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About

History of the School

 
Belgian archaeologists have been working in Greece ever since the beginning of the 20th century, mostly in collaboration with the French School at Athens. In 1959, Professor Herman Mussche (Ghent University), then a member of the French School, investigated the Thorikos region (SE Attica). A year later, he began excavations on the Haghios Nikolaos peninsula at Thorikos funded by the Belgian “National Fund for Scientific Research” (NFWO-FNRS). At the end of 1961, Dr. Ioannis Papadimitriou, who was at the time director of the Greek Archaeological Service, proposed a joint excavation of Thorikos by Belgian and Greek archaeologists.
 
In 1962, three former Belgian members of the French School at Athens founded the “National centre for excavations abroad” in Belgium which was also going to supervise the Belgian excavations in Greece. The excavations at Thorikos started in the summer of 1963 with the support of the “National Fund for Fundamental Collective Scientific Research”, a ministerial initiative. Later on, they were also funded by the “National Fund for Scientific Research” and the Ministry of Education. The excavations were directed by Professor Mussche until the end of 1997. In 1970, Dr. Paule Spitaels (Ghent University) was appointed assistant director until 1992, the year she died. Mrs. Doris Vanhove (Ghent University) became the new director in 1998 until 2002.
 
In 1965, the “National centre for excavations abroad” was transformed into a non-profit association called “Comité des fouilles belges en Grèce a.s.b.l.” (CFBG). In the early ‘70’s, the excavation house was built at Kephalou Melathron, Thorikos (Lavrio). It became the base of the Belgian Archaeological Mission until 2003 and grew into a research centre with all necessary facilities for scholars. In 1985, however, the Greek Government granted the Belgian Mission the status of a permanent School, with the implication that its seat was to be in Athens.
 
From the end of the 80’s the BelgianSchool had to confront increasing problems. Finally, in 1999, the Belgian Government made an attempt to save the Belgian archaeological projects in Greece by granting an annual allowance for logistic support of the School. However, the foundation, in Belgium of a new non-profit association called “BelgianvArchaeological School in Greece” could not change the situation. In 2002 a new attempt was more successful with the establishment in Belgium of the “Centre for archaeological research in Greece” (BCAOG-CBRAG). Members of all Belgian universities - several of them former members of the French School at Athens - are represented on the Board as well as a representative of the Belgian government and two delegates of the Royal Museums of Art and History in Brussels.
 
In 2003, conform to Greek law, the “Belgian School at Athens” (BSA-EBA, now EBSA) was founded, a Greek non-profit society which has its seat in Athens. Dr. Christiane Tytgat, former member of the French School and curator at the Royal Museums of Art and History, became the new director of the School till 2007.
 
Between April 2007 and April 2012, Dr. Steven Soetens, former collaborator of the Institute of Meditteranean Studies, collaborator of the Topography of Power group at the UCL at Louvain-la-Neuve and assistant professor at the Institute for Geo- and Bioarchaeology, VU Amsterdam, was director of the School.
 
Since April 2012, professor Jan Driessen of the Université Catholique de Louvain is director. Professor Driessen is appointed for a five-year term. Former Belgian member of the French School at Athens (1989-1993) and of the British School at Athens (1981-1983), professor Driessen is one of the leading authorities in Minoan archaeology. He was co-director of the excavations at Malia and Palaikastro and is the director of the Sissi excavation project as well as the co-director of the Pyla Kokkinokremos excavations on Cyprus.
 

Staff 

 
The Belgian School at Athens is run by a small, but dedicated and knowledgeable staff. The Director and the Secretary general are the main academic and administrative staff and they organize and run all of EBSA activities and events.
 
The Director is Prof. Jan Driessen of the Université Catholique de Louvain, specialist of Minoan Archaeology, excavator of Sissi (Agios Nikolaos, Crete), editor of Aegis, former Belgian member of the French School at Athens
 
 
 
 
 
 Deputy Director and permanent in Athens: Dr. Panagiotis P. Iossif, numismatist, archaeologist, specialist of Hellenistic numismatics and religion, scientific collaborator of the Université de Liège –  2013 Kraay visiting scholar, University of Oxford. https://ebsa.academia.edu/PanagiotisIossif
 
 
 
                                    Archaeologist, responsible for the Sissi apothiki: Jenny Tsafou.
 
 
 
 
Nikos Natsoulis, lawyer, legal advisor
Andreas Papadakis, accountant
 
 

Boards and Committees

 
Belgian School at Athens (EBSA) - Greek non profit organisation
 
Prof. Dr. Didier Viviers, ULB
Prof. Dr. Athena Tsingarida, ULB
Mrs. Rosana Dactylidis, Lawyer
 
Centre for archaeological research in Greece (BCAOG-CBRAG), Belgian non profit organisation
 
Members are representatives of Belgian universities, of the Royal Musea of Art and History in Brussels and of the Royal Library of Belgium.
 
Prof. Dr. Jan Driessen, UCL.
Prof. Dr. Eric Gubel, VUB, KMKG-MRAH
Prof. Dr. Gunnar de Boel, UGent
Prof. Dr. Thomas Morard, ULg