Dimitra Sikalidou is a PhD candidate in Byzantine Archaeology and Art at AUTh. Her PhD project is entitled “Consideration of Methodologies Applied and Historic Interpretation in the Study of Palaiologan Church Architecture.” Through the redating of prominent case studies, Sikalidou aims to revise the history of Palaiologan architecture by approaching buildings as a social expression in a specific historical context. By highlighting erroneous conclusions caused by the use of notable methodological tools (e.g., architectural “schools”/evolutionary theory of typology), Sikalidou suggests that Palaiologan architecture is much more diverse than what is usually accepted.
Her analysis is not limited to the examination of structure and morphology but is holistic. It includes the study of historical evidence (inscriptions and sources) and a set of factors (sculpture, iconography, the significance of buildings related to their loci) which enhance the spatial experience. Through this approach, Sikalidou provides an alternative interpretation of architecture, stressing the importance of patrons and their particular agendas in the complicated historical circumstances after 1261.
For her dissertation, Sikalidou has been awarded the Tsagada Award of “Excellent Performance,” an Academic Excellence and two Erasmus+ Scholarships (Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz/GABAM) by Aristotle University, and the W.D.E. Coulson & Toni Cross Aegean Fellowship by ARIT.