Maria Papaioannou

Professor (Retired)

Classics and Ancient History

1 506 449 2845

Other titles

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 project (2015-2018). Creating a Virtual World with Terrestrial Laser Scanning of an Insula of Houses at Abdera (June 2016) and an Early Christian Basilica of Christ of Jerusalem on the island of Kalymnos (2017).
  • 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. 


Maria Papaioannou is an Associate Professor of Classical Archaeology who joined the department in 2005, after teaching for two years at the University of British Columbia. She holds a BA from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece (Archaeology and Art History) and an MA and Ph.D (Greek and Roman Archaeology and Classics) from the University of British Columbia. As founder and director of the UNB Centre for Hellenic Studies she has introduced the study of the Modern Greek language, history and culture to UNB, and has established ties with international government and academic institutions, and the local community that provide scholarships and study opportunities for UNB students abroad. 
She has participated in a number of field projects in Greece at Dion, Mytilene, Stymphalos, and Abdera. Most recently, with funding from SSHRC (2015-2018), she directs a Terrestrial Laser Scanning project for creating a 3D archival record and producing virtual models of an insula of houses at Abdera and a 5th-century AD basilica on the Greek island of Kalymnos. Both in her research and in the classroom, 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.
Within the classroom, she provides an experiential learning environment for students who have the opportunity to work with ancient sherds, examine original works of art, or 'hit the streets' to document and photograph elements of the classical architecture of the modern ‘cityscape.’ Her passion for archaeology extends beyond the classroom and academia as she brings archaeology to the public through the various lectures of the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) New Brunswick Chapter.

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:

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.


“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.