nakassis_photo_britstudProfessor, Department of Classics, University of Colorado Boulder

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Research interests

My research focuses on the archaeology and scripts of the Aegean Bronze Age, in particular the administrative practices of the Mycenaean state. I am co-director of the Western Argolid Regional Project. I have published articles on Linear A, Homer and Hesiod, archaeological survey, Greek religion and history, and Mycenaean economy, society and prosopograhy.


Individuals and Society in Mycenaean Pylos (2013)

This book revises our understanding of Mycenaean society through a detailed analysis of individuals attested in the administrative texts from the Palace of Nestor at Pylos in southwestern Greece, ca. 1200 BC. It argues that conventional models of Mycenaean society, which focus on administrative titles and terms, can be improved through the study of named individuals. A new, methodologically innovative prosopography demonstrates that many named individuals were not only important managers of palatial affairs but also high-ranking members of the community. This work significantly broadens the elite class and suggests that the palace was less of an agent in its own right than an institutional framework for interactions amongst individuals and social groups.

Articles and book chapters

2023      “People like us? Individuals and individualism in the Late Bronze Age Aegean,” in Πολυμήχανος Man of Many Ways: Papers in Honour of Professor Jan Driessen (Aegis 25), ed. C. Langohr and Q. Letesson (Louvain-la-Neuve : Presses universitaires de Louvain) 81-87.

2022      L. Heath-Stout, G. Erny, and D. Nakassis. 2023. “Demographic Dynamics of Publishing in the American Journal of Archaeology,” American Journal of Archaeology 127.2, 151-165.

2022    “Communities, ‘houses’ and political organization in the Mycenaean world,” in From House Societies to States: Early Political Organization, from Antiquity to the Middle Ages, ed. J.C. Moreno García (Oxford: Oxbow Books) 123-140.

2022     “Unpacking the State of Knossos in LM II-IIIA2,” in One State, Many Worlds: Crete in the Late Minoan II-IIIA2 Early Period (Studi micenei ed egeo-anatolici nuova serie Supplemento 2), ed. A.L. D’Agata, L. Girella, E. Papadopoulou, and D.G. Aquini (Rome: Edizioni Quasar) 85-95.

2022    “The Aegean in the Context of the Eastern Mediterranean World,” in The Oxford History of the Ancient Near East, Volume III: The Late Bronze Age, ed. K. Radner, N. Moeller, and D.T. Potts (Oxford: Oxford University Press) 623-706.

2022     “Linear B,” in The Oxford Classical Dictionary (Oxford: Oxford University Press).

2021     “Why the periphery should be central to Mycenaean studies,”in Γ’ Διεθνές Διεπιστημονικό Συμπόσιο Η Περιφερεια του Μυκηναικου ΚοσμουΠρόσφατα ευρήματα και πορίσματα της έρευναςΛαμία, 18-21 Μαΐου 2018 / 3rd International Interdisciplinary Colloquium: The Periphery of the Mycenaean World: Recent discoveries and research results, ed. E. Karantzali (Athens: Ministry of Culture and Sports, General Directorate of Antiquities and Cultural Heritage, Ephorate of Antiquities of Fthiotida and Evrytania) 21-26.

2021    “The extractive systems of the Mycenaean world,” in Ancient Taxation: The Mechanics of Extraction in Comparative Perspective, ed. J. Valk and I. Soto Marín (New York: NYU Press) 93-127.

2021     W. Caraher, D. Nakassis and I. Antoniadou, “Roads, Routes, and Abandoned Villages in the Western Argolid,” in Deserted Villages: Perspectives from the Eastern Mediterranean, ed. R.M. Seifried and D.E. Brown Stewart (Grand Forks: The Digital Press at the University of North Dakota) 319-346.

2021    D. Nakassis, K. Pluta, and J. Hruby, “The Pylos Tablets Digital Project: Aegean scripts in the 21st century,” in New Approaches to Ancient Material Culture in the Greek & Roman World (Monumenta Graeca et Romana 27), ed. C.L. Cooper (Leiden: Brill) 161–171.

2020    W. Caraher, S. Gallimore, D. Nakassis, and S.A. James, “Survey and the 7th century in the Western Argolid,” Journal of Greek Archaeology 5, 377-405.

2020    “Homeric Geography,” in The Cambridge Guide to Homer, ed. C.O. Pache (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) 267-277.

2020     “The Economy,” in A Companion to the Archaeology of Early Greece and the Mediterranean, Volume 1, ed. I. Lemos and A. Kotsonas (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell) 271-291.

2018     “Beauty in clay: Aesthetics and script in Mycenaean Greece,” in Οι Αμέτρητες Όψεις του Ωραίου στην Αρχαία Τέχνη (The Countless Aspects of Beauty in Ancient Art), ed. Μ. Λαγογιάννη-Γεωργακαράκου (Αθήνα: Ταμείο Αρχαιολογικών Πόρων και Απαλλοτριώσεων) 51-56.

2018     P.E. Tetford, J.R. Desloges, and D. Nakassis, “The Potential Relationship Between Archaeological Artifact Exposure and Surface Geomorphic Processes: Northeastern Peloponnese, Greece,” Journal of Field Archaeology 43.7: 538-550.

2017     D. Nakassis and K. Pluta, “The Linear B Tablets from Pylos,” in Odysseys, ed. M. Lagogianni-Georgakarakou (Athens: Archaeological Receipts Fund) 91-96. [=D. Nakassis and K. Pluta (2016) “Οι πινακίδες της Γραμμικής Β Γραφής της Πύλου,” in Οδύσσειες, ed. Μ. Λαγογιάννη-Γεωργακαράκου (Αθήνα – Ταμείο Αρχαιολογικών Πόρων και Απαλλοτριώσεων) 91-96.

2017    S. Gallimore, S. James, W. Caraher, and D. Nakassis, “To Argos: Archaeological Survey in the Western Argolid, 2014-2016,” in From Maple to Olive: Proceedings of a Colloquium to Celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the Canadian Institute in Greece, Athens, 10-11 June 2016, ed. D.W. Rupp and J.E. Tomlinson. Publications of the Canadian Institute in Greece 10 (Athens: Canadian Institute in Greece) 421-438:

2017      D. Nakassis and K. Pluta, “Vorsprung durch Technik:  Imaging the Linear B Tablets from Pylos,” in Aegean Scripts. Proceedings of the 14th International Colloquium on Mycenaean Studies. Copenhagen, 2-5 September 2015, ed. M.-L. Nosch and H. Landenius Enegren (Roma: Istituto di Studi sul Mediterraneo Antico) 285-298.

2017      P.E. Tetford, J.R. Desloges, and D. Nakassis, “Modelling surface geomorphic processes using the RUSLE and specific stream power in a GIS framework, NE Peloponnese, Greece,” Modeling Earth Systems and Environment 3.4: 1229-1244.

2017       Caraher, W., R.S. Moore, D. Nakassis, and D.K. Pettegrew, “Pyla-Koutsopetria Archaeological Project: Recent Work at the Site of Pyla-Vikla,” Report of the Department of Antiquities, Cyrus 2011-12: 443-459.

2016       M. Galaty, D. Nakassis, and W. Parkinson, “Reciprocity in Aegean Palatial Societies: Gifts, Debt, and the Foundations of Economic Exchange: Introduction,” Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology 29.1, 61-70.

2015       “Labor and Individuals in Late Bronze Age Pylos,” in Labor in the Ancient Near East, ed. P. Steinkeller and M. Hudson (Dresden: ISLET-Verlag) 583-615.

2014        W. Caraher, D. Nakassis and D.K. Pettegrew, “Intensive Survey,” in Pyla-Koutsopetria I: Archaeological Survey of an Ancient Coastal Town. American Schools of Oriental Research Archaeological Reports 21, ed. W. Caraher, R.S. Moore and D.K. Pettegrew (Boston: American Schools of Oriental Research) 17-47.

2014        D. Nakassis and J. Gulizio, “The Minoan Goddess(es): Textual Evidence for Minoan Religion,” in KE-RA-ME-JA: Studies Presented to Cynthia W. Shelmerdine, ed. D. Nakassis, J. Gulizio, and S. A. James  (Philadelphia: INSTAP Academic Press). Forthcoming.

2013       “Structuration and the State in Mycenaean Greece,” in Agency in Ancient Writing, ed. J. Englehardt (Boulder: University Press of Colorado) 231-247.

2013       J. Englehardt and D. Nakassis, “Introduction: Individual Intentionality, Social Structure, and Material Agency in Early Writing and Emerging Script Technologies,” in Agency in Ancient Writing, ed. J. Englehardt (Boulder: University Press of Colorado) 1-18.

2013       W. Parkinson, D. Nakassis, and M. Galaty, “Crafts, Specialists, and Markets in Mycenaean Greece: Introduction,” American Journal of Archaeology 117.3, 413–422.

2012       “Prestige and Interest: Feasting and the King in Mycenaean Pylos,” Hesperia 81.1, 1–30.

2012       “Labor Mobilization in Mycenaean Pylos,” in Étudies mycéniennes 2010. Actes du XIIIe colloque international sur les textes égéens (Biblioteca di Pasiphae 10), ed. P. Carlier, C. De Lamberterie, M. Egetmeyer, N. Guilleux, F. Rougemont and J. Zurbach (Pisa-Rome: Fabrizio Serra) 269-283.

2011       “Athens, Kylon, and the Dipolieia,” Greek, Roman and Byzantine Studies 51.3, 363–381.

2011       M. Galaty, D. Nakassis and W. Parkinson, “Introduction: Why Redistribution?” American Journal of Archaeology 115.2, 175–176.

2011       D. Nakassis, M. Galaty and W. Parkinson, “Redistributive Economies from a Theoretical and Cross-Cultural Perspective,” American Journal of Archaeology 115.2, 177–184.

2010       D. Nakassis, M. Galaty and W. Parkinson, “State and Society,” in The Oxford Handbook of the Bronze Age Aegean, ed. E. H. Cline (Oxford: Oxford University Press) 239–250.

2010       “Reevaluating Staple and Wealth Finance at Mycenaean Pylos,” in Political Economies of the Aegean Bronze Age, ed. D. J. Pullen (Oxford: Oxbow Books) 127–148.

2008       “Named Individuals and the Mycenaean State at Pylos,” in Colloquium Romanum, Atti del XII colloquio internazionale di Micenologia, Roma, 20–25 febbraio 2006, ed. A. Sacconi, M. del Freo, L. Godart and M. Negri (Rome: Fabrizio Serra) 549–561.

2006       T. F. Tartaron, T. E. Gregory, D. J. Pullen, J. S. Noller, R. M. Rothaus, J. L. Rife, L. Diacopoulos, R. L. Schon, W. R. Caraher, D. K. Pettegrew, and D. Nakassis, “The Eastern Korinthia Archaeological Survey: Integrated Methods for a Dynamic Landscape,” Hesperia 75.4, 453–523.

2006       W. Caraher, D. Nakassis and D. Pettegrew, “Siteless Survey and Intensive Data Collection in an Artifact-Rich Environment: Case Studies from the Eastern Corinthia, Greece,” Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology 19.1, 7–43.

2004       “Gemination at the Horizons: East and West in the Mythical Geography of Archaic Greek Epic,” Transactions of the American Philological Association 134.2, 215–233.

2003       D. Nakassis and K. Pluta, “Linear A and Multidimensional Scaling,” in Metron: Measuring the Aegean Bronze Age, Aegaeum 24, ed. K.P. Foster and R. Laffineur (Liège and Austin: Université de Liège/The University of Texas at Austin) 335–342.