Lecture 12 - Archaeology

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Published on 11 Sep 2012
School
UTSG
Department
Classics
Course
CLA260H1
CLA260H1S
Archaeology
Aug 10/12
Classical Archaeology
Winkelmann in 18th century - father of art history
Approached the study of art in a chronological development instead of thematic aestheticism
Criticized sloppy excavation
Older archaeology not documented or with research in mind - more just looking for stuff
Stuart and Revett interested in architecture in greece and drew technical and artistic drawings
Published their drawings on the monuments
Shows the state of the monuments at the time
Ottoman control over greece in 18th century losing power and a lot of people going in and taking
antiquities
Philhellenism - becoming activists for Greek independence
Greek war of independence results in an a new nation state - trying to make a new identity for
themselves
They had been under foreign control for a thousand ish years (ottoman and byzantine rule)
New leadership wanted to claim attic ancestry of the past
After war of independence excavation began on acropolis and plans for museum laid to house
finds
At the same time European and North american countries wanted to get in and have their own
excavations
Towards end of 19th century a lot of countries opened up foreign nation archaeological schools
Prehistoric sites influential in classical archaeology
Schliemann at troy and mycenae
Before him people didn’t think that homer had historical value
He wasn’t purely looking for stuff, which was a different approach - he had a research question
he was answering (“was troy real”)
Did to some extant pay attention to the stratigraphy
He brought attention to the bronze age which people weren’t interested in before
Arthur Evans excavated on Crete
Evans was a respected academic and archaeologist
Although his methods were just as destructive as Schliemann he isn’t as criticized
Started on crete in 1900
Found the “palace” which was a giant admin building
Revealed the remains of a civilization that predated what Schliemann had found
No one had any idea about minoans previously
The popularization of these sites created a revolution in the interests in archaeology and spurred
classical archaeologists to find marvelous sites like these
Also shifted excavation to purpose rather than just finding stuff
New Archaeology
Lew Binford
Wanted to focus on processes at work in cultural change
More ‘scientific’
Looking for laws in humanity and cultural processes
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Document Summary

Stuart and revett interested in architecture in greece and drew technical and artistic drawings. Shows the state of the monuments at the time. Found the palace which was a giant admin building classical archaeologists to find marvelous sites like these: also shifted excavation to purpose rather than just finding stuff. New archaeology: lew binford, wanted to focus on processes at work in cultural change, more scientific", looking for laws in humanity and cultural processes. Aug 10/12: aligned more with anthropology, renfrew, british archaeologist of aegean prehistory at cambridge, early proponent of processual archaeology and very influential in bringing the work of new. Post-processualism: critical of processual archaeology"s assertion that a scientific approach to archaeological materi- al could lead to objective conclusions. Instead emphasized the subjectivity of interpretations: highly theoretical approach, related to post-modernism, critics say that archaeology liberated from being the handmaid of history only to become the lickspittle of literary theory.

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