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Lecture 12

Lecture 12 - Archaeology

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Christian Campbell

CLA260H1S Archaeology Aug 10/12 ClassicalArchaeology • 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 • NewArchaeology • Lew Binford • Wanted to focus on processes at work in cultural change More ‘scientific’ • • Looking for laws in humanity and cultural processes CLA260H1S Archaeology Aug 10/12 • Aligned more with anthropology • Renfrew, british archaeologist ofAegean prehistory at Cambridge • Early proponent of processual archaeology and very influential in bringing the work of NEw World anthropological archaeologists to the attention of those working in the Mediterranean • Summarized the key concepts of NewArchaeology as: Explanatory, rather than descriptive • • Focused on cultural process, rather than cultural history • Deductive, rather than inductive (i.e. Not just piecing together remains of past, using histori- cal record to make assertions about archaeological material, but formulating hypotheses, con- structing models and deducing their consequences) • Needing validation - hypotheses should be testable and conclusions should not be accepted based on the standing of the worker • Emphasizing project design over data accumulation - archaeological projects should be de- signed to answer research questions, not just to produced more material or information re- gardless of its relevance Emphasizing the quantitative over the purely qualitative, and seeing benefits from statistical • treatment of material • Optimistic about the potential for archaeological data in answering questions about social organization in the past, in contrast to the pessimism of traditionalists 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 p
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