Professor John Bennet

(on a 5 year secondment at the British School at Athens)John Bennet

Professor of Aegean Archaeology

Programme Director of the MA Aegean Archaeology, MA in Archaeology of the Classical Mediterranean


Email address

Telephone +44 (0)114 22 25103

Department address Northgate House, West Street, Sheffield S1 4ET


John Bennet was born in Singapore and grew up in the UK, in Yorkshire. He read Classics at Cambridge, where he also completed his PhD on the administrative organization of Late Minoan II–IIIB Crete based on archaeological and textual (Linear B) evidence and held a Junior Research Fellowship.

From 1986 to 1998 he taught in the Department of Classics at the University of Wisconsin–Madison before taking up the Sinclair & Rachel Hood Lecturership in Aegean Prehistory at Oxford.

In 2004 he was appointed to his current chair at the University of Sheffield, where he also directs the Sheffield Centre for Aegean Archaeology.

From 1 October 2015, John will be based in Greece as Director of the British School at Athens.

Research interests

John’s academic interests include:

  • the archaeology of complex societies (particularly the Minoan and Mycenaean cultures of the Bronze Age Aegean)
  • the archaeology and history of Crete
  • early writing and administrative systems (especially Linear B)
  • diachronic regional studies
  • integration of material and textual evidence
  • Ottoman Greece.

He has published on Late Bronze Age Crete and mainland Greece, on Linear B, and on historical Greece, often explicitly integrating material and textual evidence, and has carried out fieldwork in Crete (Knossos; Phaistos region; Hania region), mainland Greece (Pylos region) and the islands (Keos; Kythera).

Current research projects / collaborations

John recently completed two seasons of geophysical survey (July 2010; January 2011) on Lower Gypsades Hill, Knossos, Crete in collaboration with Drs Amy Bogaard (Oxford) and Eleni Hatzaki (Cincinnati) to investigate the layout of Bronze Age Knossos' southern suburbs.

Research supervision

Current students

  • Angela Marzia Catania - 'The iconography of decorated larnakes pertaining to the late Bronze Age, originating from Crete and continental Greece'



Module coordinator:

  • World Civilisations
  • Archaeology and Text

Module contributor:

  • Discoverers and Discoveries in Old World Archaeology
  • The Classical World & its Legacy
  • The Aegean in the Late Bronze Age


Module coordinator:

  • Linear B & Mycenaean Greek: Writing, Reading & Interpreting
  • Current Issues in Aegean Prehistory

Module contributor:

  • Mediterranean Landscapes
  • Homeric Epics and the Archaeological Record
  • Heritage, History & Identity
  • Rethinking the Ancient Economy
  • Research Design: Planning, Execution and Presentation

Selected publications


Y. Galanakis, T.C. Wilkinson and J. Bennet (eds) 2014. ΑΘΥΡΜΑΤΑ: Critical Essays on the Archaeology of the Eastern Mediterranean in Honour of E. Susan Sherratt. Oxford: Archaeopress.

T. Wilkinson, S. Sherratt and J. Bennet (eds) 2011. Interweaving Worlds: Systemic Interactions in Eurasia, 7th to 1st Millennia BC. Oxford: Oxbow Books.

J. Baines, J. Bennet and S.D. Houston (eds) 2008. The Disappearance of Writing Systems Perspectives on Literacy and Communication. London: Equinox.

F. Zarinebaf, J. Bennet and J.L. Davis. 2005. A Historical and Economic Geography of Ottoman Greece: The Southwestern Morea in the Early 18th Century. Hesperia Supplement 34. Princeton, NJ: American School of Classical Studies at Athens.

J. Bennet and J.M. Driessen (eds) 2002. A-NA-QO-TA: Studies Presented to J.T. Killen (= Minos 33–34 [1998-1999]). Salamanca: University of Salamanca Press.


T. Pape, P. Halstead, J. Bennet and Y. Stangidis. 2014. “For it is written”: an experimental approach to the materiality and temporality of clay documents inscribed in Linear B. In Y. Galanakis, T.C. Wilkinson and J. Bennet (eds), ΑΘΥΡΜΑΤΑ: Critical Essays on the Archaeology of the Eastern Mediterranean in Honour of E. Susan Sherratt (Oxford: Archaeopress), 177-85.

J. Bennet. 2014. Linear B and Homer. In Y. Duhoux & A. Morpurgo Davies (eds), A Companion to Linear B: Mycenaean Greek Texts and their World, vol. 3 (Leuven: Peeters), 187-233.

J. Bennet. 2013. Epilogue. In Kathryn E. Piquette and Ruth D. Whitehouse (eds), Writing as Material Practice: Substance, surface and medium (London: Ubiquity Press), 335-42. DOI:

J. Bennet. 2013. Minoan Crete: a world of objects, a world of places. In Galanakis, Y. (ed.). The Aegean World. A Companion Guide to the Cycladic, Minoan and Mycenaean Collections in the Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford. (Oxford / Athens: Ashmolean Museum / Kapon Editions) 102-117.

J. Bennet. 2013. Bronze Age Greece. In P. Bang & W. Scheidel (eds), The Oxford Handbook of the State in the Ancient Near East and Mediterranean (Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press) 235-58.

J. Bennet. 2011. The Geography of the Mycenaean Kingdoms. In Y. Duhoux & A. Morpurgo Davies (eds), A Companion to Linear B: Mycenaean Greek Texts and their World, vol. 2 (Leuven: Peeters) 137-68.

C.W. Shelmerdine and J. Bennet. 2008. Mycenaean States: A. Economy & Administration. In C.W. Shelmerdine (ed.), Cambridge Companion to the Aegean Bronze Age (New York: Cambridge University Press) 289-309.

J. Bennet. 2008. ‘Now you see it; now you don’t!’: the disappearance of the Linear A script on Crete. In J. Baines, S. Houston, & J. Bennet (eds), The Disappearance of Writing Systems (London: Equinox) 1-29.

J. Bennet. 2007. The Aegean Bronze Age. In I. Morris, R. Saller and W. Scheidel (eds), The Cambridge Economic History of the Greco-Roman World (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) 175-210.

J. Bennet. 2007. Representations of Power in Mycenaean Pylos: Script, Orality, Iconography. In F. Lang, C. Reinholdt & J. Weilhartner (eds), ΣΤΕΦΑΝΟΣ ΑΡΙΣΤΕΙΟΣ. Archäologische Forschungen zwischen Nil und Istros. Festschrift für Stefan Hiller zum 65. Geburtstag (Vienna: Phoibos Verlag) 11-22.

Full publications list


Opening Key-Note Lecture, ‘Materials and Industries in the Mycenaean World’, University of Nottingham (9–10 May 2013)

Invited speaker, ‘Tradition & Innovation in the Mycenaean Palatial Polities’, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna (1-2 March 2013)

Invited speaker, ‘(Con-)texts: Towards a material and praxeological approach to the Linear B tablets’, University of Heidelberg (21-22 January 2012)

Key-Note Lecture, ‘Minoan Archaeology: Challenges & Perspectives for the 21st Century’, Heidelberg (23-27 March 2011)

Opening Key-Note Lecture, ‘Mycenaean Wall Paintings in Context: New Discoveries & Old Finds Reconsidered’, National Research Foundation–American School of Classical Studies at Athens (11-13 February 2011)

ESF Exploratory Workshop ‘Palatial Economy in the Ancient Near East and in the Aegean: First Steps Towards a Comprehensive Study and Analysis’, Sèvres (16-19 September 2010)

Invited participant, XIIIème colloque international sur les textes égéens, Sèvres, Nanterre, Paris (20-23 September 2010)

Other professional activities

  • UK Representative, Comité International Permanent des Études Mycéniennes
  • Council Member and Member Crete Sub-Committee, British School at Athens
  • Guest Professor, University of Göteborg (2009)
  • Trustee, Mediterranean Archaeological Trust

Editorial / Advisory Boards

Aegean Archaeology; Cambridge Classical Journal; MINOS: Revista de Filología Egea y del Epos Arcaico; Oxford Journal of Archaeology; Oxford Monographs in Classical Archaeology; Sheffield Studies in Aegean Archaeology.

Broadcast media

2011 ‘In Our Time’, BBC Radio 4, ‘Minoan Crete’ (7 July)

2006 ‘Last Word’, BBC Radio 4 (7 April)

2002 ‘A Very English Genius: How Michael Ventris Cracked Linear B’, BBC TV