Alexandra Villing

Greek pottery and terracotta figurines

Department: Greece and Rome


+44 (0)20 7323 8365


Alexandra Villing is concerned mainly with ancient Greece and its culture. Her chief responsibility is looking after the collection of Greek pottery and terracotta figurines, and leading a research project on the ancient site of Naukratis, a Greek trading post in Egypt. She is also involved with other aspects of Greek material culture, and the art and history of the Archaic and Classical periods in general.

Her special interests are Greek pottery and its uses and decoration; the relations between Greece and Egypt and the Near East; religion and mythology; iconography; and daily life. She was the academic advisor for the British Museum’s Ancient Greece website, is currently involved in creating a cross-cultural and cross-period exhibition on Fantastic Creatures, and is a part of the excavation team working at the East Greek site of Miletos on the west coast of Turkey.

Alexandra joined the British Museum in 2001 after having studied at Oxford and worked in Germany and Greece.

Current projects

Naukratis: Greeks in Egypt

Pottery bowls from Miletos

Previous projects

Ancient Civilisations: Ancient Greece website

Recent publications

Alexandra Villing, Marianne Bergeron, Giorgos Bourogiannis, François Leclère and Ross Thomas, with Alan Johnston, Valerie Smallwood and Susan Woodford, Naukratis: Greeks in Egypt (British Museum Online Research Catalogue, 2013). Naukratis: Greeks in Egypt  

A. Villing, The Ancient Greeks: Their Lives and Their World (London: British Museum Press, 2010)

A. Villing & E. Pemberton ‘Corinthian Mortaria: Form and Function’, Hesperia 79 (2010) 555-638

R. Stacey, C. Cartwright, S. Tanimoto & A. Villing, ‘Coatings and contents: investigations of residues on some 6th century vessel sherds from Naukratis (Egypt)’, British Museum Technical Research Bulletin 4 (2010) 19-26.

S. Deacy & A. Villing, ‘What was the Colour of Athena’s Aegis?’, Journal of Hellenic Studies 128 (2009) 111-129

A. Villing, ‘Athena’, in Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae Supplement 2009 (Düsseldorf: Artemis & Winkler, 2009) 107-123

A. Villing, ‘The Daily Grind of Ancient Greece: Mortars and Mortaria between Symbol and Reality”, in A. Tsingarida (ed.) Shapes and Uses of Greek Vases (7th-4th centuries B.C.) (Brussels: CReA-Patrimoine, 2009) 319-333

A. Villing & M. Spataro, ‘Scientific Investigation of Pottery Grinding Bowls in the Archaic and Classical Eastern Mediterranean’, British Museum Technical Research Bulletin 3 (2009) 89-100

‘A Wild Goose Chase? Geese and Goddesses in Classical Greece’, in D. Kurtz, et al. (eds), Essays in Classical Archaeology for Eleni Hatzivassiliou 1977-2007 (Oxford: Beazley Archive and Archaeopress, 2008) 171-180

A. Villing, (ed.) Naukratis: Greek Diversity in Egypt. Studies on East Greek pottery and exchange in the Eastern Mediterranean, ed. with U. Schlotzhauer (British Museum Research Publication 162; London: British Museum, 2006) [including articles on ‘Drab Bowls’ for Apollo: The Mortaria of Naukratis and Exchange in the Archaic Eastern Mediterranean’, pp. 31-46; ‘Naukratis and the Eastern Mediterranean: Past, Present and Future’, with U. Schlotzhauer, pp. 1-10; ‘East Greek Pottery from Naukratis: The Current State of Research’, with U. Schlotzhauer, pp. 53-68; ‘Carian Mercenaries at Naukratis?’, with D. Williams, pp. 47-48]

A. Villing, Classical Athens (London: British Museum Press, 2005)

A. Villing (ed.) The Greeks in the East (British Museum Research Publication 157; London: British Museum Press, 2005)

A. Villing, ‘For Whom did the Bell Toll in Ancient Greece? Archaic and Classical Greek Bells at Sparta and Beyond’, Annual of the British School at Athens 97 (2002), 223-295

A. Villing (ed) Athena in the Classical World, with S. Deacy (Leiden: Brill, 2001). [including the article ‘Athena Past and Present: An Introduction’ with S. Deacy, pp. 1-25]