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Archaeology for the people? Greek archaeology and its public: an analysis of the socio-political and economic role of archaeology in Greece

Sakellariadi, A.; (2011) Archaeology for the people? Greek archaeology and its public: an analysis of the socio-political and economic role of archaeology in Greece. Doctoral thesis, UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

During the last thirty years, archaeology has become increasingly aware of the socio-­‐‑political context within which it is practiced. Theoretical advances of the discipline as well as pressure from the world of cultural resource management have contributed to this development. Greek archaeology, since its beginning, based on academic elitism of foreign scholars and schools of archaeology and on the newly-­‐‑founded state’s (1830) need to build a national identity, has barely followed this path of self-­‐‑awareness and social reciprocity and has become less relevant to both the state and the people of Greece. This thesis investigates the relationship between Greek archaeology and the people of Greece and its development since the foundation of the Greek state. More particularly, the social, political and economic role of archaeology in local communities, its public values and the actual aims and objectives of the State Archaeological Service are revealed through the examination of three case studies: the archaeological sites of Philippi in Kavala, Dispilio in Kastoria, in northern Greece, and the archaeological site of Delphi in central Greece. Factors traditionally considered irrelevant to the archaeological agenda are considered. Public perceptions on archaeology and its relevance today, locals’ relation to the neighbouring sites and the level of engagement with them and stakeholders’ interaction with local archaeology are discussed. Documentary evidence and other archival material enlighten the history of archaeology in general and in connection to these sites. The relationship between Greek archaeology and local communities is revealed to constitute an arena where a variety of agendas are projected and compete. The supreme ideal of the nation as served by archaeology for the moment seems to make the every day battle between conservation and other interests unscathed. However the public good of archaeology, as the legislator envisaged it, is still looked for.

Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Title:Archaeology for the people? Greek archaeology and its public: an analysis of the socio-political and economic role of archaeology in Greece
Open access status:An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language:English
UCL classification:UCL > School of Arts and Social Sciences > Faculty of Social and Historical Sciences > Institute of Archaeology

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