Wednesday October 22, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
24o C
11o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Politicized archaeology

By Pantelis Boukalas

Let us suppose that archaeologists discover that the tomb uncovered in Amphipolis was not the resting place of Roxana or Nearchos, but of Alexander the Great. Let us assume, that is, that archaeologists (pushed by “national interests” promoted via frenetic media to work at a pace that may expose or even harm their science) bring to light the stuff that professional archaeologists and hundreds of amateurs have only dared to dream. What would this mean and what would be its repercussions beyond a few initial days of public fervor and a spike in tourism to the area? What effect would the discovery that Alexander was buried there have on a national level – not in terms of the economy (which will continue to be as dismal as it is today even if all the treasures of Persia are discovered there) – but in terms of how we view ourselves as a nation?

It is not hard to imagine the impact of such a discovery if we take a look at the existing evidence. It is a known fact that Greece has long been at odds with Israel over who can claim the lead in nationalized and politicized archaeology, often in a way that is an affront to the scientific community. Let us take the findings of excavations in northern Greece, for example, constantly cited to suit political circumstances and often acting as ambassadors of national policy: The findings and their interpretation are used to prove the primal Greekness of the Macedonians and once and for all silence our unmentionable neighbors to the north who, surrendered to their own obsessive national policy, are seeking control over parts if not all of our Macedonian heritage.

Now, the ancient relics of Amphipolis are once more being linked to the name dispute and being used for petty political interests. They are being presented by the state and by many representatives of the media as the final confirmation of Macedonia’s Greekness, even though as a country we have staunchly supported this fact for the past 20 years. We have also heard it said that the findings at the tomb have steeled the morale of disheartened Greeks. First of all, with so many surpluses about, surely the Greeks are no longer disheartened. And second, if our morale has sunk to such a low (despite the Parthenon, Olympia, Delphi, Knossos and Vergina) that it needs a tomb to be revived, then there is much more we need to be worried about.

We have also heard that the discoveries at Amphipolis are contributing to the improvement of Greece’s international image – ergo, they may boost tourism. If the government really had such a high regard of archaeology, then why is it cutting back funding to the extent of causing major operational problems at excavations, sites and museums?

ekathimerini.com , Tuesday September 2, 2014 (10:29)  
The ECB collateral for Greece must be lowered to 5 pct
The past, present and future of the Greek debt crisis
Self-opposing coalition
Gutsy rectors
Archaeologists find missing head of Amphipolis sphinx
Archaeologists digging at a tomb dating to the era of Alexander the Great in ancient Amphipolis in northern Greece have found the missing head of one of the two sphinxes guarding the entranc...
Coalition leaders prepare for troika amid sour mood
A dispute between New Democracy and PASOK over civil servants’ salaries continued Tuesday, underlining the big task facing Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and Deputy Prime Minister Evangelos ...
Inside News
Credit sector officials sleeping easy ahead of stress test results
Analysts, investment banks and institutional investors appear optimistic regarding the results of the European Central Bank stress tests on local lenders, which has been mirrored in the perf...
Certainty on primary surplus target
The state budget’s primary surplus beat expectations by almost a billion euros in the first nine months of the year, General Accounting Office data confirmed on Tuesday, but tax revenues and...
Inside Business
BASKETBALL
PAOK fans stop coach Markopoulos´s move to Olympiakos
Olympiakos is once again in the lookout for a new coach after the refusal of PAOK to release Soulis Markopoulos, while Panathinaikos defeated Kolossos on Rhodes on Monday to become the only ...
BASKETBALL
Reds lose to Nea Kifissia, search for new coach
Nea Kifissia recorded the biggest win of its short history in the top flight defeating Olympiakos 68-67 on Sunday, in a Basket League weekend marred by the abandonment of the Thessaloniki de...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Credit sector officials sleeping easy ahead of stress test results
2. Certainty on primary surplus target
3. Feverish talks on payment plan proposals
4. TUI promises even more tourists
5. Archaeologists find missing head of Amphipolis sphinx
6. Coalition leaders prepare for troika amid sour mood
more news
Today
This Week
1. The past, present and future of the Greek debt crisis
2. Gang importing heroin into Greece busted
3. Self-opposing coalition
4. Greece said to seek tailor-made plan for bailout exit
5. Gutsy rectors
6. Applications for heating oil subsidy set to start
Today
This Week
1. Possible third figure in Amphipolis mosaic may be uncovered shortly
2. Istanbul skyscraper casts shadow over Greece's banking ambitions
3. Coalition shooting itself in the foot
4. GPO poll gives SYRIZA clear lead over New Democracy
5. Greece must stick to reforms, says Schaeuble
6. Samaras’s crumbling Greek exit lacks backing from economists
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.