Diana Wardle
Diana Wardle. Image of Diana Wardle by Maria Lagogianni-Georgakarakos.

The University of Birmingham is saddened to mark the passing of Diana Wardle (1948-2023), a long-time Honorary Research Fellow and adjunct lecturer at the Department of Classics, Ancient History and Archaeology.

Diana was one of the foremost scholars of prehistoric Greek dress, creating experimental reconstructions inspired by Minoan Crete, Thera and Mycenaean Greece, including a full-scale replica of the magnificent Bronze Age “Dendra armour”.

Diana was also an expert illustrator, and published numerous works on Mycenae, Knossos, Assiros and Servia, co-authored with her husband of more than fifty years, Dr Kenneth Wardle.

Diana was a consultant and costume supplier for documentary programmes on Channel 4, the History Channel, and the BBC, including “The Volcano that blew a World away” (2001), “The Minoans” (2004), and “Helen of Troy” (2005).

Diana designed numerous major exhibitions including:

  • “Homer’s Heroes” at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery (1984);
  • “A Scent of Thyme” for the Centenary of the BSA (1986);
  • “Common Threads” at the University of Birmingham (2001);
  • “Assiros Toumba: a Farming Village Three Thousand Years Ago” at BMAG (2002-3);
  • “Breaking Bread with Bryer” for the triennial Byzantine Seminar (2003);
  • “The Countless Aspects of Beauty” at National Archaeological Museum Athens (2019);
  • “Bringing to Life Aegean Late Bronze Age Costume”, Archaeological Museum Thessaloniki (2019);
  • “Minoan Costumes for Contemporary Minoans, Museum of London (2019)”.

Diana will be missed by all who knew and worked with her, and our thoughts are with her family.