Nathan Arrington

Acting Chair, 2023–2024
Professor of Art and Archaeology; Director, Program in Archaeology
Office Phone
2N-9 Green Hall
Office Hours


Nathan Arrington specializes in ancient Greek material culture, from the Early Archaic through the Late Roman periods, with particular interest in the intersections of the disciplines of art history, archaeology, and classics. 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 book, Athens at the Margins: Pottery and People in the Early Mediterranean World (Princeton University Press, 2021), advocates for the geographic and social margins as catalysts of cultural change between the Aegean and the East in the 8th and 7th centuries BCE. He is currently working on a third monograph, on haptics, which offers an alternative to histories of Greek art constructed around visual illusion. Treating material characteristics, cultural contexts, and iconography across multiple media, the book examines how Greek art implicates the sense of touch, and it considers the ramifications for power, perception, and subjectivity. Arrington’s 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). The first of several final publications is in press with Hesperia Supplements. In addition to editing the books, Arrington authors individual chapters on architecture, stratigraphy, and fine ware. MTAP is 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 and the changing relationship between settlement and country in a diachronic landscape. 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.


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

Selected Publications

“Material Responses to Collective Violence in Classical Greece,” in Collective Violence and Memory in the Ancient Mediterranean, eds. S. Ammann, H. Bezold, S. Germany, and J. Rhyder, Brill (2023).

“Greek Funerary Art,” Oxford Classical Dictionary (2023).

“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).

Classical Archaeology
Home Department and Other Affiliations
Art & Archaeology
Department of Classics
Program in Archaeology