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Durham University

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Dr Oliver Dickinson


Oliver Dickinson was Reader in Greek Archaeology at Durham until his retirement in 2005. He is interested in the whole of Greek prehistory, but particularly in the Late Bronze Age, the rise and fall of Mycenaean civilisation, the period of transition from Bronze Age to Iron Age, and the archaeological and social background to the Homeric poems. He is also interested in the history, society and religion of later Greece.

He is the author of The origins of Mycenaean civilisation (1977) and The Aegean Bronze Age (1994, repr. 1994, 1995, repr. with corrections 1997, 1999, 2001, 2002), and The Aegean from Bronze Age to Iron Age: continuity and change between the twelfth and eighth centuries B.C. (2006), and the co-author, with R. Hope Simpson, of A Gazetteer of Aegean civilisation in the Bronze Age: the mainland and islands (1979).

He is currently Chairman of the Lefkandi Committee of the British School at Athens, and a member of the Middle Helladic Argolid Project. He is contributing an entry to the Oxford Handbook of the Bronze Age Aegean on the Collapse at the end of the Bronze Age, and three to the Blackwell Encyclopaedia of Homer, on the Dark Age historical background, the Catalogue of Ships, and the Geometric period.

Research Interests

  • Greek Bronze Age
  • Greek early Iron Age
  • Homer


Authored book

  • Dickinson, O.T.P.K. (2006). The Aegean from Bronze Age to Iron Age: continuity and change between the twelfth and eighth centuries B.C.
  • Dickinson OTPK (1994). The Aegean Bronze Age. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Chapter in book

  • Snodgrass, A, Dickinson, O T P K, Haubold, J H, Sherratt, S, Davis' J L, Lynch, K M, Panagiotopoulos, D, Ainian, A M, Dalley, S, Beissinger, M H, Beaton, R & Halstead, P (2017). "The will to believe: why Homer cannot be 'true' in any real sense". In Archaeology and Homeric Epic (Sheffield Studies in Aegean Archaeology). Sherratt, S & Bennet, J Oxbow Books. 10-19.
  • Dickinson, O T P K, Bintliff, J, Meissner, T, Stissi, V, Elsner, J, Squire, M, Spivey, N, D'Agostino, B, Palmieri, M G, de Polignac, F, Fachard, S, Gonzales, J, Holscher, T, Rutter, K, Kunzl, E, Nagy, G, Hurst, H, Schnapp, A, Schneider, R & Cartledge, P (2016). "'The Coming of the Greeks' and All That". In The Archaeology of Greece and Rome. Studies in Honour of Anthony Snodgrass. Bintliff, J & Rutter, K Edinburgh University Press. 3-21.
  • Dakouri-Hild, Anastasia, Chountasi, Maria, Boyd, Michael J, Van de Moortel, Aleydis, Sarri, Kalliope, Harrell, Kate, Galanakis, Yannis, Lagia, Anna, Moutafi, Ioanna, Orgeolet, Raphael, Skorda, Despoina, Zurbach, Julien, Cavanagh, Bill, Mee, Chris, Schoep, Ilse, Tomkins, Peter, Vavouranakis, Giorgios, Miller Bonney, Emily, Labrude, Angelique, Dickinson, Oliver, Papadimitriou, Nikolas & Farnham, Sam (2016). Continuities and Discontinuities in Helladic Burial Customs During the Bronze Age. In Staging Death. Funerary Performance, Architecture and Landscape in the Aegean. Dakouri-Hild, Anastasia & Boyd, Michael J de Gruyter. 312-333.
  • Dickinson, O.T.P.K (2014). "How warlike were the Mycenaeans, in reality?". In Athyrmata: Critical Essays on the Archaeology of the Eastern Mediterranean in Honour of E. Susan Sherratt. Galanakis, Y, Wilkinson, T & Bennet, J Archaeopress (Oct 2014). 67-72.
  • Dickinson, O.T.P.K (2014). "The Aegean". In The Cambridge World Prehistory. Renfrew, C & Bahn, P CUP. Vol. 3: Chapter 3.24.
  • Dickinson, O. T. P. (2012). The Origin of the Mycenaean Tholos Tomb Again. In Pepragmena tou I'. Diethnous Kretologikou Synedriou (Khania, 1-8 October 2006). Andreadaki-Vlazaki, M. & Papadopoulou, E. A2: 583-589.
  • Dickinson, O.T.P.K. (2011). entries on: The Mycenaean Age, Dark Age, Geometric period, the Catalogue of Ships, Asine, Araithurie, Dorion, Eleon, Kardamyle, Lesbos, Rhodos, Tegea, Thespeia, and Troizen. In The Homer Encyclopedia. Finkelberg, M. Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Dickinson, O.T.P.K. (2010). The Collapse at the end of the Bronze Age. In The Oxford Handbook of the Bronze Age Aegean. Cline, E. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 483-490.
  • Dickinson, O.T.P.K. (2009). Ahhiyawan Questions. In Doron: Timetikos tomos yia ton kathegete Spyro Iakovide. Danielidou, D. Athens: Academy of Athens Monographs. 6: 275-284.

Conference Paper

  • Dickinson, O.T.P.K. (2009), Social development in the Postpalatial period in the Aegean, in Borgna, E. & Càssola Guida, P. eds, Studi e ricerche di protostoria mediterranea 8: Atti del Seminario internazionale. Udine, Italy, Edizioni Quasar, Rome, 11-19.
  • Dickinson, O.T.P.K. (2007), Aspects of Homeric geography, in Morris, S.P. & Laffineur, R.A. eds, Aegaeum 28 EPOS. Reconsidering Greek epic and Aegean Bronze Age archaeology. University of Liège, Liège, 233-238.
  • Dickinson, O.T.P.K. (2006), The Mycenaean heritage of Early Iron Age Greece, in Deger-Jalkotzy, S. & Lemos, I.S. eds, Ancient Greece from the Mycenaean palaces to Homer. Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh, 115-122.

Journal Article

  • Dickinson, O.T.P.K. (2010). Was there really a Trojan War? The Anglo-Hellenistic Review 41: 18-22.
  • Dickinson OTPK (1999). Invasion, migration and the Shaft Graves. Bulletin of the Institute of Classical Studies 43: 97-107.
  • Dickinson OTPK (1994). Comments on a popular model of Minoan religion. Oxford Journal of Archaeology 13: 173-84.

Media Contacts

Available for media contact about:

  • Roman, Greek & ancient civilisations: Greek Bronze Age (Minoans, Mycenaeans, etc.)
  • Roman, Greek & ancient civilisations: Greek early Iron Age (``Dark Age'')