M4C Logo AHRC Logo

Amy Arden

Classics, University of Leicester

Thesis title:

The Celestial Mothers: A Gender Study of the Archaeoastronomy of Female Constellations in the ancient Greek world

Ancient astronomy can be directly linked to power structures, and consequently to the enforcement (and reflection) of societal norms. This research approaches a gender study of ancient Greece through the lens of archaeoastronomy (a.k.a., skyscape archaeology) and cognitive theory by analysing the asterism mythology of the mother-child constellation pairings in the night sky, in relation to the archaeological remains which demonstrate the cult activities of women on earth, and the cognitive processes that may have been involved. The theoretical approach reflects both posthumanism and matricentric feminism. 

Research Area

  • Classics
  • Philosophy, Thought and Religion


Hyakinthia: Renewal and Transmission of Spartan Society (co-authored with Ben Cassell), forthcoming. 


March 2022, 7th Annual PhD Conference, School of Archaeology and Ancient History, University of Leicester. Seminar title: The archaeoastronomy of the Hyakinthia

April 2022, Classical Association Conference 2022 (Swansea). Seminar title: The gendered phenomenology of the Spartan Hyakinthia

Public Engagement & Impact

Co-chair of the Wednesday Seminars, hosted by the School of Archaeology and Ancient History at the University of Leicester 

Participant in the Classics for All community archaeology and outreach programme through University of Leicester

Board Member and Second VP of the Milford Historical Society and Museum, Milford, Connecticut (USA)

Other Research Interests

The night sky is a grand in situ artefact upon which human societies wrote their stories. Though the context of my thesis zeros in on ancient Greece, I am passionate about cultural astronomy, anywhere at any time period.

I am also interested in cognitive processes that help us interpret our nocturnal surroundings, including biological dusk, archaeology of night, pareidolia, and CRDD. 


  • Archaeological Institute of America (AIA)
  • British School at Athens (BSA)
  • Classical Association
  • EIA Aegean Group