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About The Nemea Center at UC Berkeley

The Nemea Center for Classical Archaeology, a research unit within the Department of Classics, founded in 2004, promotes teaching, research, and public service centered on the University of California excavations at Nemea, Greece and its surrounding region.

The Center fosters an environment of teaching and scholarly cooperation that is a model in the field of classical archaeology.  The Center is composed of the Nemea Excavation Archives, housed in 7125 Dwinelle Hall, University of California, Berkeley, and the Nemea Archaeological Center in Nemea, Greece, which is composed of the Bowker House complex (residences, common room/kitchen, storage areas and garden), the Thomas J. Long Study Room in the Nemea Archaeological Museum (office/drafting space, research library and archive of original excavation materials) and the Nemean land to which Berkeley holds scientific rights.

All the work and activities of the Nemea Center, including staff support, is financed solely through donations. If you are interested in making a donation please visit our “Donate” website for information.

Director of the Nemea Center:  Dr. Kim Shelton, Associate Professor of Classics and the Graduate Group in Ancient History and Mediterranean Archaeology (AHMA)

The founding of the Nemea Center for Classical Archaeology-The Center was formed by the Department of Classics to recognize Professor Emeritus of Classical Archaeology Stephen G. Miller’s great contributions, to preserve his legacy of achievement and to develop new programs to further archaeology at Nemea and regionally through the Center’s work.  With its establishment, the Center will continue to “bring the past to the present” through teaching, research, and public education both here on the Berkeley campus and at Nemea.

Current Activities and Projects – The central activity of the Center is the excavation, study, conservation, and public presentation of the Sanctuary of Zeus at Nemea, including the Hellenistic Stadium.

  • Research: archaeological research (includes excavation and study) of material and monuments from the ancient site.
  • Conservation and presentation of archaeological monuments: As a primary mission of the Center, members work diligently to preserve and make public presentation of the archaeological monuments which includes the Early Christian Basilica, the Xenon, water reservoirs, the entrance tunnel of the Stadium.  
  • Regional Studies: A mission of the Center is to create an environment of scholarly cooperation involving students and faculty both from UC Berkeley and from elsewhere that will serve as a model in the field of classical archaeology. The Center will continue to work with other scholars and institutions such as, Bryn Mawr College, University of Cincinnati, Brock University, the German Archaeological Institute and the Greek Archaeological Service, to create a regional center for classical archaeology that will encompass excavations, regional survey, and material study for the benefit of public education through the Museum.
  • Archaeological Field Schools: As part of both its educational and research mission, this expanded teaching program of the Center, provides undergraduate students the opportunity to experience first-hand archaeological excavation and museum study at the Nemea, Aidonia, and Mycenae sites.  This experience is accomplished by the students working on a variety of research projects including the ceramic and small-find deposits from both the Nemea and Mycenae sites, excavation and preservation of the Late Bronze Age cemetrey of Aidonia, and the conservation of the Early Christian Basilica and other monuments.  For the graduate student, the Field School experience provides research and teaching opportunities.
  • Public Presentation: Bringing public awareness to Nemea through educational initiatives and creative presentation of the site has always been of primary importance to UCB Nemea Excavations and the Center will continue and expand on this through undergraduate/graduate archaeological field schools, improvements to the site and museum set-up, academic led tours, seminars and conferences in Berkeley and in Greece, and through encouragement of local interests such as the Revival of the Nemean Games.
  • Excavation: Future excavation at Nemea will be an essential focus as we move ahead, hopefully for decades to come. This will happen over several multi-season campaigns interspersed with seasons of study and museum research and will encompass many different areas geographically within and around the site, as well as chronologically distinct periods. One interest is to discover more information and evidence of the early prehistory and history of the site, including the possibility of occupation and/or cult continuity down to the 6th century sanctuary and its development.  Other important areas of interest include the exploration of the area west of the Temple where the early stadium and hippodrome should be located, and the space between the two “sites” (sanctuary proper and stadium) to understand the circulation routes, access and structures associated with this part of the festival and to create a single unified archaeological park. The first of the campaigns was conducted 2010-2012. 
  • In addition to research at the Nemea site, the Center’s Director, Dr. Kim Shelton will continue her research in prehistoric Greek archaeology at Mycenae, the largest and wealthiest of the palatial citadels of the Late Bronze Age, and is collaborating with the Korinthian Ephoreia of Antiquities on the TAPHOS project (The Tombs of Aidonia Preservation, Heritage, and Exploration Synergasia).