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Das Eigene und das Fremde - Deutungen der Lausitzer Kultur in der sächsischen Vorgeschichtsschreibung

Sommer, U; (2004) Das Eigene und das Fremde - Deutungen der Lausitzer Kultur in der sächsischen Vorgeschichtsschreibung. In: Gediga, B and Mierzwiński, A and Piotrowski, W, (eds.) Archäologie-Kultur-Ideologien, Vorträge der internationalen Tagung in Biskupin, 20.-22.6. 2002. (pp. 57-72). Elma: Wrocław.

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Abstract

The Lusatian Culture – Germans, Illyrians or Sorabians? The interpretation of Saxon prehis-tory in the 19th and early 20th century The paper treats the changing ethnic interpretations of the Lusatian culture, which in Saxony has long been connected to the search for the First Saxons and the conflict with neighbouring Prussia. For the Saxon physician and prehistorian Georg Wilke, for example, the Illyrians as the producers of the highly characteristic Lusatian pottery formed a "third Alliance" between Celts and Germans, connecting Saxony with Poland, Bohemia, Upper and Lower Austria. Even after the foundation of a smaller German Empire with Prussia, but without Austria ("Kleindeutsche Lösung"), the new Germanocentric View on history and prehistory, propa-gated mainly by Prussian scholars, was only very slowly accepted. From the turn of the last Century onwards, the representation of Slavonic peoples gets more and more negative even in Saxony. The Slavs embody the strangers, the others, the barbaric and uncivilised. In contrast, the people of the Lusatian culture, even if not regarded as direct ancestors, are very similar to them and are characterised as highly civilised. But unlike the Germans, they do not prevail, they "disappeared into the twilight of history", because they concentrated on the arts instead of the sword. They could be used to reflect fears and criticism that did not seem appropriate to the Germanic "Master Race". The interpretation of the Lusatian culture has thus always been closely linked to political ide-ologies. Anthropologists have been characterised as specialising in differences between humans. In an analogous way, prehistorians could be said to specialise in distance between human groups. But that does not necessarily imply that they have to use their results to construct identities and alterities, in-group and stranger. Of course, in the end this is also a question of ideology.

Type: Book chapter
Title: Das Eigene und das Fremde - Deutungen der Lausitzer Kultur in der sächsischen Vorgeschichtsschreibung
ISBN: 83-915490-3-8
Additional information: International Symposium on "Archaeology-Culture-Ideology", 20-22.may 2002, published in Polish, German and English
Keywords: History of research Lusatian culture public archaeology
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of SandHS > Institute of Archaeology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of SandHS > Institute of Archaeology > Institute of Archaeology Gordon Square
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/51409
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