Marianna Nikolaidou

Associated researcher


Ph.D., University of Thessaloniki, Greece.

Areas of Interest

Aegean and Mediterranean prehistory; early Greek history; settlement and household archaeology; symbolism; ritual and religion; iconography; pottery, ceramic technology; adornment; feminism and gender; history of archaeology.


Marianna Nikolaidou studied archaeology, history, art history, and classics in Greece and in England, and holds a Ph.D. in Archaeology. She has taught archaeology, anthropology, and classics at California State University Los Angeles and at UCLA Extension, and Modern Greek language at the University of Cambridge. She has participated in the excavation and publication of prehistoric and classical sites in Greece, including the Neolithic–Early Bronze Age settlement at Mandalo (University of Thessaloniki), where she studied and reported on Neolithic ceramics with grant support from the Institute for Aegean Prehistory (INSTAP). In addition to being co-author of a book that pioneered the study of women and gender in Aegean prehistory (1993), she has published and lectured extensively on this topic, as well on her other areas of interest.

At the Cotsen Institute, Marianna Nikolaidou worked (1994–2003) on the publication of Prehistoric Sitagroi, Volume 2, to which she contributed chapters on Neolithic and Early Bronze Age adornment and miniatures, and (with Ernestine Elster) a contextual commentary of the excavated horizons and features. Later she joined the excavations at the palatial site of Tell Mozan/Urkesh in Syria (2006–2009), focusing on the analysis of Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age pottery fabrics with the aim to understand technological choices within the long-standing local pottery tradition. A comprehensive report on this project will be published in a collective volume on The Ceramic Craft Tradition in Urkesh/Mozan: Measure and Context, co-edited with Marilyn Buccellati and currently under preparation.

Since 2012, Marianna Nikolaidou has been working on prehistoric ceramics at the Ancient Methone Archaeological Project in Northern Greece. Her research on the Neolithic and Early Bronze Age pottery from the settlement on the East Hill coastal promontory is forthcoming in the volume of excavation reports. At present she is studying the handmade pottery from the Bronze Age cemetery and the Early Iron Age settlement on the West Hill of Ancient Methone, with additional plans for the petrographic analysis of diagnostic local fabrics.

Other current projects include a forthcoming article on rites of transition in the Bronze Age Aegean, and two studies on adornment and religious symbolism in the Minoan-Mycenaean cultures and in Early Iron Age Macedonia.


(forthcoming). “Ancient Methone: The Neolithic and Early Bronze Age Pottery from the East Hill,” in Ancient Methone: An Overview of Excavations 2003-2013 (Hesperia Supplement), eds. S. P. Morris and J. K. Papadopoulos.

Nikolaidou, M., 2016. “Materialized Myth and Ritualized Realities: Religious Symbolism on Minoan Pottery,” in METAPHYSIS: Ritual, Myth and Symbolism in the Aegean Bronze Age (Aegeaum 39), eds. E. Alram-Stern, F. Blakolmer, S. Deger-Jalkotzy, R. Laffineur, and J. Weilhartner, Leuven- Liège, Peeters, pp. 97–108.

Nikolaidou, M., E.S. Elster, and J. M. Renfrew. 2013. “Sitagroi in 2013: A Fresh Evaluation of Wild Resource Exploitation during the Neolithic and Early Bronze Age,” Backdirt: Annual Review of the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology at UCLA, pp. 54–69.

Hitchcock, L. A., and M. Nikolaidou. 2013. “Gender in Greek and Aegean Prehistory,” in A Companion to Gender Prehistory, ed. D. Bolger, Chichester, Wiley-Blackwell, pp. 502–525.

Ifantidis, F., and M. Nikolaidou, eds. 2011. Spondylus in Prehistory: New Data and Approaches. Contributions to the Archaeology of Shell Technologies (BAR International Series 2216), Oxford.

Frahm, E., M. Nikolaidou, and M. Kelly-Buccellati. 2008. “Using Image Analysis Software to Correlate Sherd Scans in the Field and X-Ray Elements Maps in the Laboratory,” Society for Archaeological Sciences Bulletin 31 (2), pp. 8–12.

Nikolaidou, M. 2007. “Ritualized Technologies in the Aegean Neolithic? The Crafts of Adornment,” in The Archaeology of Ritual (Cotsen Advanced Seminar 3), ed. E. Kyriakidis, Los Angeles, UCLA Cotsen Institute of Archaeology, pp. 183–208.

Nikolaidou, M. 2003. "Chapter 9. Items of Adornment," in Prehistoric Sitagroi: Excavations in Northeast Greece, 1968-1970. Volume 2: The Final Report (Monumenta Archaeologica 20), eds. E. S. Elster and C. Renfrew, Los Angeles, UCLA Cotsen Institute of Archaeology, pp. 331–360.

Kokkinidou, D., and M. Nikolaidou. 2004. “On the Stage and Behind the Scenes: Greek Archaeology in Times of Dictatorship,” in Archaeology Under Dictatorship, eds. M. L. Galaty and Ch. Watkinson, New York, Springer, pp. 155–190.

Nikolaidou, M., and D.  Kokkinidou. 1998. “Greek Women in Archaeology: An Untold Story,” in Excavating Women: A History of Women in European Archaeology, eds. M. L. Stig Sorensen and M. Diaz-Andreu, London, Routledge, pp. 235–265.

Full list of publications at: