Conference article

Archaeology and Museums in the Nation Building Process in Greece

Anastasia Sakellariadi
Institute of Archaeology, UCL, UK

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Published in: Comparing: National Museums; Territories; Nation-Building and Change. NaMu IV; Linköping University; Norrköping; Sweden 18-20 February 2008

Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings 30:9, p. 129-142

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Published: 2008-05-20


ISSN: 1650-3686 (print), 1650-3740 (online)


This paper considers Greek archaeology as a product of the development of the nation state and investigates the way this relationship has determined the discipline and its museums. A critical presentation of the foundation of the Greek state sheds light on the conditions from which the relationship between archaeology and the State originated. The changes in archaeological legislation and administration demonstrate the way this relationship developed. Greek museums constitute the main agents of representation; interpretation and communication of archaeological heritage and as such they are considered. Classical Greek antiquity as the fount of the European spirit contributed immensely to the materialization of modern Greece. This ideological premise set constrains on the displays and narratives presented in archaeological museums and on the development of the entire discipline. Almost two centuries after the foundation of the State Archaeological Service and the National Archaeological Museum few things seem to have changed.


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