Accessibility statement

Despoina Sampatakou

Research project

Storytelling, VR life histories and interpretation: Grave Circle A at Mycenae

Supervisor: Dr Colleen Morgan

The aim of my PhD research is to identify how to create more impactful interpretive experiences as well as how to convey life histories through embodied interpretations of archaeological remains. I explore the impact of storytelling and VR on the wider public, focusing on the implications on how people see the past.

The leading hypothesis of my research is that storytelling and new technologies, such as VR, are useful tools for archaeological interpretation, public education and outreach. This research aims to answer two main questions: how storytelling through bioarchaeological life histories could help archaeologists answer questions about the past and what are the implications of immersion on archaeological storytelling?


Despoina V. earned her BA in Archaeology and History of Art in the University of Athens in 2003.

In 2017 she earned her MA in Archaeology, Architecture and Heritage Management in the University of Athens with her thesis focusing on Phenomenology and Restoration of Bronze Age sites, using as case study Mycenae, Tiryns and Midea at Argolis, Greece.

Later, in 2018, she obtained her MA by Research in the University of Nottingham submitting a thesis on Storytelling in archaeological interpretation, using as case study tombs from the cemetery at Dendra, Argolis.

Despoina V. has participated in excavations in Greece led by Greek Ephorates of Antiquities and the University of Athens. She is a member of numerous organisations regarding antiquities and heritage management including the British Archaeological Association, Diazoma, Monumenta, and Dipylon.

Apart from antiquities, she cares a lot about human rights, animal welfare, art and gin.

Publications, Awards and Conferences

Publications and conferences

Sampatakou, D. V. (in press) The last stop of a Mycenaean horse. In Dexter Denham (ed.) Horses, moving: Conference 2018, White Horse Publishing, Cambridge.

Sampatakou, D. V. (in preparation) The Talking Dead: The Use of Narratives and Story-telling in the Bronze Age Archaeology.

Invited Lectures

2019         Mycenaean Art: materials and colours, University of Extremadura, Spain

2019         Late Bronze Age horse burials: Midea, University of Extremadura, Spain

Sessions Chaired/Discussant Roles

2018         Archaeology Postgraduate Conference 2018, Nottingham UK

Papers Presented

2019         Storytelling in Archaeology: studying gender and status through narratives, University of Nottingham, UK

2019         Horse Burials in the Bronze Age Aegean, University of Extremadura, Spain

2019         The Talking Dead: the tale of a Mycenaean young man, University of Leiden, Netherlands

2019         Archaeology as Storytelling, #PATC3: Twitter Conference

2018         Can a narrative bring to life a Mycenaean royal family?, University of Nottingham, UK

2018         The last stop of a Mycenaean horse, Archaeological Museum of Stavanger, Norway

2017         Evidence meets narration: The Horse in Mycenaean Greece and the Homeric epics, University of Nottingham, UK

Teaching and Impact

 2019/2020 - Year 1 History and Theory (ARC00005C) Module 

Contact details

Despoina Sampatakou
Department of Archaeology
University of York
The King's Manor

Tel: (44) 1904 433931
Fax: (44) 1904 433902