Ancient Monuments and Modern Identities : A Critical History of Archaeology in 19th and 20th Century Greece book cover
1st Edition

Ancient Monuments and Modern Identities
A Critical History of Archaeology in 19th and 20th Century Greece

ISBN 9780367595241
Published August 14, 2020 by Routledge
236 Pages

FREE Standard Shipping
USD $52.95

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

Ancient Monuments and Modern Identities sets out to examine the role of archaeology in the creation of ethnic, national and social identities in 19th and 20th century Greece. The essays included in this volume examine the development of interpretative and methodological principles guiding the recovery, protection and interpretation of material remains and their presentation to the public. The role of archaeology is examined alongside prevailing perceptions of the past, and is thereby situated in its political and ideological context. The book is organized chronologically and follows the changing attitudes to the past during the formation, expansion and consolidation of the Modern Greek State. The aim of this volume is to examine the premises of the archaeological discipline, and to apply reflection and critique to contemporary archaeological theory and practice. The past, however, is not a domain exclusive to archaeologists. The contributors to this volume include prehistoric and classical archaeologists, but also modern historians, museum specialists, architectural historians, anthropologists, and legal scholars who have all been invited to discuss the impact of the material traces of the past on the Modern Greek social imaginary.

Table of Contents


List of Figures

List of Contributors

Editors’ Preface

List of Abbreviations


Introduction: Ancient monuments and modern identities

Sofia Voutsaki


1. The provenance of Greek painted vases: disciplinary debates and modern identities in the early 19th century

Giovanna Ceserani


2. Travellers and ruins in the Spartan landscape: a ghost story

Paraskevas Matalas


3. The reception of J.J. Winckelmann by Greek scholarship during the formative stage of the Modern Greek state (1832–1862)

Irene Fatsea


4. The legal protection of antiquities in Greece and national identity

Daphne Voudouri


5. Displaying archaeology - exhibiting ideology in 19th and early 20th century Greek museums

Andromache Gazi


6. Archaeology and politics: The Greek-German Olympia excavations treaty, 1869-1875

Thanassis N. Bohotis


7. The Hellenization of the prehistoric past: the search for Greek identity in the work of Christos Tsountas

Sofia Voutsaki


8. 'The stamp of national life': plaster casts and their uses in Greece at the end of the 19th century

Alexandra Alexandri


9. Beyond the debt to Antiquity: constructing a national architecture for Modern Greece

Eleni Bastéa


10. Are histories of archaeology good to think with?

Michael Fotiadis


11. Why should the state protect the cultural heritage? The answer offered by Greek law

Vassilis Voutsakis



View More



Sofia Voutsaki is Professor of Greek Archaeology at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands.

Paul Cartledge is A.G. Leventis Senior Research Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge, and A.G. Leventis Professor of Greek Culture, emeritus, University of Cambridge, UK.


"Ancient Monuments and Modern Identities is a valuable work for academics and students of classical archaeology, providing a nuanced and multifaceted investigation of the use and impact of Greek archaeology on modern and contemporary European identity. The volume manages to be at once pleasant to read, historically informative, and critically elucidating, without overbearing or heavy-handed authorial perspectives on the processes investigated... this volume is diverse and nuanced, broad and considered. The authors are all distinctive, but all treat their subject matters with a deft and insightful touch, bearing in mind both the abstract considerations of the subject matter and the human relevance of the discourse. The volume is thought-provoking and insightful, and will well serve any scholar or student interested in the human implications of their scholarship." - Journal of Eastern Mediterranean Archaeology and Heritage Studies