Astypalaia is one of the smallest islands in the Dodecanese archipelago - only 13 kilometres across and with a permanent population of around 1,400 people.
During Classical times, it was an independent city state with extensive trading links through the Aegean. Still thriving in Roman times, it was described by Pliny the Elder in his Natural Histories and a treaty between the Astypalaians and Rome still survives. The ancient city was sited where the main island town, Chora, is located today; on top of a rocky peninsula. Outside the city limits were large ancient cemeteries which are being excavated by the 22nd Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities. Since 2000, Professor Simon Hillson of the UCL Institute of Archaeology at University College London has collaborated with the 22nd Ephorate in a bioanthropological study of human remains from these cemeteries.
The Astypalaia Bioanthropology Project is directed by Professor Simon Hillson. The 22nd Ephorate archaeologist in charge of Astypalaia is Mrs Haroula Fantaoutsaki.
Each year the project runs the Astypalaia Bioanthropology Field School.
** APPLICATIONS FOR THE SUMMER 2015 ASTYPALAIA BIOANTHROPOLOGY FIELD SCHOOL ARE NOW CLOSED AS THE 28 FEBRUARY APPLICATION DEADLINE HAS PASSED **