Thomas F. Strasser

Tom Strasser

Department of Art History
Ancient Art and Archeology


Ph.D. – Indiana University
Room: Hunt-Cavanagh 204

Area(s) of Expertise:

Art of the Ancient Classical World, Art and the Homeric World, Introduction to Archaeology, From Abraham to Ramses: The art and archaeology of ancient Iraq & Egypt, Principles of Research, Art History Survey.

Dr. Strasser’s Article on the Flotilla Fresco

Plakias Stone Age Project

Biographical Information:

Professor Thomas Strasser earned his Ph.D. in Classical Archaeology from Indiana University in 1992. He specializes in Greek archaeology, with special reference to Minoan (Cretan) prehistory. He has participated on excavations and other field projects in Greece, Cyprus and Turkey for over twenty years. After teaching in Turkey, at Dartmouth College and California State University in Sacramento, he came to Providence College in 2005. At Providence College, he is developing various classes in ancient art. In addition, he is getting PC students active in archaeological field project, including taking students to Crete to participate on excavations.

Current Interests and Research:

Presently Dr. Strasser focuses on two lines of intellectual inquiry. The first is a reinterpretation of the miniature frescoes of the Aegean Bronze Age. The second is a field project searching for the earliest (i.e., Palaeolithic & Mesolithic) human remains on Crete . His general research interests concern ancient sea faring, island colonization and its concomitant art.

Courses Taught at PC:

Art of the Ancient Classical World
Art and the Homeric World
Art History Survey
Introduction to Archaeology

From Abraham to Ramses: The art and archaeology of ancient Iraq & Egypt
Principles of Research

Teaching Philosophy:

Pedagogy is passion. Though organization and clarity are necessary technical aspects of teaching, the subject matter must be close to the professor’s heart. A teacher must take his/her subject matter personally in order to imbue the excitement of learning into the students. A lecture should be like describing a loved one — emotional and sincere.


2021 Outstanding Faculty Scholar Award Thomas Strasser Professor of Art and Art History

Selected Publications:

2014  Strasser, T., and A. Chapin, “Geological Formations in the Flotilla Fresco from Akrotiri,” in: PHYSIS. L’environnement naturel et la relation homme-milieu dans le monde égéen protohistorique. Aegaeum 37. G. Touchais, R. Laffineur, and F. Rougemont, (eds.), Liège and Austin: Université de Liège and the Program in Aegean Prehistory and Scripts, University of Texas, pp. 57-64.

2014  Runnels, C., C. DiGregorio, K. Wegmann, S. Gallen, T. Strasser and E. Panagopoulou, “Lower Palaeolithic Artifacts from Plakias, Crete: Implications for Hominin Dispersals,” Journal of Eurasian Prehistory 11 (1-2): 129-152.

2011  Strasser, T., C. Runnels, K. Wegmannm E. Panagopoulou, F. McCoy, C. DiGregorio, P. Karkanas and N. Thompson, “Dating Paleolithic sites in southwestern Crete, Greece,” Journal of Quaternary Studies DOI: 10.1002/jqs.1482.

2010  Strasser, T. “Location and Perspective in the Theran Flotilla Fresco,” Journal of Miditerranean Archaeology 23(1): 3-26.

2010  Strasser, T., E. Panagopoulou, C.Runnels, P. Murray, N. Thompson, P. Karkanas, F. McCoy, and K. Wegmann, “Stone Age Seafaring in the Mediterranean:Evidence for Lower Paleolithic and Mesolithic Inhabitation of Crete from the Plakias Region,” Hesperia 79(2): 145-190.

2009 Strasser, T., P. Murray, E. Panagopoulou, C. Runnels, and N. Thompson, “The Plakias Mesolithic Survey, 2008,” Archaeological Reports for 2008-2009 (55): 98-99.

2008 Strasser, T. “Stones of Contention: Regional Axe Production and Hidden Landscapes on Neolithic Crete,” in Crete in the Neolithic (Sheffield Studies in Archaeology), V. Isaakidou and P. Tomkins (eds.). Sheffield: Sheffield University Press.

2004  Strasser, T. “Three Axe Groups from Neolithic Knossos ,” in Knossos : Palace, City, State (BSA Studies 12), G. Cadogan, E. Hatzaki, and A. Vasilakis (eds.), pp. 61-5. Athens: British School at Athens.

2003-04  Strasser, T., and C. Fassoulas, “Granodiorite Axes from Knossos and their Implications for Neolithic Trade on Crete,” Aegean Archaeology 7: 9-12.

2003  Strasser, T. “The Subtleties of the Seas: Thoughts on Mediterranean Island Biogeography,” Mediterranean Archaeology & Archaeometry 3(2) 5-15.

1999  Strasser, T. “Bothroi in the Aegean Early Bronze Age,” in MELETEMATA . Studies in Aegean Archaeology presented to Malcolm H. Wiener as he enters his 65 th Year (Aegaeum 20), P. Betancourt, V. Karageorghis, R. Laffineur, and W-D. Niemeier (eds.), pp. 813-17. Liège: Annales d’archéologie égéenne de l’ Université de Liège.

1997  Strasser, T. “Horns of Consecration or Rooftop Granaries? Another Look at the Master Impression,” in TEXNH: Craftsmen, Craftswomen and Craftsmanship in the Aegean Bronze Age (Aegaeum 13), P. Betancourt and R. Laffineur (eds.), pp. 201-207. Liège: Annales d’archéologie égéenne de l’ Université de Liège.

1997  Strasser, T. “Storage and States on Prehistoric Crete : The Function of the Koulouras in the First Minoan Palaces,” Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology 10 (1) 73-100.

1996  Strasser, T. “The Boat Models from Eridu: Sailing or Spinning during the ‘Ubaid Period,” Antiquity 70 (270) 920-25.

1996  Strasser, T. “Soils and Settlements on Neolithic Crete,” in The Pleistocene and Holocene Fauna of Crete and its First Settlers (Monographs in World Archaeology No. 28), D. Reese (ed.), pp. 317-36. Madison: Prehistory Press.

1995  Rosenberg, M., M. Nesbitt, R. Redding, and T. Strasser, “Hallan Çemi Tepesi: Some Preliminary Observations Concerning Early Neolithic Behaviors in Eastern Anatolia,” Anatolica 21: 1-13.

1992 Lax, E. and T. Strasser, “Early Holocene Extinctions on Crete : The Search for the Cause,” Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology 5 (2) 205-28.

1991  Broodbank, C. and T. Strasser, “Migrant Farmers and the Neolithic Colonization of Crete,” Antiquity 65 (247) 233-45.

1988  Cherry, J., J. Davis, A. Demitrack, E. Mantzourani, T. Strasser, and L. Talalay, “Archaeological Survey in an Artifact-Rich Landscape: A Middle Neolithic Example from Nemea, Greece,” American Journal of Archaeol­ogy 92 (2) 159-76.


2014  Providence College Faculty Research Grant for Scientific Analyses of Soils and Lithics from the Excavation at Damnoni Cave $4764.

Professional Presentations:

*2015  Strasser, T.  The Flotilla Fresco from Akrotiri, Greece:  A New Interpretation for a Bronze Age Landscape.  Presented to Trent University (Canada).

*2015  Strasser, T. Dramatic New Evidence for Early Stone Age Seafaring from Crete: The Evidence From Plakias and Damnoni.  Presented to Trent University (Canada).

2015  Strasser, T., and E. Panagopoulou.  The Excavation at Mesolithic Damnoni Cave: Its Implications on Early Holocene Obsidian Trade and Lithic Procurement, Presented to the 115th Annual Meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America.

(* invited lecture)