Dr. Athanassios Athanassiou





Major research projects, to which I participated, include:



Paleoanthropology at the Gates of Europe: Human Evolution in the Southern Balkans (PaGE)

This project conducts intensive long term field exploration of selected localities in the Southern Balkans in order to test our hypotheses about dispersals, refugia and systematics of European hominins. >>>see project webpage

2009, 2014

New excavations at Sésklo

The Villafranchian (MNQ17) locality of Sésklo (Thessaly, Greece) has yielded a diverse fossil mammal fauna during the last thirty years. The available material suffers, however, from the lack of precise stratigraphic documentation. A newly discovered assemblage near the top of the Sésklo basin sequence was excavated during two expeditions in 2009. The recovered specimens are expected to contribute to the knowledge of the Villafranchian mammal anatomy and evolution and to give a better picture of basin biostratigraphy.


New excavations at the classical Pikermi locality

The project included a survey along the Megálo Réma stream, where the classical fossiliferous layers of Pikermi outcrop. A new site (dubbed PV1) was discovered and is being excavated starting from June 2009. The newly excavated material (currently under preparation) mainly includes two species of hipparions, a rhino, antelopes, giraffids, a hyaenid and a felid.


The Haliakmon Palaeolithic Survey

A three-year survey along the Haliakmon River valley, Northern Greece, in search of palaeolithic and palaeanthropological finds. The Haliakmon Valley is considered as a possible palaeolithic human dispersal route, as Northern Greece lies in one of the possible routes used of palaeolithic Homo to colonise Europe. >>>see project webpage


The Miocene mammals of Kerassiá

The late Miocene (Tourolian) fauna of Kerassiá (Northern Euboea, central Greece) is very diverse, comprising carnivores (Felidae, Hyaenidae), perissodactyls (Chalicotheriidae, Rhinocerotidae, Equidae), artiodactyls (Tragulidae, Suidae, Giraffidae, Bovidae), proboscideans (Deinotherium, gomphotheres), Orycteropus and birds. Seven sites, grouped in two stratigraphic levels, have been excavated until today. Particularly interesting are the rhinos (represented by three species) and the giraffes (four species).


Excavations on Tilos Island

Tilos is a small island of SE Greece. One of its caves, named Charkadió, has yielded rich fossil material of endemic dwarf elephants and dwarf deer. The dwarf elephants (close relatives of the middle-late Pleistocene continental species Elephas antiquus) were less than 1,8 m high and survived into Holocene.


Excavations in Vraona Cave

The Vraona Cave, Attica, Greece, yielded a vertebrate fossil fauna aged close to the Pleistocene/Holocene boundary. The fauna is dominated by felids (mainly Panthera pardus), but canids, mustelids, ursids, equids, bovids, cervids, micromammals, reptiles and birds are present as well.




updated: 20 January 2015