"Fair Greece, Sad Relic:" Greek Archaeology at the Intersections of Power

Author(s): Grace Erny

Year: 2018


In this paper, I address the challenges faced by Classical archaeologists who wish to practice engaged archaeology in Greece. Two aspects of Classical archaeology’s disciplinary history are particularly important for understanding the relationship between Greek archaeology (as practiced by American archaeologists) and modern Greece: first, Greek archaeology’s early and close relationship with the ideology of Hellenism and, second, the ways in which archaeological work in Greece has intersected (or not) with ethnographic studies of Greek communities. I then explore some of the current institutional factors (many of them legacies of the discipline’s trajectory) that either inhibit or fail to actively encourage collaborative archaeological practice in Greece. For archaeological projects supported by U.S. academic institutions, these include the academic position of Greek archaeology within Classics departments and the dismissal of Modern Greek as a legitimate field of study for Classical archaeologists. Finally, I suggest potential future directions for engaged archaeologies of Greece that directly confront this disciplinary legacy. How can Classical archaeologists both avoid uncritically promoting narratives of Classical Greece as the "birthplace of Western civilization" and actively advocate for collaborative practices within an academic power structure that is often unsympathetic to these concerns?

Cite this Record

"Fair Greece, Sad Relic:" Greek Archaeology at the Intersections of Power. Grace Erny. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 444752)

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Ethics Iron Age Other

Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -10.151; min lat: 29.459 ; max long: 42.847; max lat: 47.99 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 20455