It is with deep regret that the Academy informs you of the death of Emeritus Professor Alexander Cambitoglou AO FAHA Commander of the Order of the Phoenix, leading classical archaeologist, Founder and Director of the Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens and Foundation Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities, on Friday November 29. He was elected to the Academy in 1968 and served as a member of Council from 1974 to 1976. 

Alexander Cambitoglou was born in Thessaloniki, Greece in 1922. He obtained a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Thessaloniki and a Master of Arts from the University of Manchester before obtaining his doctorate from the University of London. He earned another doctorate from the University of Oxford where he studied with renowned British classical archaeologist and art historian John D. Beazley. From 1954 to 1956 he was the second Professor of Classical Archaeology at the University of Mississippi, and second Professor at Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania from 1956 to 1961. 

In 1961 Alexander joined the University of Sydney and in 1963 he was appointed Professor of Classical Archaeology, thus becoming the first person of Greek background to be appointed a university professor in Australia. In 1963 he was also appointed Curator of the Nicholson Museum. Throughout his career he worked tirelessly to promote Australian research in Greece, beginning in 1967 with the excavation at the Geometric settlement of Zagora on Andros, a collaboration between the Athens Archaeological Society and the University of Sydney, considered fundamental for understanding life in the Aegean during the eighth century BC. In the mid-seventies he led the Australian expedition to Torone in Chalkidiki, and in 1980 he established the Australian Archaeological Institute in Athens (AAIA) – a research facility focused on Greek and wider Mediterranean studies, with a heavy emphasis on archaeological fieldwork and research.

In addition to the publication of his numerous excavation reports his main interests centred on Greek pottery and more particularly the pottery of the Greek colonies of South Italy. In this area of research, he worked for over 40 years with Arthur D. Trendall, another Foundation Fellow of the Academy, with whom he published numerous works on the results of their research.

Alexander became the Arthur and Renee George Professor of Classical Archaeology at the University of Sydney in 1978 and retired from his Chair, becoming Emeritus Professor, in 1989. He continued as the Curator of the Nicholson Museum until December 2000 and retired from the position of AAIA Director in 2016. 

In 1991 he became the fourth person in the University of Sydney's history to receive the prestigious title, Doctor of the University. He was a member and served on the Council of the Council of Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae and the International Scientific Committee for the Corpus Speculorum Etruscorum. He was a Fellow of the Athens Archaeological Society, the Society of Antiquaries, London, a Corresponding Member of the German Archaeological Institute and a Member of the Athens Academy. He was made Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in 1987 for his contributions to archaeology and international cultural relations in Australia, Commander of the Order of the Phoenix, awarded by Greece, in 1998, and was awarded the Centenary Medal in 2003 for his services to the Australian society through his work as a classical archaeologist.

We extend our deepest sympathies to the Cambitoglou family. 

Vale prepared by Liz Bradtke
Communications & Awards Coordinator