Vassos Karagiorgis: Beloved Cypriot archeologist dies at 92

Vassos Karagiorgis

Vassos Karagiorgis, an outstanding archaeologist of Cyprus whose work was widely known abroad, died aged 92.

Karagiorgis was born in Trikomo in 1929 and studied philology and archaeology at the University of London, where he received his PhD. He joined the Cyprus Antiquities Department in 1952 and served as its director from 1963 to 1989.

Among his long and busy career, he also directed the Anastasios G. Levendis Foundation in Nicosia (1989-2010), founded the University of Cyprus Archaeological Research Unit (he directed it 1992-1996), and taught at many universities in Europe and the United States.

Karagiorgis directed excavations at the sites of Salamis, Kition and Palepaphos, among others, and was member or honorary member of 8 academies, as well as a recipient of honorary doctorates from 11 universities.

His last book was published in Greek in 2020, during the lockdown, and it was titled "With Homer during the Coronavirus", dealing with Homeric aspects of daily life and culture and written for the general public.

In a message of condolences, Greece's Culture Minister Lina Mendoni called him "an outstanding, visionary archaeologist" who worked tirelessly to promote Cypriot archaeology, which is largely tied to his name.

"The excavation of Ancient Salamis, which revealed the theater, the royal necropolis and findings of the 'Homeric' era, is due to his work, to his passion and systematic study, which did not stop until his death," the minister said, also referring to his wife, fellow-archaeologist Jacqueline Karagiorgi-Girard.

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