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Åke Åkerström papers, 1853-1991 (bulk 1927-1987)

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Finding aid for the Åke Åkerström papers, 1853-1991

Biographical/Historical Note

Åke Åkerström (1902-1991) studied classical archaeology at Uppsala University under Axel W. Persson. After receiving his doctorate in 1934 with a dissertation on Etruscan tomb typology, Åkerström pursued a long career as an excavator, administrator and scholar.

Åkerström first excavated as a student with Axel Persson at Dendra, a Bronze Age site in the Argolid in Greece, in 1927. From there, he moved on with Persson to another site in the Argolid, Berbati, where Persson put him in charge of excavating the eastern slope of the site, the so-called "potter's quarter." Åkerström worked at Berbati for three seasons from 1936-1938, and then again after the war in 1953 and 1959. In the intervening period, he also excavated for one season in 1948 at Labraunda in Turkey, where Persson began excavating after the war.

In the postwar period, however, Åkerström's main focus became administrative. From 1948-1956, he served as Director of the newly-created Swedish Institute in Athens. The foundation of this institute was a critical step for the continuation and development of Swedish archaeological work in Greece. Åkerström guided the new institute during its formative years, and would return much later for a second term as director from 1971-1972.

Upon returning to Sweden in 1956, Åkerström concentrated on scholarship. He was appointed Professor of Classical Archaeology and Ancient History at the University of Gothenburg. He also continued his production of scholarly publications, which numbered over sixty books and articles, covering a broad range, both geographically and chronologically, of archaeological topics.

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