Domestic space and household dynamics at Olynthos, Greece

A collaboration undertaken by the Greek Archaeological Service, the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and the University of Liverpool which aims to answer fundamental questions about lifestyles, architecture, behaviour and environment in Classical Greece.


  • What was 'urban' living really like in Classical Greece?
  • How big was a household?
  • How did men and women interact in the domestic space?
  • What did people eat?
  • Is there such a thing as an average-sized house and how wealthy would it have been?
  • What did people do with their rubbish?

These are some of the questions that our project is trying to answer.


Much of what we think we know about life in ancient cities is connected in one way or another with ancient Olynthos.

David M. Robinson, who led the original excavations here in the 1920s and 1930s (for Johns Hopkins University), published over fifty complete house plans and parts of fifty more. Today we would like to know something about lifestyles as well as architecture; behaviour as well as environment. These are some of the objectives of a new field research project, involving remote sensing, excavation, and a wide range of analytical techniques.

Preliminary investigations

These began at Olynthos in February 2014. The project is a collaboration (synergasia), undertaken by the following institutions:

  • The Greek Archaeological Service (represented by Dr Bettina Tsigarida)
  • The University of Michigan at Ann Arbor [Department of Classical Studies; Kelsey Museum] (represented by Professor Lisa Nevett and Dr David Stone)
  • The University of Liverpool [Department of Archaeology, Classics, and Egyptology] (represented by Dr. Zosia Archibald)

Students from many UK and other European and US universities took part in the 2014 season and many more will be involved in 2015.

This project is operating under the auspices of the British School at Athens and has received a permit to conduct fieldwork for five seasons.

More information

Visit the Olynthos Project website to learn more.

Back to: Department of Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology