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Crypto-colonial and national archaeologies as identity politics in the Cretan state

Publication date: Mar 28, 2014 10:08:41 AM

Start: Apr 30, 2014 5:15:00 PM
End: Apr 30, 2014 6:15:00 PM

Location: Room 209, Institute of Archaeology

Crypto-colonial and national archaeologies as identity politics in the Cretan state

Vassilios Varouhakis (University of Southampton) will give a seminar organised by the Institute's History of Archaeology Research Network on 30 April.

The seminar is entitled 'Ignorant peasants, patriot antiquarians and national benefactors from the West: Crypto-colonial and national archaeologies as identity politics in the Cretan state' and all are welcome.

Abstract

The Cretan State (1898 – 1913) was a semi-autonomous regime established on the island of Crete by the “Great Powers” (Great Britain, France, Russia and Italy), ending 250 years of direct Ottoman rule. The most significant archaeological projects emerged during this period. Mainly directed by western archaeological missions, their activities resemble the crypto-colonial attitudes displayed by the “peacekeeping” forces that were deployed on the island. A local elite of intermediaries emerged, incorporating members with multiple attributes, such as former revolutionaries, politicians, clergymen, self-taught archaeologists and collectors of antiquities.

This presentation explores the legacy of a prominent local archaeologist, Joseph Hatzidakis, tracing how archaeological practice affected local elites, the rest of the population, and the occupiers, as well as the relationships amongst all the above. It argues that Cretan State archaeology is a rather disguised case of both colonial and, in a peculiar way, conflict archaeology.

The seminar will be followed by a reception supported by the Institute's Heritage Studies Section.

Any enquiries about the event may be directed to Amara Thornton.