Liritzis Ioannis' time in the Athens of the North made him realise his desire for academia and gave him an education in Scottish dance.
|Year of Graduation||
Your time at the University
During my 2nd year of Physics at Partas University, Greece, I discovered Edinburgh and focused on getting there without any delay to do my PhD in physics in archaeology. I remember the very first evening. I was brought to Mayfield Road’s small student house then a few nights later to Pollock Halls of Residence Grant House and then to another small student house near Kings Buildings. Thankfully, each place was near the Physics department at the James Clerk Maxwell building at Kings Buildings where I studied.
Edinburgh is deep in my heart in many ways; from unforgettable memories of strolling up to Arthur’s seat then onto Duddingston loch (each idyllic places with beautiful scenery and marvellous landscape) to romantic times, and intense work. I am proud to have met and been taught by eminent personalities in Physics & Geophysics including Higgs, Galloway, Cochran, Creer, Cawley…
Edinburgh embraces it deep roots in ancient Greek education, I was especially impressed at Old College’s frontispiece phrase: "Those who know the letters see double [twice as much as those who don't]." = διπλουν ορωσιν οι μαθωντες γραμματα) and in several other works of art and of course Edinburgh’s (disgrace) unfinished Parthenon at Calton Hill. At the Parthenon, we made jokes with our Scottish friends that it was unfinished not due to lack of funds but incapability of knowing geometry…!
My original dream to work on research and education and discover methods and phenomena that will help science and humanities came true, thanks to the strong educational background I obtained from Edinburgh...
Tell us about your Experiences since leaving the University
From my first days at the University of Edinburgh, I knew I wanted to be part of academia. After publishing my first paper in Nature Journal, and following the return to the miserable and freezing compulsory army service, my first professional career in academia started in 1985 when I was elected as research physicist for Antiquities in the Ministry of Culture, Dept. of Underwater Antiquities. It was not the right place for my ‘dreams’, thus I managed to get a research position with the Academy of Athens Research Center for Astronomy and Applied Mathematics and stayed there 10 years. You see my archaeometry (physics in archaeology) expertise was not exploited properly due to lack of such specialised topic (regretful for Greece with its rich cultural history), but the background acquired at Edinburgh University helped me work with different disciplines in other public sectors (astronomy, geophysics, planetology, paleoclimates, solar terrestrial relationships etc.).
I ended up at the University of the Aegean at Rhodes as the first professor of Archaeometry in Greece with the Dept of Mediterranean Studies. I am still active in the Dept. of the University of the Aegean as director of the Lab of Archaeometry and the Lab of Environmental Archaeology, working with topics related to dating methods, palaeodiet, archaeoastronomy, and history of art (pigments), cyber archaeology (www.liritzis.gr).
My original dream to work on research and education and discover methods and phenomena that will help science and humanities came true, thanks to the strong educational background I obtained from Edinburgh which continued even after returning to Greece for many years (my initials were retained on the laboratory door for at least 15 years)
Exploit all opportunities given in Edinburgh; at the same time (if you can manage…) work hard for your degree.
Enjoy the harmonic way that Edinburgh’s environment offers culture, arts, and socialising.
Learn Scottish dancing and bring your kilt with you when return at home….
Everything in moderation whatever you do!