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Prof. Vassos Karageorghis, Foremost Archaeologist and Scholar of Cypriot History, Passes Away at 92


Prof. Vassos Karageorghis, at the ceremony for the commencement of activities of the A.G. Leventis Chair of Archaeological Sciences

 We are saddened to share with you the news that Prof. Vassos Karageorghis, the world-renowned Cypriot archaeologist and foremost scholar of Cypriot history, is no longer with us. He passed away on December 21, 2021, at the age of 92.

Prof. Karageorghis received his education from the University of London (B.A., PhD and Certificate in practical Archaeology). He served in the Department of Antiquities of the Republic of Cyprus, between 1952 and 1989, and he was the Director of the Department from 1963 to 1989. From 1989, and until 2010, Prof. Karageorghis was the Director of the Anastasios G. Leventis Foundation in Nicosia.

In 1992, he undertook the initiative for the establishment of the Archaeological Research Unit of the University of Cyprus, and served as its first Director (1992-1996). Prof. Karageorghis excavated extensively in Cyprus from 1952 to 1989, and 2010-2011. Furthermore, he has been a corresponding member or Foreign Member of the London, Athens, Paris, Stockholm, Madrid, Rome and Vienna Academies.
Prof. Karageorghis had close ties with The Cyprus Institute, especially with the Science and Technology in Archaeology Research Center (STARC), where he was Adjunct Professor. Prof. Karageorghis advised and supported the development and growth of STARC and served as member of STARC’s Scientific Expert panel (SEP). He had a significant role in the innovative “Ancient Cypriot Literature Digital Corpus” project, the first step in creating the Digital Library of Cypriot Cultural Heritage (“Dioptra”), one of the most important projects of STARC carried out within the framework of the Center’s activities on the documentation and preservation of the rich Cultural Heritage of Cyprus. Particularly, under the guidance of Prof. Vassos Karageorghis, digital maps and images, chronologies and three-dimensional representations incorporated archaeological material and historical knowledge, providing different levels of “reading” for “Ancient Cypriot Literature Digital Corpus” project. CyI students benefited greatly from his advice and assistance in conducting their research for their PhD’s.
Prof. Karageorghis also led the “Pittas Registry” project, supported by a Medochemie grant, concerned the creation of a digital database that made all Collections of Cypriot antiquities in foreign museums known to scholars and the interested members of the general public, and which helped students of Cypriot Archaeology gain a first acquaintance with the ancient art of Cyprus. It’s also worth mentioning that his wife, Dr Jacqueline Karageorghis, who passed away in 2018, was a founding member of the “Friends of The Cyprus Institute” Association.
In recognition of his important contributions to the areas of culture, and more specifically for his significant contributions to the creation and development of The Cyprus Institute, Prof. Vassos Karageorgis was awarded an honorary Doctorate during the 2018 CyI Graduation Ceremony. He also received honorary Doctorates from the Universities of Oxford, Athens, Brock, Brussels, Dublin (Trinity College), Lyon, Göteborg, Birmingham and Mariupol.
During the lifespan of Prof. Karageorghis’ career, he received several prizes including the Onassis Prize (1991), and was the author of more than 100 books and about 500 articles. He was also a founding member of the Cyprus Academy of Sciences, Letters and Arts.
The Board of Trustees of the Cyprus Research and Educational Foundation and the management and staff of The Cyprus Institute express their deep sorrow and extend their sincere condolences to his family.

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