Kytherian Valerios Stais is widely recognised for his efforts as a curator of the National Archaeological Museum in Athens and as the first excavator of the temple of Poseidon at Sounio, Attica, Greece. Even though there are two published biographies of Stais, one appearing after his death 1923 and the other in 1992, the rest of his work on the Antikythera mechanism and the prehistory of Thessaly is largely forgotten today. In this paper, the lifelong achievements of Valerios Stais are presented and a special focus has been given on the importance of his pioneering work on the acropoleis of Sesklo and Dimini and the recognition of the unique technological achievement represented by the Antikythera mechanism. In evaluating Stais’s achievements, we meet a persona with a unique influence on the formation of modern Greek archaeology.
- history of archaeology