John Papadopoulos, UCLA professor of classical archaeology, history and culture in the UCLA College, has received a $286,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to support an archaeological excavation and analysis of the harbor site of ancient Methone in Pieria, Macedonia in northern Greece.

Papadopoulos is leading a team of American and Greek researchers on the project, “Ancient Methone: Early Greek Maritime Trade, Industry and the Origins of the Greek Alphabet,” part of the UCLA Cotsen Institute of Archaeology’s Ancient Methone Archaeology Project. The ancient city, which dates back to the Neolithic period (4000 B.C.), played a leading role in Greek history until it was destroyed by Philip II of Macedon, father of Alexander the Great, in 354 B.C.

The award is one of more than 200 humanities grants recently announced by the NEH in support of scholars and institutions across the nation.

“The projects ... represent the very best of humanities scholarship and programming,” said NEH chairman William Adams. “NEH is proud to support programs that illuminate the great ideas and events of our past, broaden access to our nation’s many cultural resources, and open up for us new ways of understanding the world in which we live.” 

Papadopoulos's research interests encompass various aspects of Aegean prehistory and Greek and Italian archaeology, as well as the history and culture of the Classical and later periods. He has excavated widely in Australia — both on Aboriginal and historic sites — and in Greece, Italy and Albania. He has been a member of the Cotsen Institute’s excavation team at Torone in northern Greece since 1979 and, from 1986 to 1995, field director of the excavations as well as the geophysical and underwater surveys. He also served as co-director of the institute's Tirana excavations at the pre- and proto-historic burial tumulus of Lofkënd in Albania.