Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Website URL
Ancient Greece, ancient religion, Greek culture, cognitive study of religion, comparative religious studies, Black Sea
Additional Contact Information

Personal Info

About Me

I was born in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) in Russia, and received my Ph.D. degree from the Leningrad Branch of the Institute of Archaeology of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR in 1988. In 1990 I immigrated to Israel. My research focuses on ancient Greek religion and its role within the society. In addition to historical written and archaeological sources, I make use of a multidisciplinary approach based on the application of results of cognitive neuroscience, anthropology, and sociology to the interpretation of historical phenomena.

Recent Publications


Ustinova, Y., 2018. Divine Mania: Alteration of Consciousness in Ancient Greece. London: Routledge

Ustinova, Y., 2009. Caves and the Ancient Greek Mind. Descending Underground in the Search for Ultimate Truth. Oxford: Oxford University Press 

Ustinova, Y. 2018. Divine Mania: Alteration of Consciousness in Ancient Greece. London: Routledge


Ustinova, Y., 2021. “Hirpi Sorani and modern fire-walkers: Rejoicing through pain in extreme rituals,” in Sensorium. Sensory Perceptions in Roman Polytheism, ed. Alvar Nuño, J. Alvar Ezquerra, and G. Woolf, Leiden: Brill, p. 71-89

Fabian, P., and Ustinova, Y., 2020. “A monumental church in Beersheba: Architecture, mosaics, and inscriptions,” Israel Exploration Journal 70(2), p. 221-245

Ustinova, Y., 2020. “Alteration of Consciousness in Ancient Greece: Divine Mania,History of Psychiatry 31 (3), pp. 257-273

Ustinova, Y., 2019. “Amazons East and West: A Real-life Experiment in Social Cognition,” in Evolution, Cognition, and the History of Religion: A New Synthesis, ed. A. Klostergaard Petersen, I. S. Gilhus, L. H. Martin, J. S. Jensen, and J. Sørensen, Leiden: Brill, p. 461-475

Ustinova, Y. and Seriy, G., 2018. “A Byzantine-Period Funerary Chapel in the Neve Yam D Neighborhood in Ashqelon,” Atiqot ES 90, pp. 147-158

Ustinova, Y. and Cardeña, E. 2014. “Combat Stress Disorders and Their Treatment in Ancient Greece,” Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, 6 (6): 739-748

Ustinova, Y. 2013. “Modes of Prophecy, or Modern Arguments in Support of the Ancient Approach,” Kernos 26, pp. 25-44

Ustinova, Y. 2013. “To Live in Joy and Die with Hope: Experiential Aspects of Ancient Greek Mystery Rites,” Bulletin of the Institute of Classical Studies, 56. 2, pp. 105-123

Ustinova, Y. 2009. “Cave Experiences and Ancient Greek Oracles,” Time and Mind 2. 3, pp. 265-286

Ustinova, Y. 2012. “Madness into Memory: Mania and Mnêmê in Greek Culture,” Scripta Classica Israelica 31, pp. 109-132

Ustinova, Y. 2011. “Consciousness Alteration Practices in the West from Prehistory to Late Antiquity”, in Altering Consciousness. Multidisciplinary Perspectives. Eds. E. Cardeña and M. Winkelman. Vol. 1. History, Culture, and the Humanities. Santa Barbara, Praeger, p. 45-71






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