Stephen G Miller, the archaeologist who unearthed the ancient Nemean Stadium in the Peloponnese and dedicated his life to reviving the Nemean Games, died on Wednesday at the age of 79.
“With the loss of Stephen Miller, archaeological research has lost a great devoted scientist, while Greece has lost a great friend,” said the Minister of Culture. Lina mendoni Wednesday, describing him as a man of “scientific intelligence, humanity and progressive thinking.”
The University of California professor at Berkeley Classics has dedicated his life and work to Ancient the Nemea.
Born in Indiana in 1942, Miller was principal of the American School of Classical Studies in Athens from 1982 to 1987 and chief of the ancient Nemean excavations under the auspices of UC Berkeley for five decades.
Expressing sorrow for the loss, the US Ambassador to Greece Geoffroy Pyatt said Miller had “dedicated his life to deepening our understanding of Greek sport and strengthening the academic and people-to-people ties between the United States and Greece.”
As director of the Nemean excavations in the early 1970s, Miller and his team discovered the Sanctuary of Zeus and the Ancient Nemean Stadium, built around 330 BC. Later in 1994 he established the Society for the Revival of the Nemean Games and two years later the first contemporary Nemean Games were held.
“Stephen was an American Philhellene in the truest sense of the word and we hope his memory will live on forever through his significant contributions to the field of archeology and in the hearts of the many people whose lives he touched,” said Pyatt.
In addition to his global contribution to the field of archeology and to Nemea, Miller has also published several books and scientific articles.
He was rewarded for his work in 2005 with the title of Grand Commander of the Order of Honor and was named Honorary Citizen of Greece.
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis highlighted Miller’s decisive role not only in bringing Nemean antiques to light, but also in raising awareness of Nemean games and sports.
“Stephen Miller deeply loved the people and culture of modern Greece. He became Steven’s ‘Stefanos’ long before he honorably obtained Greek citizenship in 2005. We bid farewell to one of our own, ”Mitsotakis said.
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