Dr Valasia Isaakidou

Research Profile

Valasia Isaakidou is an archaeologist/zooarchaeologist (PhD UCL, 2005). She has held post-doctoral fellowships (Leverhulme Early Career, INSTAP and FNRS-Belgium) and worked as a specialist with a number of research projects (e.g., Univ. of Thessaloniki Thalis-EXPLORE; ERC-funded AGRICURB). She has participated in field survey on Kythera and excavated at Palaikastro, Akrotiri-Thera and Paliambela Kolindrou. She is collaborating with several projects as zooarchaeologist and environmental team co-ordinator and directing, with Dr. P. Tomkins (University of Catania, Sicily), the study and final publication of the Neolithic excavations at Knossos by the late John D. Evans. She has conducted ethnographic fieldwork on traditional plant and animal husbandry across the Mediterranean, in collaboration with Prof. P. Halstead, currently on the phenomenon of goat feralization and management of feral populations in rural Greece.


As a member of the interdisciplinary EXPLO project, she is investigating the nature of human-animal interactions and land-use in lakeside settlements in the southern Balkans (focussing on Dispilio-Kastoria), through multi-proxy evidence (macroscopic, dental microwear and isotopic analyses of animal remains).


ORCID id 0000-0003-0358-3179

Scopus Author ID: 6507326437


Isaakidou, V. & P. Halstead 2021. The ‘Wild’ Goats of ancient Crete: ethnographic perspectives on iconographic, textual and zooarchaeological sources, in R. Laffineur and T. Palaima, ZOIA: Animal Connections in the Aegean Middle and Late Bronze Age. Liège: University of Liège, 51-62.

Halstead, P. & V. Isaakidou 2021. Representations of palatial staple finance in the Late Bronze Age southern Aegean: the ‘Harvester Vase’ from Agia Triadha and the gold sheet with relief procession from Peristeria, in J. Bennet (ed.), Representations: Material and Immaterial Modes of Communication in the Bronze Age Aegean. Sheffield Studies in Aegean Archaeology, 13. Oxford: Oxbow, 31-51.

Isaakidou, V. 2021. Chapter III. Zooarchaeology. In D. Hollander and T. Howe (Eds.) A Companion to Ancient Agriculture, 37-54. Willey.

Halstead, P. & V. Isaakidou 2020. Pioneer farming in earlier Neolithic Greece, in Gron, K.J., Sørensen, L., Rowley-Conwy, P. (eds.), Farmers at the Frontier: A Pan-European Perspective on Neolithisation, Oxbow: Oxford, 77-100.

Isaakidou, V., Styring, A.K., Halstead, P., Nitsch, E., Stroud, E., Le Roux, P., Lee-Thorp, J.A., Bogaard, A., 2019. From texts to teeth: A multi-isotope study of sheep and goat herding practices in the Late Bronze Age (‘Mycenaean’) polity of Knossos, Crete, Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 23, 36-56.

Isaakidou, V. & P. Halstead 2018. Carcasses, ceramics and cooking at Makriyalos I: towards an integrated approach to human diet and commensality in Late Neolithic northern Greece, in M. Ivanova-Bieg, P.W. Stockhammer, B. Athanassov, V. Petrova and D. Takorova (eds.), Social Dimensions of Food in the Prehistory of the Eastern Balkans and Neighbouring Areas. Oxford: Oxbow, 65-84.

Isaakidou, V. 2017. Meaningful materials? Bone artefacts and symbolism in the Early Bronze Age Aegean, Oxford Journal of Archaeology 36 (1), 43-59.