Gunnel Ekroth - Biography#

Gunnel EkrothI did her undergraduate studies at Stockholm University and received her PhD in 1999 from the same institution on a dissertation on the sacrificial rituals in Greek hero-cults. Her research was initially funded by the Swedish Research Council and Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, and later by the Swedish Research Council. Ekroth has spent long periods at the Swedish Institute at Athens and also participated in several excavations in Greece. Between 2007-2011, she conducted her research in Paris, at the Centre ANHIMA (former Centre Louis Gernet), where she is a membre associé. Since 2011 she is professor of Classical Archaeology and Ancient History at Uppsala University.

Ekroth's research mainly concerns the ancient Greek world and in particular various aspects of Greek religion. Her dissertation dealt with hero-cults during the Archaic to the Early Hellenistic periods (ca 700-300 BC) and showed that (ritually speaking) hero-cults were very close to the cults of the gods. Her subsequent work has focused on sacrificial rituals in practice and theory, in particular animal sacrifice and the distribution, division and consumption of the meat, the handling of the blood and the bone, altars and other kinds of sacrificial installations, and the management of waste in Greek sanctuaries. Her current work concerns the notion of "temenos" as a physical and conceptual entity and how Greek sanctuaries functioned as spaces of interaction between gods and humans. She also works on the Argolid in the Archaic period and is involved in the publication of a cult place in the Berbati valley near Mycenae.

Her PhD dissertation "The sacrificial rituals of Greek hero-cults in the Archaic to the early Hellenistic periods" granted her an award from the Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities, where, since 2018, she is a working member. She is the vice-chairman of the board of the Swedish Institute at Athens, and has been the vice-chairman of the board of the Swedish Research Institute at Istanbul, and as well as the chairman of the Editorial committee of the Swedish Institutes at Athens and Rome.

In the last ten years, Ekroth was invited as a lecturer in 16 higher education institutions, e.g. Università degli Studi di Padova, Oxford University, University of Amsterdam, Collège de France, Archaeological Institute of America, among others. She has also been invited as a speaker in workshops and international conferences mainly in Europe and North-America.

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