Archaeologist Stephen “Stefanos” Miller passed away today, August 11, and the news filled the field of archeology, culture and those who knew or had worked with him, including Deputy Minister for Development and Investment Christos Dimas and the US Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt.

The Deputy Minister wrote on Twitter: “We say goodbye to a great Greek, the archaeologist Stefanos Miller. He dedicated himself to Nemea, built the museum, the restoration of the temple of Zeus, Nemea, taught to thousands of students, inspired millions of people and was the reference point, the ambassador of Nemea around the world “.

The US ambassador republished the deputy minister’s message and commented: “Very sad news for an American scholar who has made a significant contribution to the cultural ties between our countries (and California).”

The news first became known from a post by the Governor of Corinth Hospital and lawyer Grigoris Karpouzis, who had a close friendship and collaboration with Stefanos Miller.

Lina Mendoni’s farewell to Stefanos Miller

“With the loss of Stefanos Miller, archaeological research loses a great, dedicated scientist and Greece a great friend. Stefanos Miller dedicated his life and work to the discovery and promotion of the treasures of the Greek cultural heritage.

His excavations in Nemea, his teaching work, his tenure as Director of the American School of Classical Studies in Athens, have always been characterized by an important vision, the parallel course of science with the developmental dimension of Culture. We say goodbye to Stephen Miller with sadness. “All those who met him and worked with him, we remember with respect and appreciation, his scientific brilliance, humanity and his progressive thinking”, says the condolence message of the Minister of Culture, Lina Mendoni.

Who was Stephen Miller?

Stephen G. Miller was a native of Indiana, USA. There he was born, there he went to high school, there he received his degree in ancient Greek. He moved to Princeton to pursue a doctorate in Classical Archeology. His connection to his particular homeland is not, as we shall see, the only reason he was renamed “Indiana Miller” for the purposes of a fascinating book.

Having participated in various excavation programs, including at Olympia and the Ancient Agora of Athens, in 1973 he began his own excavations in Nemea. He brought to light the Stadium where the Nemean games were held, built an archeological museum and organized his exhibition, created an archeological park. During his days, two columns of the temple of Nemeios Zeus were restored.

He was the Director of the American School of Classical Studies in Athens (1982-1987). With the exception of those years, he remained Professor of Classical Archeology at the University of California, Berkeley. His many publications mainly concern his excavation in Nemea but also various aspects of sports in ancient Greece.

A Greek was naturalized

He has been awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Athens, has been honored with the Order of Honor and, in 2005, by presidential decree, he was naturalized a Greek citizen.

In 2009 he wrote to the publisher of the American Archeology Magazine, reacting strongly to the publication of a letter entitled “A Letter from Macedonia”, a country that Greece called (then) FYROM and Stefanos Miller “ancient Peonia”. Then, defending “the Greekness of Macedonia,” he addressed a letter to US President Obama (, which to date has been signed by about 350 academics.

According to, after his retirement, Stephen Miller and his wife Effie shared their time between the USA and their home in ancient Nemea.

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