Nathan Arrington  Associate Professor


Nathan Arrington

Associate ProfessorDirector of Undergraduate Studies


Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, 2010

Nathan Arrington specializes in classical archaeology and focuses on the material culture of ancient Greece, from the Early Archaic through the Late Roman periods. His monograph Ashes, Images, and Memories: The Presence of the War Dead in Fifth-Century Athens (Oxford University Press, 2015) examines how monuments, objects, and images, in their ritual and spatial contexts, changed the way that people viewed and remembered military casualties. A second monograph (At the Margins: Style and Society in Early Athens), under contract with Princeton University Press, explores connections between the Aegean and the East in the 8th and 7th centuries BCE, and advocates for the geographic and social margins as catalysts of cultural change. Arrington received the Arthur Kingsley Porter Prize from the College Art Association for his 2018 article, "Touch and Remembrance in Greek Funerary Art."

Arrington’s work explores the intersections of art history and archaeology, addressing such issues as the production and consumption of objects, transcultural communication and exchange, memory and materiality, non-elite representation and display, public versus private art, the status of the image in Greece, and stylistic change. His research has been supported by grants from the Gates Cambridge Trust, the Fulbright Foundation, and Princeton’s Humanities Council .

Arrington is co-director and USA director of the Molyvoti, Thrace, Archaeological Project (MTAP), a co-operation with the Rhodope Ephorate of Antiquities under the auspices of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. The interdisciplinary project investigates a trading port on the Thracian Sea in its changing environmental, economic, and cultural contexts, and within evolving regional trade and power networks. Arrington also has excavated at Corinth, Nemea, Mycenae, Polis (Cyprus), Tel Dor (Israel), and Princeton.

At Princeton, Arrington is the founding Director of the Program in Archaeology and the Departmental Representative / Director of Undergraduate Studies for the Department of Art and Archaeology. He is affiliated with the Department of Classics, the Seeger Center for Hellenic Studies, and Mathey College. Since 2015, he has been the President of the Archaeological Institute of America, Princeton Society. 

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Teaching Interests

Professor Arrington teaches courses in art history, archaeology, archaeological methods and theory, and cultural heritage. His classes are organized around specific problems and current research questions, and make frequent use of museum collections as well as rare books. They are designed to engage students with artifacts, sites, and other archaeological data, and to teach them how to critically assess primary and secondary evidence. Each summer, Arrington teaches ART 304, “Archaeology in the Field,” in Greece.

Current Research

Arrington is currently working on two research projects. The first examines the contexts, motivations, and implications of Greek relations with the Near East in the Iron Age, with a particular interest in the role of the non-elite and in developing new models for the contextual interpretation of style. The second, based on his excavation and survey work, examines settlement and trade networks in Thrace, and investigates the changing form and function of trading ports (emporia) in the ancient Mediterranean, the phenomenon of Greek-Thracian interaction in the northern Aegean, and the relationship between urban centers and their hinterlands.


"Touch and Remembrance in Greek Funerary Art," The Art Bulletin 100:3 (2018).

"Connoisseurship, Vases, and Greek Art and Archaeology," in The Berlin Painter and His World: Athenian Vase-Painting in the Early Fifth Century B.C., ed. J. Michael Padgett (2017).

 “Molyvoti, Thrace, Archaeological Project: 2013 Preliminary Report,” Hesperia 85 (2016).

“Talismanic Practice at Lefkandi: Trinkets, Burials, and Belief in the Early Iron Age," The Cambridge Classical Journal 61 (December 2015).

Ashes, Images, and Memories: The Presence of the War Dead in Fifth-Century Athens (Oxford University Press, 2015).

“Fallen Vessels and Risen Spirits: Conveying the Presence of the Dead on White-Ground Lekythoi,” in Athenian Potters and Painters, vol. 3, ed. John H. Oakley (2014).

“The Form(s) and Date(s) of a Classical War Monument: Re-evaluating IG I3 1163 and the Case for Delion,” Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 181 (2012).

“Inscribing Defeat: The Commemorative Dynamics of the Athenian Casualty Lists,” Classical Antiquity 31 (2011).

“Topographic Semantics: The Location of the Athenian Public Cemetery and Its Significance for the Nascent Democracy,” Hesperia 79 (2010).