"Goodbye" to our beloved Professor Thanasis Kalpaxis
Professor Thanasis Kalpaxis, a distinguished member of FORTH, who was Director of the Institute for Mediterranean Studies for fifteen years, passed away on Wednesday, October 6, 2021. Thanasis Kalpaxis was born in Athens in 1944 and graduated from the German School2 in Athens. From 1963 to 1967 he studied Architecture at the University of Karlsruhe and from 1967 to 1971 Archeology at the University of Heidelberg, from which he received his PhD in 1971. From 1972 he worked at the same University as a Lecturer and in 1982 he was named Reader, then Assistant professor at the University of Heidelberg. In 1984 he was elected to the University of Crete, initially Associate Professor and, in 1990, Professor of Classical Archeology. His scientific work is distinguished by interdisciplinarity thanks to the combination of history and archeology with architecture and anthropology.
Thanasis Kalpaxis contributed significantly to the consolidation and development of the Institute for Mediterranean Studies of the Foundation for Research and Technology Hellas (FORTH), of which he was Director from 1993 to 2008. During this period he undertook important initiatives to expand the actions of IMS in new scientific fields. On his own initiative, the Laboratory of Geophysics - Satellite Remote Sensing and Archaeo-environment was established at IMS, which was a pioneer in the introduction in Greece of new technologies in archaeological excavations. The installation of the IMS in the old town of Rethymno and the restoration of the historic buildings in which it is housed are also due to his actions.
He was President of the Department of History - Archeology at the University of Crete (1985-1987, 1988-1989 and 1990) and President of the Local Council of Antiquities of Western Crete (1988-1991). He participated in archaeological excavations in Greece and Italy. In 1985 he became co-director of the excavations at Ancient Eleftherna and, in 1994, the Greek-French excavation at Ancient Itanos. He was (1992) a visiting researcher at the CNRS (Directeur associé), a visiting professor at the École Des Hautes udtudes des Sciences Sociales in Paris (1995-97) and a visiting professor at the University of Paris I-Sorbonne (1996-97). He was a corresponding member of the German Archaeological Institute. In 1995 he was declared an honorary citizen of Eleftherna. In 2011 he was named Emeritus Professor of the Department of History and Archeology of the University of Crete.
The administrative and scientific community of the Institute for Mediterranean Studies - FORTH wishes him "farewell" and expresses their heartfelt condolences to his family.