Nathan Arrington specializes in classical archaeology and focuses on the material culture of ancient Greece, from the Early Archaic through the Late Roman periods. His monograph Ashes, Images, and Memories: The Presence of the War Dead in Fifth-Century Athens (Oxford University Press, 2015) examines how monuments, objects, and images, in their ritual and spatial contexts, changed the way that people viewed and remembered military casualties. A second monograph (At the Margins: Style and Society in Early Athens), under contract with Princeton University Press, explores connections between the Aegean and the East in the 8th and 7th centuries BCE, and advocates for the geographic and social margins as catalysts of cultural change. Arrington received the Arthur Kingsley Porter Prize from the College Art Association for his 2018 article, “Touch and Remembrance in Greek Funerary Art.”
Arrington’s work explores the intersections of art history and archaeology, addressing such issues as the production and consumption of objects, transcultural communication and exchange, memory and materiality, non-elite representation and display, public versus private art, the status of the image in Greece, and stylistic change. His research has been supported by grants from the Gates Cambridge Trust, the Fulbright Foundation, and Princeton’s Humanities Council .
Arrington is co-director and USA director of the Molyvoti, Thrace, Archaeological Project (MTAP), a co-operation with the Rhodope Ephorate of Antiquities under the auspices of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. The interdisciplinary project investigates a trading port on the Thracian Sea in its changing environmental, economic, and cultural contexts, and within evolving regional trade and power networks. Arrington also has excavated at Corinth, Nemea, Mycenae, Polis (Cyprus), Tel Dor (Israel), and Princeton.
At Princeton, Arrington is the founding Director of the Program in Archaeology and the Departmental Representative / Director of Undergraduate Studies for the Department of Art and Archaeology. He is affiliated with the Department of Classics, the Seeger Center for Hellenic Studies, and Mathey College. Since 2015, he has been the President of the Archaeological Institute of America, Princeton Society.