Arja Karivieri


I am the lamp specialist of the excavations in the Sanctuary of Poseidon at Kalaureia.

My doctoral dissertation The Athenian lamp industry in Late Antiquity (Papers and Monographs of the Finnish Institute at Athens, vol. V, Helsinki 1996) presented different aspects of the production of terracotta lamps in Athens from the 3rd to the 7th century AD, i.e. iconography, chronology, the organization of the lamp workshops, trade and local copying of Athenian lamps in different parts of the Late Roman world. Though small objects, aimed for everyday use, lamps can give us important information about the ideological change in ancient society. Discus motifs on oil lamps reflect the changing attitudes in Late Antiquity, when Christianity became the main religion in the Mediterranean world: mythological motifs were successively abandoned and Christian symbols, as well as geometric, neutral motifs became dominating.

Other research interests are: the topography of Athens: Roman and Early Christian architecture, including Pompeian architecture, Late Roman villas and houses, Early Christian churches and the reuse of pagan and profane structures for church building; mosaics, pottery, sculpture; art and cultural policy in the age of Emperor Hadrian, as well as the cultural change in Late Antiquity. My studies on iconography include imperial portraits of the Early Roman period, iconography of oil lamps and mosaics.

I have been a member of the executive committee of the Swedish Pompeii Project since 2000, and I am publishing the so-called House of Caecilius Iucundus in cooperation with Dr Renée Forsell from the University of Lund. The final large fieldwork season took place in the spring of 2006, and the evaluations of the documentation, as well as archival studies were executed in 2007, as preparation for the final publication of the project.

Since 1999, I have been the director of the excavation project of the Finnish Institute at Athens in an Early Christian Church at Arethousa in Northern Greece, where Finnish, Swedish and Greek scholars and students of Classical Archaeology participated in the fieldwork between 1999 and 2004. The results of the Arethousa project will be published in the publication series of the Finnish Institute at Athens.