N.C.S.R. "Demokritos"


Τομέας Επιστήμης Υλικών

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Βασίλειος Κυλίκογλου

Ερευνητής Α

+30 210 6503317

Research profile

Current status:

Director of Research at the Institute of Materials Science, National Center for Scientific Research “Demokritos” (since 2004)

Senior lecturer at the Conservation School, Athens Technological Educational Institute (since 1993).

Research Activities:

Provenance and technology of archaeological pottery It provides information on the origin and choice of the raw materials, procedures for pottery manufacture and the geographical distribution of the final products. The ultimate goal of these investigations is the reconstruction of the exchange networks and the trade routes which existed in the antiquity and provide evidence for contacts among cultural units as well as transfer of ideas. The methodology employed includes the physicochemical characterization of pottery followed by comparison with relevant material from candidate sites. The research is focused in three directions: a) Development of methodological approaches by the combination of chemical and mineralogical techniques for materials characterization accompanied by multivariate analysis of parametric and non-parametric analytical data. b) Re-assessment of the principles of provenance investigations through the detailed study of the physicochemical variability of geologically similar clays, the problems of formation of control groups by analyzing material from kiln sites and introduction of variability from technological or geological reasons by studying ethnographic examples. c) Archaeological applications by studying large scale production and distribution of pottery in the Aegean and across the Mediterranean. Pottery has been studied from Neolithic Euboia and Sporades, Macedonia, Ionian Islands, Early and Middle Bronze Age from Central, East and West Crete, Central Peloponnese, Attica, Cyclades, Western Anatolia, Mycenaean from Macedonia and Central Greece, Geometric from Naxos, Classical from Athens and West Attica. Roman pottery production and distribution within the Western Mediterranean has also been studied, with emphasis in transport amphora.

Mechanical properties of ceramics: The effect of temper on the mechanical performance of ceramics has been studied and explained with the development of appropriate models. Alternative tests with small size sample requirements have been developed and applied on archaeological ceramics. A first application on Punic amphoras found in Corinth classified them according to the strength and toughness of their material. Further application on Roman amphoras.

Provenance of archaeological materials: Provenance of limestone, marble, obsidian and lead has been investigated through trace element analysis. Obsidian transport and exchange network is being studied by systematic sampling and trace element analysis of material from about 40 Mesolithic, Neolithic and Bronze Age sites in Greece.

Weathering of archaeological materials: The effect of burial conditions (acids, pH of soil) on different ceramic types is under investigation, by laboratory simulations. Alterations on microstructure, chemical composition and mechanical properties are studied. The effect of alterations and contaminations during burial, on provenance and dating of pottery has been investigated in detail.

Conservation: Study of mechanisms of deterioration and methods of preservation of mortars and stone materials of archaeological and historic buildings. Two are the main issues that I am involved: a)Environmental and seismic processes have caused deterioration and mechanical damages to both structural and decorative parts of many important buildings. The aim is to manufacture materials which are compatible to the original and at the same time enhance their resistance. b) Buildings restored in the past decades by using cement and resins, present serious problems today due to production of soluble slats from the first and the incompatibility of the second. The goal here is to design pozzolanic plasters by using natural materials in order to replace cement.

Development of analytical techniques: Methodology of Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis has been developed towards the determination of an increased number of elements, based on short lived isotopes. Currently working on the development of a portable XRF device, operating in room temperature, to be used at museums and galleries.

Experience on techniques: Neutron activation analysis, X-ray fluorescence, ICP-AES, Scanning electron microscopy, FT-IR, X-ray diffraction, mechanical tests (bending, compression, hardness etc.), physical properties (porosity, thermal etc.)

Major research grants

Laser technology for the restoration of works of art" 1995-1997, funded by European Union Structural Fund

Study of the transport and exchange network of obsidian during prehistory, in Greece, using archaeometric methods" 1996-1998, funded by the Greek General Secretariat of Research.

Integrating geochemical and mineralogical techniques: a new approach to raw materials and archaeological ceramic provenance” 1998-2002, TMR research network, European Union.

Chemical Characterisation of Archaeological Steatite from Northen Britain and Crete Towards the development of an optimum analytical protocol” Greek-British bilateral collaboration (1998-2000)

Technological studies of Neolithic pottery from Thassos, Greece” Onassis foundation (1999-2001).

Conservation study of the decoration of the Rezep-Pasa mosque, Rodos, 2001-2002, Municipality of Rodos

The Mycenaean Kiln at Ialysos, Rhodes. Reference groups and technological reconstruction”, 2004, INSTAP

Investigation of thechnology and performace of Bronze Age Cooking Pots from Akrotiri, Thera” 2005, 2006 INSTAP

Strategic intervention for the restoration of the damages caused by the 1999 earthquake at the Byzantine church of Aghios Petros in Eastern Attica, Greece”, EU Intereg IIIC Zone Sud (2006-2007).


Director of Research at the Institute of Materials Science


Research Scientist, Senior Researcher and Principle Researcher at the Institute of Materials Science, NCSR Demokritos.


High school teacher of physics and chemistry


Research Associate at the Radioanalytical Laboratory, NCSR Demokritos


Military service in the Greek Navy


Research fellow at the Conservation Analytical Laboratory, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC.

Search the IMS database for a complete list of publications by Vassilis Kilikoglou

Τομέας Επιστήμης Υλικών, Ε.Κ.Ε.Φ.Ε. "Δημόκριτος", 153 10 Αγ. Παρασκευή, Αττική, τηλ.: +30 2106503381, fax: +30 210 6519430
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