Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, 2010
Nathan Arrington specializes in classical archaeology and focuses on the material culture of ancient Greece. His monograph Ashes, Images, and Memories: The Presence of the War Dead in Athens, forthcoming from Oxford University Press, examines how monuments, objects, and images, in their ritual and spatial contexts, changed the way that people viewed and remembered military casualties. It draws on a wide range of material and literary evidence to elucidate a public visual rhetoric of service and sacrifice, and traces the private engagement with this ideology across media and spaces. Several articles that have developed from this book project address Athenian topography, sculpture, vase-painting, and epigraphy in their social, cultural, and political contexts.
Arrington’s work explores the intersections of art history and archaeology, addressing the dependence of memory on materiality; tensions between public and private art; non-elite representation and display; epigraphy as monument; and the status of the image and the sign in classical Greece. His research has been supported by grants from the Gates Cambridge Trust and the Fulbright Foundation.
Arrington has excavated at Corinth, Nemea, Mycenae, Polis (Cyprus), and Tel Dor (Israel). He is co-director and USA director of the Molyvoti, Thrace, Archaeological Project (MTAP), a co-operation with the 19th Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities under the auspices of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. A large international team uses a wide range of approaches to investigate a trading port on the Thracian Sea in its changing environmental, economic, and cultural contexts, and within evolving regional trade and power networks.
At Princeton, Arrington is an undergraduate advisor and faculty fellow at Mathey College. He is affiliated with the Classics Department and the Seeger Center for Hellenic Studies, and he holds the Class of 1931 Preceptorship.
Professor Arrington teaches courses in art history (ancient through medieval), archaeology, and archaeological methods and theory. His classes are organized around specific problems and current research questions, and make as much use as possible of the museum’s 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.” Princeton undergraduates are warmly invited to apply to participate in the excavation and survey of an ancient trading port on the north coast of Greece.
Arrington is currently working on two research projects. The first, which centers around his excavation and survey work, examines settlement and trade networks in Thrace, and investigates the changing form and function of trading ports (emporia) in the ancient Mediterranean. The second focuses on the Orientalizing period in Greek art and archaeology, examining the contexts, motivations, and implications of Greek relations with the Near East in the Early Iron Age.
Ashes, Images, and Memories: The Presence of the War Dead in Athens (Oxford University Press, forthcoming).
“Molyvoti, Thrace Archaeological Project (MTAP): 2013 Preliminary Report” (in preparation).
“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 (forthcoming).
“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).
Review of Griechische Heiligtümer als Erinnerungsorte: Von der Archaik bis in den Hellenismus; Erträge einer internationalen Tagung in Münster, 20.–21. Januar 2006, ed. Matthias Haake and Michael Jung (Franz Steiner Verlag, 2011), in Bryn Mawr Classical Review, 2012.03.32.
“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).