Maria Ntinou was Born in Ioannina, Greece, in 1968, but moved to Thessaloniki for her university studies at the Department of History and Archaeology, University of Thessaloniki, where she obtained her degree in Archaeology in 1990.
In the following years, she started working for the Greek Archaeological Service and has been collaborating with Greek archaeologists since then on various projects. In 1994, she moved to Valencia, Spain, where she followed a two-year postgraduate course, and was introduced to archaeological sciences; in particular, anthracology (charcoal analysis) in the Department of Prehistory and Archaeology, University of Valencia. There, she received her postgraduate degree in 1997 and immediately afterward she started working on her PhD dissertation on charcoal analysis from three prehistoric sites in Greece: the Boila rock shelter (Epirus), Makri (Thrace), and Dispilio (Western Macedonia). In 2001, she received her PhD from the Department of Prehistory and Archaeology, University of Valencia. Her dissertation, titled El paisaje en el norte de Grecia desde el Tardiglaciar al Atlantico. Formaciones vegetales, recursos y usos, was published in 2002 as BAR, International Series 1038.
Since she finished her studies, she has been working on charcoal analysis at various Greek sites dating from the Palaeolithic to the Neolithic: Theopetra Cave (Thessaly), Klissoura Cave I and Lakonis Cave I (Peloponnese), Cyclops Cave (Youra, Northern Sporades), Knossos (Crete), Limenaria (Thassos), Paliambela and Avgi (Macedonia), and Drakaina Cave (Cephallonia). Recently, she has started collaborating on projects concerning the Bronze Age, including Mochlos (Crete) and Arhontiko (Central Macedonia), and historical periods, e.g., Azorias (Crete) and Kalaureia (Poros).
She has carried out the greatest part of her laboratory work at the Wiener Laboratory of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, where she was a Geoarchaeology Fellow and Research Associate from 2000 and until 2002, and again in 2005.
In 2004, she received a postdoctoral scholarship for the research project “Economie des combustibles au Paléolithique” at CNRS, Centre d’Etudes Préhistoire, Antiquité, Moyen Âge (CEPAM), Sophia Antipolis, University of Nice, France under the supervision of Dr. I. Théry. The results of her research have been presented at various conferences and published in books and/or journals.