Maria Papaioannou

Professor (Retired 2021)

Classics and Ancient History

1 506 449 2845

Other titles

Honorary Research Professor: 2022 and Director of the Centre for Hellenic Studies

Research interests

  • Identity and landscape, villas and houses of Roman Greece: social history
  • Greek, Roman and Byzantine Art and Archaeology 
  • Archaeological Sciences: experimental archaeology: pottery

Current projects

  • SSHRC Insight Grant 2022-2027: project: "A multidisciplinary Approach to the Study of Urban Identities at Abdera: Hellenistic to Roman".
  • Pottery lab sessions at Abdera with the support of the Ephorate of Antiquities of Xanthi
  • A book manuscript on the cultural contacts (social and political) of Greeks and Romans in the Aegean region that influenced the development of urban dwellings and villa culture in Roman Greece.
  • A manuscript of an architectural and artifact analysis of an urban dwelling at Abdera, Greece. 


Dr. Maria Papaioannou (BA Aristotle University of Thessaloniki; MA & PhD UBC) came to UNB in 2005 as an Assistant Profession in Greek and Roman archaeology in the Department of Classics and Ancient History and retired in 2021. She currently holds the title of Honorary Research Professor (2022) and serves as a member of the Board of Directors and Permits Committee for the Canadian Institute in Greece (CIG). She was instrumental in establishing an Interdisciplinary Archaeology Program at UNB (2008-2017) and as co-founder and Director of the UNB Centre for Hellenic Studies (2006) introduced the study of the Modern Greek language, history, and culture to UNB. Dr. Papaioannou established ties with international government and academic institutions in Greece and Cyprus and the local New Brunswick Hellenic community that provide scholarships and study opportunities for UNB students abroad.

Dr. Papaioannou participated in several field projects in Greece at Dion, Mytilene, Stymphalos, and Abdera. Most recently with funding from SSHRC (Insight Grant in 2022-2027 and Insight Development Grant in 2015-2018) she directs a field project at Abdera involving a multidisciplinary approach to the study of ancient town planning. This includes a Terrestrial Laser Scanning project for creating a 3D archival record and producing virtual models of a Roman period insula of housing.

In the classroom she introduced students to the world of Greek and Roman archaeology, through experiential learning and implementing a hands-on approach by establishing a teaching collection of artifacts with original works a pottery lab (2010-2021) and introducing students to classical architecture of the modern 'cityscape'. Both in the classroom and her research, she brings to life ancient cultures by examining the material remains of dwellings and villas and their landscape, as transformed by the political and cultural contacts between Greeks and Romans. Her passion for archaeology extended beyond the classroom and academia as she co-founded and served as president and program coordinator of the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) New Brunswick Chapter (2007/8-2022), thus bringing archaeology to the public through the AIA lecture series.

Courses regularly taught

  • CLAS 1323 Discovering Ancient Civilizations
  • CLAS 2333 "To Dig is to Explore": Approaches to Classical Archaeology
  • CLAS 3333 From Kingship to Democracy: The Art and Archaeology of Greece
  • CLAS 3343 Archaeologies of the Roman Empire: Art, Landscapes and Memories
  • CLAS 3323 The Jewel of the East: The Art and Archaeology of Byzantium
  • CLAS 4303/CLAS 6303 Exploring Athens / Topography and Monuments of Athens
  • CLAS 4333/CLAS 6403 Living in the Ancient World / Greek and Roman Housing
  • CLAS 5013/CLAS 6413 Topics in Classical Archaeology: The Bronze Age

Selection of publications

Book chapters:

Housing of Roman Greece: eclecticism, change and plurality," In the Routledge Handbook of the Archaeology of Classical Houses and Households, (forthcoming).

Villas in Roman Greece”, in G.P.R. Métraux, and A. Marzano (eds.), Roman Villas in the Mediterranean Basin, Cambridge (2018) 327-375.

"A synoecism of cultures in Roman Greece," in S E Alcock, M. Egri, and J. F. D. Frakes, Beyond Boundaries. Connecting visual Cultures in the Provinces of Ancient Rome, Getty Publications, LA (2016) 31-45.

“The Evolution of the atrium House: A Cosmopolitan Dwelling in Roman Greece,” Urban Living in the Eastern Mediterranean 4th century BC – 1st century AD, Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften (2010) 81-115.

Book reviews:

2019: L. C. Nevett (ed.) The Theoretical Approaches to the Archaeology of Ancient Greece. Manipulating Material Culture, University of Michigan Press: Ann Arbor, 2017, reviewed by M. Papaioannou in Phoenix vol. 72, no. 1-2 (2019) 291-293.

2016: Rebecca Sweetman, The Mosaics of Roman Crete, Cambridge University Press, 2013, reviewed by M. Papaioannou in Journal of Roman Studies, vol. 105, November (2015) 361 - 362.

2009: Frederic Winter, Studies in Hellenistic Architecture, Phoenix Supplementary volume; 42, Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2006, reviewed by M. Papaioannou in Phoenix 63: 1-2 (2009) 215-218.


“East meets West: The Pottery evidence from Abdera,” Bollettino di Archeologia online, Volume Speciale C/C9/5 (2010) 53-65.

"The Roman domus in the Greek World," The British School at Athens Studies 15 (2007) 351-61

Forthcoming manuscripts:

Roman Peristyle House I from Abdera, Athens: Archaeological Society of Athens publications.

Houses and Households of Roman Greece; a political and cultural perspective.