 to 2000 there was a further expansion of research under Antonino Di Vita . It was now directed towards all aspects of Greek colonization, relations with central Italy and Sicily in the first centuries of ancient Greece in the narrower sense. From 2000 onwards, Emanuele Greco , a specialist in Magna Graecia , headed the institute. He was replaced by Emanuele Papi in autumn 2016 .

The tasks of the Scuola Archeologica Italiana di Atene were defined in the founding resolution of the parliament and are still valid today. Accordingly, the function of the Scuola is to promote the archaeological culture of Italy and to give graduates of the Scuola di archeologia di Roma as well as PhDs from Italian universities and state institutions the means to perfect their studies. In addition, she is said to participate in the exploration of Greece and the Greek East through travel, research and excavations. At the same time, it is the center and contact point for Italian scientists in Greece and is intended to serve the exchange between Italian and Greek scholars, while at the same time strengthening the scientific relationship between the two countries, which is linked by a common ancient heritage. The institute offers multi-year study courses on prehistory , ancient and late ancient archeology and art history, Greek epigraphy and ancient architecture.


Institutions and research

The institute has a library with around 52,000 volumes and a photo library with around 110,000 photographs, including around 8,000 glass negatives and 17,000 slides. In terms of content, the photo library covers all of Greece with the islands, but also Anatolia , the Middle East , northern Africa and Italy.

Currently find excavations and research in Gortyn , Sybrita and places mentioned in Crete, on Lemnos , in the Messinian Thouria and Egialea instead. In collaboration with the Greek Ephorias , archaeological studies are carried out near Pale .


The Scuola di Atene has published the annual magazine Annuario della Scuola Archeologica Italiana di Atene e delle Missioni italiane in Oriente since 1914 . It is dedicated to the publication of research that has been directly or indirectly supported or carried out by the Scuola. In addition to excavation reports, it includes scientific articles and reviews of archaeological publications.

A biannual note book has been published since 2002, providing timely information on excavation results and the work of the institute.


  • Emanuele Greco, Alberto Guglielmo Benvenuti: Scavando nel passato. 120 anni di archeologia italiana in Grecia . Athens 2005.
  • Elena Korka (Ed.): Foreign Archaeological Schools in Greece: 160 Years . Greek Ministry of Culture, Athens 2005, pp. 108–115.

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