Palaeolithic Seminar

A joint initiative of the University of Crete and the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (Departments of History and Archaeology), the Palaeolithic Seminar (2015-2018) aimed to bring Palaeolithic Archaeology closer to its specialist and wider audience. It was a forum where the results of recent work in the field and the current theoretical trends within the discipline were presented and discussed by researchers and academics from Greece and abroad. Thanks to a sponsorship by the Bodossaki Foundation a large number of seminars are now available online on BLOD (Bodossaki Lectures on Demand). Special thanks are also due to the director of the British School at Athens, Professor John Bennet, for offering hospitality to speakers.

Filmed presentations

Maria-Rita Palombo, “Hominins and Elephants in the Pleistocene: a Lesson from the Mediterranean”

Nena Galanidou, “Neandertals in the Ionian Sea”

Marco Peresani, “Exploring the Middle/Upper Palaeolithic transition in southern Europe: a View from the north of Italy”

Leore Grosman, “The Natufian culture: the harbinger of food-producing societies

John Gowlett, “Fire and humanity: the greatest discovery after language”

Chronis Tzadakis, “Unlocking the mysteries of the Ice Age”

Paolo Biagi & Nikos Efstartiou, “Middle Palaeolithic highland zone exploitation of the northern Pindos of Western Macedonia”

Sylvie Beries “The Roc-aux-Sorciers shelter, a palaeolithic site and its exceptional sculptures

Javier Baena-Preysler, “The Lower and Middle Paleolithic in Madrid (Spain): recent discoveries”

Nena Galanidou, “Lesbos half a million years ago: the archaeological evidence from Rodafnidia, Lisvori”

Andreas Darlas, “100,000 years of Mani prehistory: the cultures of the Middle and Upper Palaeolithic”

Geoff Bailey, “Submerged landscapes and hominin dispersals: a world perspective”

Naama Goren-Inbar, “The Acheulian site of Gesher Benot Ya‘aqov, Israel:environment, hominin culture, subsistence and adaptation”

Press – Media

Press and Media for the Palaeolithic Lesbos Project

Television footage

N. Galanidou-The Acheulean culture and its finds on Lesbos (26 June 2022, ERT)

Palaeolithic Lesbos”: Rodafnidia in the course of the human presence (8 March 2021, SKAI)

Important finds during the ninth year of research on Palaeolithic Lesbos (14 December 2020, ΕRΤ)

Lesbos: Unique finds from the Lower Palaeolithic period (16 August 2018, ΕRΤ3)


Nena Galanidou on the radio show “Blue like an orange” (22 March 2021, Proto Program ERT)

Knowing our history: from the big bang to the history of Europe (SKAI 100,3 FM)

From the big bang to the history of Europe 1 March 2020

From the big bang to the history of Europe 8 March 2020

From the big bang to the history of Europe 15 March 2020

From the big bang to the history of Europe 22 March 2020

The excavation in Rodafnidia, Lisvori, Lesbos (23 November 2017, The Third Programme ERT)


The Acheulean tradition at the focus of an international conference on Lesbos (5 August 2022, ELEUTHEROS TYPOS)

The Acheulean tradition at the focus of an international conference on Lesbos (30 June 2022, Archaeology and Arts)

The Acheulean tradition at the focus of an international conference on Lesbos (30 June, Zougla)

Public Archaeology: International Conference on Lesbos entitled “Aegean Acheulean at the Eurasian Crossroads. Hominin settlement in Eurasia” (29 June 2022, DIAZOMA)

The Acheulean tradition at the focus of an international conference on Lesbos – Three researchers share their views with APE-MPE on the significance of the Rodafnidia archaeological site (28 June 2022, APE-MPE)

500.000 years old stone tools found at Lisvori! (28 June 2022, STO NISI)

International conference on the ancient cultural tradition of the Aegean – The Acheulean culture and its finds on Lesbos (25 June 2022, ERT)

The Acheulean tradition at the focus of an international conference on Lesbos (29 June 2022,

The Aegean as a passage to Eurasia (25 June 2022, TA NEA)

The acheulean “smart phone” at Rodafnidia (25 June 2022, STO NISI)

International Conference 25-30 June on the Aegean Acheulean tradition at the Eurasian crossroads! (24 June 2022,

International Conference on the Aegean Acheulean tradition at the Museum of Industrial Olive-Oil Production (24 June 2022,

10 years of research at Rodafnidia – International Conference 25-30 June 2022 on the Aegean Acheulean tradition at the Eurasian crossroads! (25 June 2022,

Lesbos at the focus of Archaeology (Polichniatikos Logos)

Celebrating 10 years of systematic archaeological investigation at Rodafnidia on Lesbos (13 August 2021, APE-MPE)

Palaeolithic Lesbos Archaeological Project: 10 years of systematic research at Rodafnidia (13 August 2021, LEFT.GR)

Lesbos: a synergy between archaeology and music (11 August 2021, KATHIMERINI)

A new planning contract signed between the University of Crete and the Municipality of Western Lesbos (22 July 2021)

Planning contract signed for the continuation of the archaeological research at Rodafnidia (12 July 2022, LESVOSVOICE)

10 years at Rodafnidia: the earliest evidence for the human presence in the Aegean (23 June 2021, STO NISI)

Rodafnidia in the course of the human presence (8 March 2021, STO NISI)

8th of March – International Women’s Day dedicated to Nena Galanidou by the Federation of Lesbos Associations in Athens (O.L.S.A.) (8 March 2021, Embros)

Ten years completed for the project “Palaeolithic Lesbos” – Rodafnidia in the course of the human presence (8 March 2021, Lesvosnews)

Vrisa residents talking about the excavation in Rodafnidia (25 January 2020, “Embros”)

Nine years of research in the Palaeolithic of Lesbos (14 December 2020, ΕRΤ)

“Rodafnidia” offers a new brand for the Gulf of Kalloni (21 Ioυνίου 2020, Lesvosnews)

The smart phone of the Acheuleans 500.000 years (17 July 2019, Sto Nisi)

The Lisvori excavation – A vision for sustainable development on Lesbos” – Event in Athens (19 February 2019, Lesvospost)

Rodafnidia Lisvori: Lesbos gaining a significant place on the map of the early Palaeolithic sites (October-December 2018, Gera)

Excavations on Lesbos: 150000 years travel back in time (02 August 2018, thetoc)

Meeting the “Acheulean” ancestors and their “multi-purpose” stone tools (2 August 2018, ΑΠΕ-ΜΠΕ)

When archaeology and local society forming alliances (13 Οctober 2017, Kathimerini)

The Regional Governor of the North Aegean visiting the prehistoric excavation in Lisvori (1 August 2018, ΑΠΕ-ΜΠΕ)

Rodafnidia, Lisvori: A development opportunity for the wider area of Polichnitos (July-August-September 2018, Polichniatikos Logos)

From Lisvori the promotion of the identity of southern Lesbos (05 October 2017, Εmprosnet)

Archaeological excavation in Lisvori, Mytilene, continues with undiminished pace (12 September 2017, CNN Greece)

Chr. Kalogirou in the Palaeolithic excavation at Lisvori, Lesbos (11 September 2017, ΑΠΕ-ΜΠΕ)

Immigrants offer volunteer work in the earthquake struck Lisvori (4 Σεπτεμβρίου 2017, ΕΡΤ)

Archaeology of the Stone Age and the public sphere (25 January 2017, Archaeology and Arts)

Lesbos: a unique excavation throughout the Balkans in Rodafnidia: exclusive pictures (13 September 2016, Inewsgr)

Lesbos: a unique excavation throughout the Balkans in Rodafnidia (13 September 2016, ΕRΤ)

A stone tool over 200.000 years old from Lisvori, Lesbos (12 September 2016, ΕRΤ1)

Professor Ν. Galanidou in the Athenian News Agency (ΑΠΕ – ΜΠΕ) talking about the finds form Lisvori, Lesbos (5 September 2016, ΑΠΕ-ΜΠΕ)

Palaeolithic Lesbos finds (ΕRΤ)

A research centre envisioned through the palaeolithic finds from Rodafnidia (28 June 2016, ΕRΤ)

Lesbos on a migratory route over half million years ago (3 April 2016, ΕRΤ)

Lesbos half million years ago – Archaeological evidence form Rodafnidia Lisvori (20 March 2016, Lesvospost)

On the traces of the first people of the Aegean (Autumn 2014, Βlue Μagazine)

Lesbos: Stone tools spread on the ground (24 August 2014, Kathimerini)

Archaeology means society (13 July 2014, Kathimerini)

On the traces of the first inhabitants of Greece (10 March 2013, To Vima)

Public Archaeology

Public archaeology aims to actively engage the local community and stakeholders with the research team and process. This action is a fundamental aspect of the Palaeolithic Lesbos Project. During the excavation campaigns, the trenches and the archaeology lab – hosted in the Lisvori Elementary School – are both open to visitors, in an original experiment of extroversion and interaction. Through a series of open events, the archaeological team communicates with and answers to the wider audience of the village, the island, and Greece about the progress of the investigation and the archaeological finds. The team also participates in public initiatives raising awareness of cultural heritage protection. As part of a master’s dissertation and a PhD thesis, ethnographic research is in progress, exploring the dynamic relationship between the local agricultural community and the new archaeological asset now being revealed. 

Palaeolithic Lesbos is my pride’ an interview by Nena Galanidou in the Conversations in Human Evolution, January 2021

Palaeolithic investigation in Lisvori: why is this of interest? Ν. Galanidou, Cultural Association of Vrisa Lesbos in Athens, Athens, December 2019

The Lisvori excavation – A vision for sustainable development, Ν. Galanidou, Association of Mesopotamos Lesbos “Anagenisi”, Athens, March 2019

Palaeolithic research in Lisvori and its significance for the development of the wider area of Polichnitos, Ν. Galanidou, Polikentro Polichnitos, August 2018

Fears, dreams and migrations, Ν. Galanidou, TEDx Lesbos, December 2016

First people on the Greek islands, Palaeontology, Prehistoric Archaeology, N. Galanidou, Goulandris Natural History Museum & Palaeontology and Geology Museum-National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Palaeontological Museum of Rethymno, August 2016

Lesbos and the Gulf of Kalloni half million years ago, Ν. Galanidou, event celebrating 2400 years from the birth of Aristotle, Kalloni Environmental Information Centre, Skala Kalloni, August 2016

Research progress in the archaeological site of Rodafnidia Lisvori, N. Galanidou, Enhancement and promotion of the cultural and natural heritage and the local agricultural production of Lisvori, Municipality Theatre of Mytilene, September 2015

Public archaeology and prehistoric research in the Aegean, Ν. Galanidou, KYTHNIA 2015, Scientific and Cultural Centre for the Aegean, Kythnos, August 2015

Looking for the first inhabitants of Europe in Rodafnidia Lesbos, Ν. Galanidou, TEDx Heraklion, February 2014

2012-2014 Palaeolithic excavation in Rodafnidia Lisvori, Lesbos. A vision for Lisvori, Ν. Galanidou, Elementary school building, Lisvori, August 2014

Updating the residents of Lisvori on the excavation results, Ν. Galanidou, Lisvori Marketplace , July 2013

Funding – Sponsors

The vision of the Palaeolithic Lesbos Project is embraced and supported by public-sector institutional and government funding bodies, as well as private and non-profit institution sponsorships.

Research is funded by the University of Crete, the Secretariat General for the Aegean and Island Policy of the Ministry of Maritime Affairs, the Municipality of Lesbos, the Municipality of West Lesbos, the Region of North Aegean, the J. F. Costopoulos Foundation (2016, 2017) and the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research. Travelling sponsorships have been granted by Aegean Airlines, Hellenic Seaways and ANEK Lines/Blue Star Ferries.

Valuable scientific and logistical support throughout the project has been offered by the Ephorate of Antiquities of Lesbos, its directors Mrs Christianna Loupou and Dr Pavlos Triantafillidis, and the staff. The Local Council of Lisvori and its headman Mr Theodoros Chatzipanagiotis, together with the Agricultural and Cultural Association of Lisvori and its president Mrs Maria Dousia, the Monastery of Damandri and Abbot Michael, and the people of Lisvori have all provided warm hospitality and significant technical support. 

Field Training Opportunities

The Palaeolithic Lesbos Project provides a complete fieldwork training course for undergraduate and postgraduate students from the University of Crete and other research institutions in Greece and abroad. This is a volunteer-based collective project. During the excavation season, the Rodafnidia site is transformed into an outdoor school of Palaeolithic Archaeology and Tertiary Geology. Classes and practical exercises/seminars are delivered in the archaeology lab housed in Lisvori Elementary School.

The minimum participation of trainees is three weeks. Application submissions are open every academic year from 15 March to 15 May. For more information, please contact us here: uocpalaeoarch[at]gmail[dot]com


October-November 2020: Georgia Beka, Theodoros Iosifidis, Panagiotis Kaplanis, Apostolis Maltezos, Areti Mathioudaki, Maria Pappa, Markella Petrogiannaki, Peny Tsakanikou, Androklis Tselekas

July 2020: Georgia Beka, Ioanna Vallina

August-September 2019: Georgia Beka, Evangelia Chaniotaki, Maria Chatziananasiou, Kalliopi Chatzipatera, Theodoros Iosifidis, Eirini Karatzi, Chara Koukouraki, Andrianna Kozoni, Areti Leventi, Areti Mathioudaki, Eleni Neofytou, Giorgos Pantatzis, Angeliki Papachrysou, Charis Papadakis, Ermioni-Eirini Papadopoulou, Maria Pappa, Nikos Soulakellis, Katerina Spakouri, Giorgos Tataris, Georgia Theodoraki, Thanasis Tsirogiannis, Christos Vasilakos, Kostas Vatousis, Panagiotis Zervoudakis, Spyros Valsamidis

April 2019: Georgia Beka, Natalia Stropianna, Ioanna Vallina

October 2018: Giannis Alexopoulos, Georgia Beka, Giorgos Iliopoulos, Elli Karkazi, Dimitrios Kastoras, Ioanna Liaskou, Stefania Papanastasatou, Athanasios Petras, Nikos Voulgaris

July-August 2018: Theodoros Andreopoulos, Antreas Aravanis, Georgia Beka, Evangelia Chaniotaki, Maria Nikolia Charmpila, Dionysis Danelatos, Giorgos Iliopoulos, Theodoros Iosifidis, Kalliopi Karadimitriou, Dimitris Karampas, Elli Karkazi, Elvis Kordha, Chara Koukouraki, Vasiliki Kourkouli, Georgia Kyritsi, Areti Leventi, Areti Mathioudaki, Stella Maria Mathioudaki, Giorgos Pantatzis, Angeliki Papachrysou, Stefania Papanastasatou, Maria Pappa, Katerina Spakouri, Anna Topali, Peny Tsakanikou, Ioanna Vallina, Evangelia Vretzou, Panagiotis Zervoudakis

August-September 2017: Andreas Aravanis, Marieta Bazakou, Georgia Beka, Maria Nikolia Charmpila, Matthew Linden Cupper, Jeanine Curvers, Giorgos Iliopoulos, Robyn Inglis, Theodoros Karampaglidis, Michalis Karampas, Elli Karkazi, Ria Kiskira, Vasiliki Kourkouli, Andreas Manganas, Areti Mathioudaki, Panagiotis Menegos, Giorgos Pantatzis, Angeliki Papachrysou, Stefania Papanastasatou, Maria Pappa, Markela Petrogiannaki, Kalliopi Pitaridi, Gavriela Poulakaki, Katerina Spakouri, Peny Tsakanikou, Ioanna Vallina, Eleni Christina Vezoniaraki, Panagiotis Zervoudakis

August-September 2016: Spyros Alysandratos, Andreas Aravanis, Georgia Beka, Domna Brouma, Jeanine Curvers, Giorgos Iliopoulos, Kalliopi Maria Karadimitriou, Dimitris Karampas, Michalis Karampas, Elli Karkazi, Ria Kiskira, Vasiliki Kourkouli, Maria Maltezaki, Areti Mathioudaki, Gianna Ntertima, Giorgos Pantatzis, Stefania Papanastasatou, Maria Pappa, Markella Petrogiannaki, Gavriela Poulakaki, Dimitris Schoinochoritis, Giorgos Rafail Skoufaras, Michalis Spyridakis, Christina Stefanou, Katerina Taliantzi, Afroditi Tsagkaraki, Peny Tsakanikou, Iro Tsirintoulaki, Eleni Christina Vezoniaraki, Panagiotis Zervoudakis, Maria Zouridaki

March-April 2016: Georgia Beka, Elli Karkazi, Michalis Spyridakis, Angeliki Theodoropoulou

August-September 2015: Spyros Alysandratos, Andreas Aravanis, Georgia Beka, Andrew John Biggin, Jeanine Curvers, Smaragda Danelli, Anastasia Danelli, Myrsini Dimitrakopoulou, Elliot Alexander Hurst, Giorgos Iliopoulos, Dimitris Karampas, Elli Karkazi, Michalis Konstantinou, Vasiliki Kourkouli, Michalis Lamprakis, Apostolis Maltezos, Faidon Moudopoulos, Gianna Ntertima, Giorgos Pantatzis, Chrysi Papagiannaki, Stefania Papanastasatou, Maria Pappa, Markella Petrogiannaki, Dimitris Roussos, Michalis Spyridakis, Katerina Taliantzi, Afroditi Tsagkaraki, Peny Tsakanikou, Giannis Tzamarias, Eleni Zervaki

June 2015: Geoff Bailey, Giorgos Iliopoulos, Elli Karkazi, Giorgos Lyras

March-April 2015: Angeliki Theodoropoulou, Chronis Tzedakis

July-August 2014: Georgia Beka, Jeanine Curvers, Maria Dasenaki, Giorgos Iliopoulos, Petros Kanoupakis, Dimitris Karampas, Elli Karkazi, Maria Kazantaki, Geoffrey King, Michalis Konstantinou, Lena Kouklamani, Vasiliki Kourkouli, Giorgos Lilis, Giorgos Lyras, Areti Mathioudaki, Giorgos Pantantzis, Maria Pappa, Michalis Spyridakis, Afroditi Tsagkaraki, Vangelis Tsakalos, Peny Tsakanikou, Anastasia Zafeiraki, Eleni Zervaki, Panagiotis Zervoudakis, Konstantinos Zisis

June 2013: Orestis Apostolikas, Nikolaos Betinis, James Cole, Jeanine Curvers, Georgia Filtzanidi, Angeliki Garidi, Giorgos Iliopoulos, Naama Goren-Inbar, Elli Karkazi, Athanasios Katerinopoulos, Lena Kouklamani, Vasiliki Kourkouli, Ilias Kousis, John MacNabb, Andreas Manganas, Marie-Hélène Moncel, Aliki Anna Moraiti, Faidon Moudopoulos, Maria Pappa, Milan Prodanovic, Georgia Theodoraki, Angeliki Theodoropoulou, Peny Tsakanikou, Eleni Zervaki, Konstantinos Zisis

May 2013: Pavlos Avramidis, James Cole, Angeliki Garidi, Giorgos Iliopoulos, Elli Karkazi, Lena Kouklamani, Vasiliki Kourkouli, John MacNabb, Neil-Suttie, Angeiki Theodoropoulou

August-September 2012: Konstantinos Athanasas, James Cole, Jeanine Curvers, Angeliki Garidi, Giorgos Iliopoulos, Elli Karkazi, Geoffrey King, Lena Kouklamani, Vasiliki Kourkouli, Elina Latsou, Stefanos Lingkovanlis, Giorgos Lyras, John MacNabb, Maria Pappa, Athanasios Roussis, Eirini Saloustrou, Georgia Theodoraki, Angeliki Theodoropoulou, Roy Waterstone, Eleni Zervaki, Kostas Zisis

November 2010: Angeliki Garidi, Elli Karkazi, Christina Papoulia, Michalis Spyridakis