Reviewed by Charles C. Kolb (National Endowment for the Humanities)
Published on H-SAE (September, 1997)
Nationalism and Archaeology in Europe
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are those of the reviewer and not of his employer or any other federal agency. Because this is an electronic book review in ASCII format, it is not possible to insert appropriate accents and diacritical marks, and this reviewer offers his apologies to the contributors.
Nationalism and Archaeology in Europe
In this assessment, I shall provide introductory comments, consider the scope and place of the compendium in sociocultural history, summarize the salient points from each of the essays, and then assess the book as a whole. I believe that the significance of the essays in the volume goes well beyond European studies and further afield than merely the history of archaeology or perceptions and theories about the nation state and its agencies and institutions. There is much to consider beyond anthropology, political science, and the history of science. Because of the potential interest to a variety of social scientists and scholars in the humanities, I shall provide detailed remarks about the content of each essay in this volume.
This book is neither a history of archaeological research--as in the tradition of the writings of Brew (1968), Daniel (1975), Trigger (1989), or Willey and Sabloff (1993)--nor is it a summary of European archaeology in the manner of the late Stuart Piggott's (1966) well-known text or Phillips' (1980) more recent synthesis. From another perspective, it is not a methodical review of archaeology as a science (see Pollard and Heron 1996). However, what we do have is a well-crafted set of social science and humanities-oriented essays that collectively report the development of archaeology as a discipline in the context of national political history for several European polities. The book is similar in scope to Kohl and Fawcett's edited set of nation-state case studies entitled Nationalism, Politics, and the Practice of Archaeology (1995) which contains five chapters on western Europe, four on eastern Europe and Eurasia, and four on East Asia. Margarita Diaz-Andreu (1995) and Victor Shnirelman (1995) have contributed chapters (on Spain and Russia, respectively) to both volumes.
Academic interest in the interrelationship of nationalism and archaeology is receiving renewed attention among both political scientists and anthropologists. This interest is exemplified at the third annual meeting of the European Association of Archaeology to be held in September 1997 in Ravenna, Italy, which includes a session entitled "Archaeology, Nationalism, and the Politics of Identity." Likewise, the relationships between archaeology and political history have been the subject of significant articles by Don Fowler (1987), Philip Kohl (1993), and Bruce Trigger (1984), among other scholars from the discipline of archaeology. Several books, including Jose Luis Lorenzo's (1976) treatise in which he examines the roles and impact of archaeologists from the United States working in Mexico, and a majority of the chapters in Augusto Oyuela-Caycedo's (1994) edited compendium on the history of Latin American archaeology, reveal interrelationships between the nation, nationalism, and archaeological research. Several British and American scholars have also recently examined the connections between archaeology and the nation state (Shanks and Tilley 1987, Patterson 1995), often following the concepts of Hobsbawm (1990, Hobsbawm and Ranger 1983).
Co-editor Margarita Diaz-Andreu is a Lecturer in the Department of Archaeology at the University of Complutense, Madrid, and has particular research interests in later European prehistory, especially the west Mediterranean. Her colleague, Timothy Champion, is Reader in Archaeology at the University of Southampton, and is President of the Prehistoric Society. His research interests include the later prehistory of Europe and the archaeology of complex societies. The editors have assembled fourteen chapters, a dozen of which concern specific European polities, plus an introduction and epilogue. Each chapter has separate sets of references (a total of 711 citations and a fourteen-page double-column index). The twelve nations represented are, in order in the volume: Denmark, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Britain, Ireland, Germany, Poland, Russia, Lithuania, and Slovenia. The editors determined this sequence based upon the history of the development of professional archaeology in these nation states. Four of the chapters have been translated into English from their original French, Spanish, German, and Polish versions. Since the authors of these chapters acknowledge the translators, one assumes that the English language versions met with their approval.
In Nationalism and Archaeology in Europe, fifteen archaeologists from a dozen European countries examine the varied relationships between nationalistic ideals and archaeological activities during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The editors contend that the resurgence of nationalism has become a prominent feature of the European political scene during the 1990s. The so-called "collapse" of the Soviet Union is resulting in the re-establishment of a sense of identity for many peoples in Eurasia, particularly in eastern Europe and Central Asia. In western Europe, the enhanced debate about federation has important implications for the retention of individual national identity (consider, for example, the proposals to expanded NATO membership and the recent EEC debates about Euro-currency). The editors and their colleagues argue persuasively that the archaeological record provides a wealth of concepts and images to support the claims of national identity as being deeply rooted in past generations. They also perceive correctly that both history and archaeology have been widely used and abused in these modern arguments about individual state nationalisms. Diaz-Andreu and Champion have assembled a collection of stimulating essays fashioned by authors who share a common concern that archaeology and the study of the past are intimately related to contemporary sociopolitical questions--they might have cited economic questions as well. The contributors bring varied experiences from different parts of Europe and represent older, established, independent nation states (England, France, and Spain); newly democratized, emerging countries (Poland and Russia); some where archaeology has in the past been promoted for political ends (Germany and Italy); and others experiencing struggling with independent nationhood (Slovenia--portions of the former Yugoslavia).
The professionalization of archaeology, as opposed to antiquarian collecting, emerged in Europe during the late nineteenth century or at various times during the twentieth century during the period of imperialism and nationalism, and was often interwoven with contemporary politics and national goals. The history of the Elgin marbles and the importation of Egyptian and Near Eastern material culture into the collections of the major European museums of natural history, art, and archaeology suffice as examples. Social scientists have for many years pointed out how archaeology and the historical record can be used to inspire nationalism. For example, Sergei Eisenstein's films, particularly the 1925 epic The Battleship Potemkin and his 1938 cinematic masterpiece Alexander Nevsky, convey nationalism and emotion, respectively, associated with the overthrow of Czarist Russia and a call to patriotism in preparing for the Second World War.
In "Nationalism and Archaeology in Europe: An Introduction" (Margarita Diaz-Andreu and Timothy Champion, pp. 1-23), the editors comment that "there is no such thing as a non-political, value-free archaeology" (p. 2) and that archaeology is not an exception among the social and natural sciences in its political involvement. During the past decade several authors have written what the editors see as "incomplete accounts" of the relationship between the variables of nationalism and archaeology; they write (p. 3) that
without the existence of nationalism, archaeology of the study of the past might never have advanced beyond the status of a hobby or a pastime. This profound interconnection between a political ideology and a scientific discipline needs to be recognized by professionals of the discipline in order to be able to understand and contextualize our work.
The authors contend that nationalism is deeply embedded in the concept of archaeology and in its development and institutionalization. They also consider the interrelationship between history and nationalism as a political ideology, and state that the three phases of nationalism defined by Hroch (1985:22-23)--intellectual organization, patriotic agitation, and ideological spread--may be seen in the history of archaeological theory. The relationship between nationalism and archaeology can be viewed in three ways: 1) the role of archaeology in the historical construction of national identities; 2) relationships between the construction of the national state and the insitutionalization of archaeology, the public image of archaeology, and education about the past; and 3) the role of archaeology in reinforcing linguistic, ethnic, and racial elements in the construction of a national identity. The periodization of the relationship between nationalism and archaeology follows the work of Hobsbawm (1990, Hobsbawm and Ranger 1983) in differentiating nation-states and subjugated nations. The authors attempt to demonstrate that the "special character" of archaeology provides an opportunity for nationalism because archaeological evidence is "very versatile" and that the evidence may be "very old" (pp. 18-19).
"The Fall of a Nation, the Birth of a Subject: The National Use of Archaeology in Nineteenth-century Denmark" (Marie Louise Stig Sorensen, pp. 24-47) is an appropriate introductory treatise since European archaeology was founded upon the concept of the "Three Age System" (Stone, Bronze, and Iron ages) defined by the Dane J.J.A. Worsaae. Archaeology became professionalized in Denmark following the Napoleonic Wars (1797-1813) and the subsequent British trade blockade.
The author demonstrates the use of archaeology in "inventing" the Danish nation by characterizing the voluntary relationship between nationalism and archaeology, and commenting on the Danish political need to institutionalize the past, whereby archaeological objects were transformed into symbols which in turn became signs with connotive emotions. Sorensen reviews the results when the past is "constructed from the outside" in order to legitimize tradition and instill national virtues (especially pride and esteem) and identity by fashioning a mythical social prehistory, particularly during the years following the abolition of the absolute monarchy in 1849 when political democratization and decentralization of authority were desired sociopolitical results. Representations of archaeological sites and material culture--barrows, standing stones, lithic, bronze, and gold artifacts, etc.--were employed in contemporary contexts including political posters, postage stamps, and corporate logos. Sorensen concludes that "to comprehend fully the social importance of the past(s) we must allow for a simultaneous academic and emotional involvement in the subject matter, or alternatively its emotional potency will be reduced to a superficial tracing of associated elements" (p. 46). Early nineteenth century agrarian reforms created new economic and political groupings, and institutionalized archaeology became politically useful, serving national discourse and perceived virtues. This essay is well crafted and Sorensen's arguments are compelling.
The third chapter is entitled "French Archaeology: Between National Identity and Cultural Identity" (Alain Schnapp, translated from the French, pp. 48-67). The author contends that archaeology was a "dominated discipline" in France and was interwoven with a fascination with classical Greco-Roman and, later, Celtic, antiquities. Antiquarians were isolated from the public, and the national dimensions of archaeology were exploited politically to give credence to a conscience of patrimony. The Roman-Gaulish Wars and elaborate myths (such as those involving Vercingetorix) are cited as examples, and the Second Empire, Franco-Prussian War, and Third Republic are characterized. The French Revolution fostered the concept of national antiquities and the spread of the concept of archaeology, but the French defeat during the Franco-Prussian War (1870-1871) helped to solidify a French nationalist archaeology. Notable was the unique development of overseas French schools of archaeology (Egypt, Persia, Afghanistan, and Algeria) while national antiquities were being neglected because of the failure to establish regional French archaeological programs and museums. Archaeological regions for museums and for administration were established during the Vichy regime. However, the founding of the CNRS (Caisse Nacional de la Recherche Scientifique), rejuvinated under de Gaulle, reestablished archaeology as a component of prehistory when it was grouped with anthropology and ethnology, while Celtic and Gallo-Roman archaeology was affiliated with classical studies. By the 1990s, Schnapp observes, "the state is endowed with a public service for archaeology; universities, museums and secondary education make ever more provision for a cultural approach that relegates national tendencies to a peripheral position" (p. 65).
"Islamic Archaeology and the Origin of the Spanish Nation" (Margarita Diaz-Andreu, translated from the Spanish, pp. 68-89) reviews the historical origins of the nation. Diaz-Andreu observes correctly that in most European nation states nationalism is traced to the Middle Ages or Roman Empire. In this essay she documents the widespread "ignorance" of early periods in the Iberian Peninsula and a disregard for Muslim contributions. She does not address the potent issue of cultural and religious ethnocentrism, e.g. "racism." From 711-1482 C.E. the peninsula was divided on a religious basis into Muslim and Christian territories. She argues convincingly that Hispanic authors have failed to incorporate Spain's Islamic past into a nationalistic discourse and traces the development of Arab or "Oriental" studies, censorship, enculturation and acculturation, and the impact of the 1859-1860 African War. The significance of the Islamic past was realized differentially in Andalusia and Catalan, and there was an Europeanization of the Islamic past in former Christian regions. She believes that the loss of Cuba and the Philippine Islands heightened an interest in the Visigothic period and the relationship between France and Classical Roman culture on one hand versus National Socialist (Nazi) German and Visigoth culture on the other (a Levi Straus paradigm?). The Spanish Civil War and the Franco era and their consequences are well documented. By the late 1960s, a revival of Islamic archaeological studies began and resulted in an abandonment of former nationalistic ideologies, a distancing of archaeological research from art history, and the adoption of new field and laboratory methods. Andalusi and Medieval archaeology began to thrive after 1970, but the author contends that Spanish nationalism yet remains problematic and weak. The Islamic past has been used by Andalusian, Valencian, and Balearic nationalists arguing against Catalan and Spanish nationalisms. In the main, this essay covers the same basic material as her previous writing on Spanish nationalism and archaeology (Diaz-Andreu 1995).
In the fifth chapter, "Archaeology and Nationalism: The Portuguese Case" (Carlos Fabiao, pp. 90-107), the essayist observes that for Portugal there have been no remarkable cases of a nationalistic appropriation of archaeological interpretations or use of monuments or artifacts as national symbols. Portugal has a long tradition of the centralization of political power, and, he reports the development of three schools of Portuguese archaeology: naturalistic, antiquarian, and paleo-ethnological. Fabiao begins with the founding of the Real Academia in 1720, reviews Catholic traditions, and illustrates attempts to integrate ancient heritage (Lusitanian culture, hill forts, the Celtiberian-Lusitanian Wars, and the heroic exploits of Viriatus versus the Romans) with historical identity. National heritage legislation dates to 1721 but was ineffectual since the cultural patrimony was not a major concern of the state during the period of liberal monarchy or the republican regime. The author claims that a national perspective developed in 1929, but conflicts between archaeologists (and, perhaps, environmentalists?) and architects and engineers continue, and he laments the "neglect of archaeology for nationalistic reasons" (p. 105). The image of Portuguese nationalism as being conceived during Medieval times has resulted in a lack of concern and a paucity of archaeological research on sites and artifacts from previous periods.
Therefore, archaeology was perceived as counterproductive for nationalist purposes. Readers should be aware that the period of the Second World War and postwar era are covered in greater depth by Lillios (1995).
"Nationalism without a Nation: The Italian Case" (Alessandro Guidi, pp. 108-118) emphasizes the late nineteenth century. Until 1860, Italy was composed of numerous small states and foreign colonies. The period of political unification (1860-1870) resulted in the creation of a centralized agency for the conservation of cultural heritage. Guidi notes that the pioneers of Italian prehistoric archaeology were professional men from northern Italy and were linked to the industrial bourgeois of the nineteenth century, while classic archaeology, concentrating on Etruscan and Roman cultures, was especially significant among scholars from the south. Archaeological accomplishments during the Fascist era were notable; terrestrial and underwater excavations, and the creation of museums, are particularly important. Regionalism was and remains a dominant trend in Italian archaeology. In the 1990s Italian archaeology exists in a "peculiar schizophrenic condition, fluctuating between the temptation of a decisive atomization into different local schools and of a regionalization of the former unitary State Antiquities administration, and the demand for a desired but difficult methodological unity" (p. 117). Both prehistoric and classical archaeology were strongly influenced by nationalism until 1945, but a lack of archaeological nationalist unity characterizes the postwar era. The essay is surprisingly brief given the richness of extant data on Italian archaeological materials, the system of higher education, and political administration.
In "Three Nations or One? Britain and the National Use of the Past" (Timothy Champion, pp. 119-145), the author undertakes the difficult task of characterizing a "uniquely complex" pattern of distinctive national identities for England, Wales, and Scotland (Ireland is considered separately in Chapter Eight). Champion commences with an overview of the archaeological remains: England (pre-Roman peoples and Roman, Anglo-Saxon, Viking, and Norman periods); Wales (pre-Roman Celtic, Roman, and Anglo-Norman periods), and Scotland (pre-Roman Celts and Picts, Romans, Saxons, Gallic and Norse settlers, and independent populations since the ninth century C.E.). He also states that because of maritime boundaries there were fewer territorial pressures than the nations of Continental Europe experienced. The author also reviews "fanciful" Medieval visions--for example, that Britain had been settled by migrants from ancient Troy. In England, regional and national professional societies emerged during the 1840s along with an interest in human origins as well as national monuments; both archaeology and anthropology were employed (until ca. 1920) to justify politically the British Empire and maintain traditional patterns of a hierarchical and aristocratic society. Champion notes that Scotland has a very complex prehistory and that archaeological studies were influenced significantly by developments in Scandinavia (especially the works of Thomsen and Worsaae), so that by 1900 Scottish archaeology was established on a firm foundation.
In Wales, the major eighteenth century accounts of Welsh antiquities were written by English travelers; however, research languished during the subsequent century. The author states that the Welsh were more concerned with restoring the Welsh language than in their archaeological heritage. Champion contends that the British state took a major interest in archaeological matters including the creation of national museums (British Museum in 1753, National Museum of Scotland in 1851, and Wales National Museum in 1907). British legislation to protect prehistoric monuments dated to the efforts of Sir John Lubbock in 1882 and the Disney Chair of Archaeology in Cambridge was established in 1852, while the Institute of Archaeology in London was created in the 1930s. Champion also characterizes briefly the contributions of major archaeologists including Wheeler, Childe, and Piggott. A section of his essay entitled "The Consequences of State Intervention" provides evidence for a "tardy" state involvement in archaeological matters but suggests increased professionalism and scientific neutrality within the discipline. British universities have a long tradition of research activities abroad, including archaeological research well beyond the classical areas (e.g., British colonial areas including Egypt, India, East Africa, and various Asian enclaves). Champion points out that "no university has devoted itself to the archaeology of England" (p. 137); likewise, a systematic site inventory and the lack of a unified state archaeological service are seen as drawbacks. He also candidly addresses the point that during the past half century England has become a multicultural and multiethnic society. A significant discussion about the rise of the heritage industry (the commercialization of archaeology, cultural tourism, and leisure market) provides a sobering paradigm for all European and American students of archaeology. The European Common Market may predicate future unity in archaeological matters--for example events such as the 1994-1995 "Year of the Bronze Age," when cross-cultural European technical and artistic achievements were emphasized. However, the United Kingdom's concepts of economic integration differ from those of France, Germany, and Italy and may, therefore, have significant consequences for scientific research and archaeology. Of all of the essays in this book, Champion's stimulating and concise treatment is the most complete and current. Readers interested in the current debates among Scottish and English archaeologists and Marxist influences should consult several presentations in Iain Mackenzie's edited volume entitled Archaeological Theory: Progress or Posture? (1994); an American perspective on Marxist archaeology is contained in Patterson (1995).
The chapter "Building the Future on the Past: Archaeology and the Construction of National Identity in Ireland" (Gabriel Cooney, pp. 146-163) relates directly to the foregoing essay. In contrast to England, Scotland, and Wales, archaeology in Ireland has served as an important element in the fabrication of a national identity. The role of nationalism has only recently been recognized as an important influence on the way antiquarianism and archaeology developed in Ireland. Cooney states that Irish archaeology is pragmatic and non-theoretical, that nationalism affected archaeology differentially through time, and that two nationalism exist: Gaelic-Irish and Unionist. As in Denmark, artifacts and sites became symbols linking the past and present. The author traces nationalism and archaeology from the establishment of the Irish Royal Academy in 1785 and the Act of Union in 1800. He considers George Petrie to be the "father" of Irish archaeology and the period 1830-1860 as formative prior to the institutionalizing of archaeology. The effects of the Church Disestablishment Act of 1869, Ancient Monuments Protection Act of 1882, and Irish Land Act of 1903 are perceived as evidence of increased state involvement during the Victorian era. Especially illuminating is the discussion of archaeology and national identity in the "two Irelands"--for example contact between archaeologists working in the north and south goes back to the 1930s and the profession has been organized on an all-Ireland basis for nearly four decades. Cooney also reviews the public interest in "Celtomania" and the astronomical interpretation of megalithic art through the 1980s. There appears to be no conclusive answer to the question of why archaeology has not had a greater impact on nationalism. Cooney and Grogan provide a more fulsome account of Irish nationalism and archaeology in Irish Prehistory: A Social Perspective (1994).
In Chapter Nine, "German Archaeology and Its Relation to Nationalism and Racism" (Ingo Wiwjorra, translated from the German, pp. 164-188), two roots in German archaeology are related: national-romantic (e.g., patriotic antiquarianism) and prehistoric archaeology. The author's purpose is to demonstrate the relationship of archaeology to nationalism and racism. In his discussion of patriotic antiquarianism, Wiwjorra begins ca. 9 C.E. with Arminius and Tacitus, and moves quickly through nationalistic mythology, such as the Niebelungenlied, into the seventeenth century. The concepts of Nordic race are traced from Tacitus to the Franco-Prussian War (1870-1871), the contribution of Rudolf Virchow, and postulated beliefs in Indo-German origins. Wiwjorra demonstrates the zealous enthusiasm of amateurs such as Ludwig Wilser and Willy Pastor, and pseudo-scientific ideas in the politicization of prehistory. The importance of Gustaf Kossinna, a linguist who related archaeology to nationalism, and Herman Wirth's controversial research relating prehistoric signs and symbols as writing. Nationalist and racist tendencies supported the concept of a German national state. There is an engaging review of the justification of political borders with France, Denmark, Upper Silesia, and Western Prussia, as well as the stigmatization of Slavic culture. The coverage of the period of the Third Reich is rather brief, as is the review of the repression of a "national prehistory" after 1945. I would have liked to have had a more elaborate review of archaeology and nationalism in the "two Germanies" and further documentation of archaeological administration in the postwar era and, more recently, in the reunited Germany. In the postwar era, a division between professional archaeologists who ignore the Nazi period and pseudoscientitic idealogues has arisen. Readers may wish to supplement this chapter by consulting Bettina Arnold's (1990) article on the use and abuse of archaeology in Nazi Germany (see also Arnold and Hassmann 1995).
The author of Chapter Ten has selected an interesting metaphorical title: "'Drang nach Westen'?: Polish Archaeology and National Identity" (Wlodzimierz Raczkowski, translated from the Polish, pp. 189-217), one that implies an offensive rather than a defensive policy toward Germany (p. 190). Raczkowski points out that Polish archaeology has taken two tracks: 1) the Slavs and their relationships with Germanic tribes, and 2) the origins and development of the Polish state beginning with the Plast Dynasty. He traces archaeological research to the early 1500s when pottery urns were recovered and later interpreted as pagan interments, and he also reviews attempts to relate prehistoric Slavic remains to the classical world. The 1795 partition of Poland by Prussia, Russia, and Austria and the 1830-1831 uprising in the Kingdom of Poland are landmark precursors to Raczkowski's discussion of "a nation without a country or archaeology." A failed series of uprisings, sociopolitical distinctions between east and west Slavs and the Balts, and the Lithuanians, Byelorussians, and Ukrainians are characterized. Concepts of evolutionism and diffusionism were employed by Polish and German scientists, and the former "proved" prehistoric Slavic expansion in the Oder and Elbe river valleys at the expense of Germanic peoples during the early Middle Ages (pp. 199-200). The discussion and interpretation of Virchow and Kossinna's contributions to nationalism and archaeology stands in contrast to Ingo Wiwjorra's essay on Germany. The revival of Poland and creation of Lithuania in 1918 resulted in a nationally inhomogeneous Poland which resulted in distinctions between the east and west, Polish and German ethnic issues, and the Polonization of the church and educational institutions. Violent polemics between scholars such as Kostrzewski and von Richtofen on issues including the Polish-German border and national identity utilized both scientific and ad hominem arguments about Slavic prehistory. Boundary changes resulting from the Second World War and archaeology under communism are reviewed briefly. Postwar archaeology served as a way to legitimize the newly created Poland and archaeologists sought to explicate the beginnings of the Polish state in order to demonstrate the longevity of Polish culture. The period is marked by much archaeological research but minimal publication, an emphasis upon material culture studies but with a lack of interpretive treatises, and the ideological revisions of textbooks.
The contexts of Slavic and Baltic politics and archaeology are also considered. The author believes that the First International Conference of Slavic Archaeology (Warsaw, 1965) marked a new starting point in Polish prehistoric research. Unfortunately, his essay concludes abruptly in about 1991, prior to major political changes.
The essay entitled "The Faces of Nationalist Archaeology in Russia" (Victor A. Shnirelman, pp. 218-241), in the main, concerns European Russia rather than the whole of the former Soviet Union and also relates directly to the chapters on Germany, Poland, and Lithuania. Shnirelman is at the Center for the Study of Nationalism, Department of Sociology, Central European University, Taboritska, Prague. The author is the only essayist to point out the need to distinguish the various kinds of nationalism (state versus ethnic, for example) in order to comprehend meanings and uses. The concept of Russian nationalism is considered distinct from western Europe because Russia is a large multicultural and polylinguistic state. Shnirelman states that "nationalism is only one of the lines along which Russian archaeology developed" (p. 219) but does not explicate the others. He demonstrates that--though "not well known in western Europe" (he contends)--archaeologists, sociocultural and physical anthropologists, and linguists played important roles in the development of the discipline during Imperial Russian times and during the Soviet era. He discusses the place of nationalist ethnogenetic mythologies (e.g., myths based upon human physical appearance, language, and cultural factors), the Napoleonic Wars, the Kievian Rus (Eastern Slavs), and Scythian legacy. The history of Russian archaeology is considered within the context of five periods: 1) ca.. 1820-1917 (a period of interest in Russian Slavs, Orthodox Christianity, ignorance of Muslim achievements, and attempts to justify the multicultural Russian Empire), 2) 1917-1930 (a complex period of transition with appeals to the "glorious" past and ethnic traditions, and the formulation of the republic, although the essay's emphasis is on European Russia), 3) the late 1920s to mid-1930s (the forcible introduction of Marxism, trials of ethnic intellectuals, and the reorganization of the bureaucracy), 4) ca. 1934 ff. (a shift from internationalism to Soviet nationalism, ethnogenetic studies, and arguments about "Vikingism" and its heritage--the Vikings versus the Goths--e.g., Germans versus Russians), and 5) ethnogenetic concepts and the beginnings of the disintegration of the USSR during which regional schools of historians, archaeologists, and ethnographers which "resulted in the politicization and mythologization of many peoples of the former USSR, especially in the Middle Volga region, in the Caucasus, and in the former Soviet Central Asia" (p. 238). In sum, this essay demonstrates conclusively the use of archaeology as source material for myth building and for ethnic and state-based nationalisms. This chapter parallels Shnirelman's (1995) chapter in Kohl and Fawcett's Nationalism, Politics, and the Practice of Archaeology in which he provides additional details about the era from ca. 1930-1950. In this same volume, Chernykh (1995) details a perceptive review of archaeology in Russia since the fragmentation of the USSR.
Chapter Twelve, "Nationalism Doubly Oppressed: Archaeology and Nationalism in Lithuania" (Giedrius Puodziunas and Algirdas Girininkas, pp. 243-255), provides an important view into one of the Baltic states. The authors review the successive domination of Lithuania by Poland until Russian conquest in 1795, and through independence in 1991. This illuminating essay considers the origins of national archaeology beginning with the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, with an emphases on ancient monuments and artifact collecting on the one hand and the studies of the origins of the polity on the other. Early theories postulated either Roman or Gothic origins for Lithuanian culture. The authors characterize attempts to employ Worsaae's "Three Age System," and the uprisings against Russia and subsequent repressions. Archaeological surveys and excavations from 1886-1914 resulted in the export of many objects to Russian museums (the materials still reside there). Lithuanian ethnogenetic studies undertaken by Ludwik Krzywicki are detailed. After 1904 when a ban allowing Lithuanians to conduct scientific research was rescinded, archaeological and geographic studies resumed. The authors contend that the Soviets manipulated and falsified data from East Prussia and western Byelorussia for political ends (pp. 252-53) in order to suppress minorities and ethnic nationalisms and to emphasize the Russian nation. Russian and Polish archaeologists working in Lithuania have stressed the non-Lithuanian origin of archaeological materials. Further documentation might be offered to substantiate an assertion that archaeologists in Lithuania were less repressed politically than historians.
The penultimate essay--one of the most detailed in this book--"Is There National Archaeology without Nationalism? Archaeological Tradition in Slovenia" (Bozidar Slapsak and Predrag Novakovic, pp. 256-293) considers an extremely complex region--one with distinct ethnic, linguistic, and religious parameters. In the main, the authors consider Slovene-speaking peoples, commencing with Venetian and Habsburg influences since 1400 C.E. The antiquarian tradition among Slovenes has been strong, but the authors document differences in scientific interests between coastal and interior populations--including topics such as excavations, monuments, and epigraphy. The results of the Napoleonic Wars (1797-1813) and the Illyrian Insurrection are reviewed, and the introduction of professional archaeology to Slovenia in 1852 by Karel Dezman is emphasized and well documented. He is characterized as a liberal natural scientist, a clever political polemicist, and a nationalist. Dezman's legacy includes establishing a framework for professional museology and maintaining the national museum's neutrality during periods of nationalistic conflicts; his successors, Mullner and Smidt, were less successful. The collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1918 and the founding of the Kingdom of Jugoslavia are also considered, and the authors note that archaeology as a discipline remained underdeveloped and was used (and abused) for political ends during the period 1918-1939. Following the Second World War a Soviet institutional model was adopted but Marxism remained superficial although ethnogenetic concepts dominated Yugoslav studies after 1945. The authors respond to the essay's title by stating that "theoretically, yes" there can be a national archaeology without nationalism--"academic archaeology can avoid nationalism but nationalism cannot do without archaeology in its myth creation and search for identity" (p. 290). Therefore, language rather than history or archaeology served as the basis for Slovenian nationalism.
In the "Epilogue," (pp. 294-9), Miroslav Hroch comments on several inherent problems that surface in these essays: the concept of "nation" and "nationalism," how national identity is verified, and provincialism in regional archaeological research. He is the author of Social Preconditions of National Revival in Europe (1985) in which he considers European social history and autonomy and independence movements for the period 1789-1900. Hroch points out how archaeology has been misused (e.g., to support Nazism, Italian and Spanish fascism, and Soviet and Roumanian communism), and he argues that archaeology should be "neutral" but remain subject to criticism. Hroch also states that "national or political opportunism seems to be one of the characteristics of archaeology that was underplayed in this volume" (p. 297); he also views archaeology as scientific research but which remains dependent upon the political state. Using postmodernist terminology, archaeology has, he claims, a "defenceless past."
This cohort of essays reflects a maturation of the discipline of archaeology progressing from having borrowed techniques and methods from mathematics and the natural sciences to a position whereby introspective analyses of the national characters of European nation-state archaeology may be undertaken (see, for example, Mackenzie 1994, Patterson 1995). The book is a highly specialised work created, in the main, for European specialists. However, I believe that the book has an applicability to a wider audience.
These essays will also be important to archaeological theoreticians and scholars investigating the history of science well beyond the geographic confines of Europe. Specialists on the prehistory of North and Sub-Saharan Africa--Algeria, Morocco, Cameroon, Nigeria, Congo/Kongo, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Zimbabwe, etc.--and the Asian Subcontinent--particularly India, Pakistan, Bangaladesh, and Sri Lanka--will find much to contemplate. The discussions of British, French, Spanish, and German nationalism and archaeology elucidate colonial and commonwealth underpinnings to the development of archaeological research and interpretation in Africa and Asia during the so-called colonial eras and the subsequent period of independence from European political control. Nationalism and Archaeology in Europe provides a framework for an enhanced understanding of the historical development of archaeology and the founding of archaeological museums and academic programs at colleges and universities. Likewise, for New World specialists, the historical overview of nationalism and archaeological research in European nation states suggests important parallels and differences in the practice of archaeology in Canada, Mexico, and the United States at the national, individual state, and territorial levels--particularly archaeological administration and museum organization. There are lessons and cautionary tales for archaeologists affiliated with, for example, the Smithsonian Institution and the National Park Service, among others, in the consideration of the rise of the heritage industry in England in relation to public archaeology and CRM (cultural resource management) investigations (see pp. 137-8). There are also viable parallel concepts to be considered in reviewing the relationships between Native American nations and the U.S. federal government and perceptions of archaeology and nationalism. Those archaeologists familiar with the vagaries of federal and state-based archaeological education, site and program administration, and legislation may find enlightening similarities to situations in some European nation states.
Among the significant topics covered in this compendium are nine national academies which are concerned with prehistory (Austrian, Byelorussian, French, German, Irish, Polish, Portuguese, Slovenian, and Spanish); archaeological commissions (fifteen in seven nations--Britain, Denmark, France, Lithuania, Portugal, Russia, and Spain); ten archaeological institutes (Austrian, British, French, German, Italian, Polish, Russian, Slovenian, Spanish, and Ukrainian); archaeological museums (national and major local repositories); archaeological congresses (particularly those held during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries); national professional and learned anthropological and archaeological societies; programs in archaeology at major colleges and universities; and primary archaeological and ethnographic journals (considered by country). Some archaeological legislation is briefly reviewed for only six nations: Britain, France, Ireland, Lithuania, Portugal, and Spain. I would have hoped for a more complete set of parallel treatments.
I have several concerns and questions about the contributors to the volume. How were the contributors selected? What are their backgrounds: archaeology (rather than prehistory) and/or history (the history of science, or areal/chronological-oriented specialisizations, etc.), political or social science, and/or philosophy? Unfortunately the editors did not provide any background information about the essayists which tends to limit the volume to use by European specialists who know these authors and their works. However, by reviewing the citations at the ends of these essays I would conclude that a majority of the contributors appear to be practicing archaeologists concerned with theory, or the history of science, and/or historiography. The time periods and emphases of the individual essays vary considerably although the concentration is late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. A few contributors sketch the prehistoric parameters from the Paleolithic or Neolithic through historic periods, others concentrate upon the archaeology of the Medieval Age, others focus almost exclusively upon the nineteenth century and consider superficially the majority of the current century. Some of the presentations terminate at crucial points and we are left in the position of wanting to know more--for example, the chapters on Germany and Poland end before recent political changes in the early 1990s, but there is also a paucity of material on the post-Second World War era and, especially, Soviet influence. Although the volume is not meant to be comprehensive in its coverage, several important regions and nations are missing from the discussion--the upper Scandinavian region (Norway, Sweden, and Finland), Switzerland, the Baltic region (Estonia and Latvia), and southeastern Europe (Greece, Romania, and Bulgaria). Kaiser's (1995) chapter on southeastern Europe in Nationalism, Politics, and the Practice of Archaeology (Kohl and Fawcett, eds.) helps to fill this void. Essays on archaeology and nationalism as represented in several of these nations would make interesting parallels to those polities considered in the volume.
The authors often wrestle with the concept of "nationalism." Certainly the term has differential connotations for ethnic groups, cultures, and nation-states. Linguistic, social, contextual, and chronological parameters are or may be mitigating factors in defining nationalism. Then, again, is nationalism necessarily equatable with patriotism? However, one is reminded of the debates about attempts to define the nature of "civilization" and urban and non-urban distinctions.
Although the editors' introductory essay provides a salient summary, a more fully developed conclusion or overview might be a useful emendation. Hroch's epilogue is interesting and perceptive but another perspective from a member of the archaeological community would also benefit the reader. The European archaeological tradition of providing a foundation in history, philosophy, and/or social anthropology may be seen clearly in these essays. The scholars who have contributed these chapters demonstrate frequently their substantive backgrounds in international, national, and regional sociopolitical history, and historiography. This grasp of the larger issues and caprices in national archaeology, politics, government, and nationalism is evident and provides an illumination of topics and issues that are either obscure or of minimal interest to archaeologists trained in the United States' tradition of anthropological archaeology, quantification, and physicochemical analyses (Patterson 1995). The fourteen page double-column index is particularly detailed with both topical and proper noun entries--for example forty topics under "archaeological symbols used in nationalism." A majority of citations in each chapter are from the primary political and archaeological literature and language of that nation state. The inclusion of maps in the contribution on Slovenia was important to a better understanding of shifting political and ethnic frontiers; several other chapters would benefit from having similar illustrations. Unfortunately, Westview Press has misspelled Diaz-Andreu's name as Marguerita--printed incorrectly on book's spine and twice on the dust jacket.
In sum, Diaz-Andreu and Champion must be complemented for their heroic effort to bring together a diverse set of descriptive and interpretive essays in Nationalism and Archaeology in Europe. The book's strengths begin with a detailed, clear, and thoughtful introduction. Each of the essays is informative; some are longer and provide great detail; the stronger ones demonstrate to the reader (rather than tell him/her) the interrelationships of archaeology and nationalism. The volume goes beyond Kohl and Fawcett's edited work Nationalism, Politics, and the Practice of Archaeology (1995), which includes thirteen case studies from Europe, Eurasia, and East Asia. Nonetheless, there is a European overlap in only four chapters so that these two works may be used in conjunction.
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