Wolf-Dietrich Niemeier

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Wolf-Dietrich Niemeier (born May 1, 1947 in Göttingen ) is a German classical archaeologist .


Niemeier graduated from the humanistic Max Planck Gymnasium in Göttingen in 1966 . After military service, he studied classical archeology, ancient history, prehistory and early history and Near Eastern archeology at the Georg-August University in Göttingen from 1968 to 1974 . 1974–1976 he continued his studies at the University of Mannheim and the Ruprecht-Karls-University of Heidelberg and in 1976 at the University of Mannheim with Wolfgang Schiering with a thesis on "The palace style ceramics of Knossos. Style, Chronology and Historical Context ”. From 1976 to 1979 he was a research assistant at the Corpus of Minoan and Mycenaean seals of the Mainz Academy of Sciences and Literature in Marburg , from 1979 to 1982 research assistant at the Prehistoric Seminar of the University of Marburg and took part as deputy head of the excavation in S. Maria d'Anglona (southern Italy). From 1983 to 1986 he was general advisor at the Athens Department of the German Archaeological Institute and worked on the excavations in the Heraion of Samos .

In 1986, Niemeier became a C2 professor at the Institute for Classical Archeology at the University of Freiburg and from there, in collaboration with Aharon Kempinski (University of Tel Aviv), he carried out excavations in Tel Kabri (Israel) from 1989-1993 . In 1991 he was appointed to a C 3 professorship at the Archaeological Institute of Heidelberg University, where, as the successor to Jörg Schäfer, he was able to continue the tradition of the second professorship there for classical archeology with a focus on the early Aegean period and from 1994 to 2004 excavations in the Bronze Age Carried out layers of Miletus (western Turkey). In 2001 he was appointed First Director of the Athenian Department of the German Archaeological Institute. He held this office until his retirement in 2012 and led excavations in the Kerameikos of Athens, the oracle sanctuary of Apollo in Abai / Kalapodi and in the Heraion of Samos. Katja Sporn was elected as his successor in Athens on January 12, 2013 .

Niemeier is a full member of the German Archaeological Institute, a full member of the Austrian Archaeological Institute , a corresponding member of the Archaeological Institute of America and an honorary member of the Archaeological Society of Athens. In 2002 he received an honorary doctorate from the University of Liège and in 2019 from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens . Lectures and visiting professorships took Niemeier to all five continents. His areas of expertise include the archeology of the Aegean from the Bronze Age to the Archaic Period, which he has dealt with in various publications and in important field research. Since 1980 Niemeier has been with the prehistorian Barbara Niemeier geb. Mühlberger, with whom he worked on all of his projects.


  • The palace style ceramics of Knossos. Style, chronology and historical context (= archaeological research. Volume 13). Mann, Berlin 1985, ISBN 3-7861-1184-7 (also dissertation, University of Mannheim 1975/1976).
  • with Meral Akurgal, Michael Kerschner and Hans Mommsen: Pottery Centers of the East Aegean. Archaeometric and archaeological investigations on Mycenaean, geometric and archaic ceramics from sites in western Asia Minor (= supplementary books to the annual books of the Austrian Archaeological Institute. Book 3). Austrian Archaeological Institute, Vienna 2002, ISBN 3-900305-39-0 .
  • with Peter C. Bol and Robert Strasser: Greece. A guide to the ancient sites. Reclam, Stuttgart 1998, ISBN 3-15-009627-8 , 2nd edition 2004.
  • The Kuros from the Sacred Gate. Surprising new finds of archaic sculpture in the Kerameikos in Athens (= ancient world . Special volume). Philipp von Zabern, Mainz 2002, ISBN 3-8053-2956-3 .

The publications edited by Niemeier as well as his reviews and articles in journals and anthologies can be found in the list of publications in the 2015 Festschrift (see under “Literature”).


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