Nicholas G. Blackwell

Nicholas G. Blackwell

Assistant Professor, Classical Studies

Adjunct Assistant Professor, Art History

Director of Undergraduate Studies, Classical Studies


  • B.A., Davidson College, 2002
  • M.A., Bryn Mawr College, 2004
  • Ph.D., Bryn Mawr College, 2011

Research areas

  • Archaeology of Greece and the eastern Mediterranean
  • The Aegean Bronze Age
  • Ancient Technology and Craftsmanship
  • Cross–Cultural Interactions

About Nicholas G. Blackwell

I am a classical archaeologist whose research explores Greece and the eastern Mediterranean's archaeology, art, and architecture during the Bronze Age. In particular, I study ancient technology, primarily stone working and metallurgy, to assess local, trans-regional, and intercultural craft connections throughout the latter half of the second millennium BC. For instance, my study of the tool marks and construction methods of the Lion Gate Relief at Mycenae highlighted a technological link between Mycenaean Greece and Hittite Anatolia. My current book project, Building Mycenae: Palatial Stoneworking and Geopolitical Relations in Late Bronze Age Greece, draws upon physical tools and tool marks on worked stones to assess potential craft and political connections throughout the Mycenaean world. I have extensive archaeological fieldwork experience in Greece and Cyprus and am part of an international team restudying the metal cargo from the Late Bronze Age Cape Gelidonya shipwreck.

I teach a range of classical art and archaeology classes, with advanced courses focused on the material culture of ancient Greece. Two awards have recognized my teaching: the David and Cheryl Morley Early Career Award for Outstanding Teaching in 2022 and a Trustees Teaching Award in 2020.

Before coming to Indiana University, I served as the Assistant Director of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens (ASCSA). I later held a postdoctoral teaching position in the Department of History at North Carolina (NC) State University.

Courses taught

  • Ancient Athletics
  • Art and Archaeology of Greece
  • Art and Archaeology of the Aegean
  • Classical Art and Archaeology
  • Classical Mythology
  • Greek Sanctuaries: Archaeology of Religious Space
  • Seven Wonders of the Ancient World
  • Topography and Monuments of Athens

Selected publications


Morton, J., N.G. Blackwell, and K. Mahoney. “Sacrificial Ritual and the Palace of Nestor: A Reanalysis of the Ta Tablets,” American Journal of Archaeology 127.2 (2023): 167-187.

Blackwell, N.G. and T.G. Palaima. “Further Discussion of pa-sa-ro on Pylos Ta 716: Insights from the Agia Triada Sarcophagus,” Studi Micenei ed Egeo-Anatolici. Nuova Serie 7 (2021), 21-37.

"Ahhiyawa, Hatti, and Diplomacy: Implications of Hittite Misperceptions of the Mycenaean World,” Hesperia 90.2 (2021): 191-231.

Palaima, T.G. and N.G. Blackwell. “Pylos Ta 716 and Mycenaean Ritual Paraphernalia: A Reconsideration,” Studi Micenei ed Egeo-Anatolici. Nuova Serie 6 (2020), 67-95.

“Contextualizing Mycenaean Hoards: Metal Control on the Greek Mainland at the End of the Bronze Age,” American Journal of Archaeology 122.4 (2018): 509-539.

“Experimental Stonecutting with the Mycenaean Pendulum Saw,” Antiquity 92.361 (2018): 217-232.

“Making the Lion Gate Relief at Mycenae: Tool Marks and Foreign Influence,” American Journal of Archaeology 118.3 (2014): 451-488.

“Mortuary Variability at Salamis (Cyprus): Relationships between and within the Royal Necropolis and the Cellarka Cemetery,” Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology 23.2 (2010): 143-167.

Book chapters

“Exploring Late Bronze Age Stoneworking Connections through Metal Tools: Evidence from Crete, Mainland Greece, and Cyprus” in ASHLAR: Exploring the Materiality of Cut-Stone Masonry in the Eastern Mediterranean Bronze Age (Aegis 17), edited by M. Devolder and I. Kreimerman, 215-240. (Louvain-la-Neuve, 2020)

“Tools,” in A Companion to the Archaeology of Early Greece and the Mediterranean. Blackwell Companions to the Ancient World, edited by I.S. Lemos and A. Kotsonas, 523-537 (Hoboken, NJ, 2020).