Nathan Arrington

Professor of Art and Archaeology
Classical Archaeology
Office Phone
2N-9 Green Hall
Office Hours






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 first 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. His second monograph, Athens at the Margins: Pottery and People in the Early Mediterranean World (Princeton University Press, 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. He is currently working on a third monograph, on haptics, Greek vase-painting, and funeral rituals. His research has been supported by grants and fellowships from the Gates Cambridge Trust, the Fulbright Foundation, Princeton’s Humanities Council, and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.

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 domestic archaeology in a trading port in Aegean Thrace. Arrington also has excavated at Corinth, Nemea, Mycenae, Polis (Cyprus), Tel Dor (Israel), and the Princeton Battlefield.

At Princeton, Arrington founded the Program in Archaeology. He is affiliated with the Department of Classics, the Seeger Center for Hellenic Studies, and Mathey College.

Teaching Interests

Professor Arrington teaches courses in art history, archaeology, archaeological methods and theory, and cultural heritage. His classes are organized around current research questions and make frequent use of museum collections. 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 four projects: (1) the public burial of the war dead in ancient Athens; (2) connectivity and cultural change in the early Mediterranean; (3) Greek settlement in Aegean Thrace, domestic archaeology in a cross-cultural context; and (4) the haptics of Greek vases.

Selected Publications

“The Persistence of Orientalizing,” Ancient West and East 21 (2022).

Athens at the Margins: Pottery and People in the Early Mediterranean World (Princeton University Press, 2021)

“Glimpses of the Invisible Dead: A 7th-century B.C. Burial Plot in Northern Piraeus,” with G. Spyropoulos and D. Brellas, Hesperia 90 (2021).

"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).