Nathan Arrington

Associate Professor of Art and Archaeology
Director of Undergraduate Studies
Classical Archaeology
(609) 258-1322
Email Address:
Office Location: 
2N-9 Green Hall


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

Nathan Arrington specializes in Greek art and archaeology, 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, Athens at the Margins: Pottery and People in the Early Mediterranean World (Princeton University Press, forthcoming in 2021), 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," which relates to his third book project, on haptics. 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 the Princeton Battlefield.

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. 

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 projects. The first is a new book on the role of haptics in ancient Greek art and archaeology. The second is the publication of the 2013-2015 excavation and survey in Thrace, investigating such issues as 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.

Publications List: 
Selected Publications

"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).