SYROS, Greece – Lucy Ellen Weier Krystallis, passed away on May 4 at her beloved summer home on the island of Syros, Greece. Born in Bluefield, West Virginia, she was the daughter of Dr. Karl E. Weier and Alice Moran Weier. She is survived by her husband, Commodore Dimitrios (Jim) Krystallis, H.N. (Ret.), her daughter Dr. Anna Krystallis of Sheffield, England, her son, 3D Animator Constantine Krystallis of Hilversum, Holland, and her grandchildren Lucy Ellen Krystallis and Dimitris Krystallis. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her brother, Dr. Tom Weier. She is also survived by her sisters Barbara (Bobbi) W. Johnson and Fran W. Haskins, several nieces and a nephew.
Krystallis graduated from the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill), received a Certificat en Museologie from the Ecole du Louvre in Paris, a Diploma from the Institute of Archaeology, University of London, and was a Fulbright Scholar. While working on an archaeological dig in Athens, Greece, she met her future husband Commodore Dimitrios Krystallis. She was a world traveler, an underwater and land-based archaeologist, and a renowned ancient metals conservator, working with the Louvre Museum, the British Museum, the Smithsonian Institution, and the laboratory of the National Museum, Athens.
Among the projects Krystallis worked on was the Thai Bronze Project at the Bangkok National Museum sponsored by JDRIII Fund (Rockefeller) and Smithsonian Institution. The project included the survey of bronze statues, their display, storage, and physical condition in all of Thailand’s museums, and setting up in Bangkok of a major exhibit designed by the Smithsonian Institution.
Krystallis was a college lecturer, a published author, and held administrative positions in archaeological projects, among them Secretary for the Ancient Agora excavations under the auspices of the American School of Classical Studies.
A ceremony for family and friends was held on May 9 at Galissas Cemetery on Syros, Greece.
To honor Krystallis’ memory and the role she played at the Agora excavations in Athens, family and friends have asked that donations be made to the American School of Classical Studies in Athens (ASCSA) for two upcoming publications. A message from ASCSA’s Professor John McK. Camp follows.
From John Camp, Director of the Agora Excavations:
For several years, Lucy worked at the excavations of the Athenian Agora, the center of the ancient city for politics, commerce, socializing, voting, and spectacles (processions, dramatic performances, military drill, and athletic contests). The site has been under excavation since 1931 and has served as the training-ground for most American students interested in Classical antiquity, drawn from close to 200 universities and colleges in the States.
During her years there, Lucy served as the registrar, responsible for all the records, overseeing the cataloguing, conservation, photography, and storage of the hundreds of objects found each season and added to the museum collections housed in the Stoa of Attalos. She also provided access to hundreds of visitors every year, both local scholars publishing the new material and outside archaeologists hoping to find information about their own sites and objects. She was the public face of the American School in Athens, and her cheery, smiling welcome and generous sense of humor meant that all visitors felt welcome there.
Two volumes are in preparation which are particularly appropriate to Lucy’s role at the Agora. One describes the early years of the work, cataloguing the neighborhood which was displaced by the excavations. Painstaking assembled by the present registrar, Sylvie Dumont, it is based on the early records (photographs, drawings, and notebooks) which Lucy worked with every day. A second volume, written by deputy director and photographer Craig Mauzy, is a pictorial history of the excavations, written for the 75th anniversary of the project in 2006. It, too, draws heavily from the records under Lucy’s care. Tremendously popular, it is now out of print and plans to reprint it include adding new material so as to bring the story fully up to date.
Whichever volume is chosen (perhaps both), the thought is to include the information that the volume was published in part by Lucy’s friends and family, to honor her memory and the role she played at the agora excavations in Athens.
Information for making a gift:
For donations from the United States:
Checks made payable to the American School of Classical Studies, mailed to either Princeton or Athens office.
American School of Classical Studies at Athens
6-8 Charlton St., Princeton, NJ 08540-5232
Attention: Maribeth Schneller [email protected]
American School of Classical Studies at Athens
54 Souidias St., Athens, Greece 10676
Attention: D. Bacodema [email protected]
Donations may also be made online, via PayPal: http://ascsa.wufoo.com/forms/p7p1z3.
Material from the Bluefield Daily Telegraph obituary, published May 18, was used in this report.