The Practice of Archaeology Under Dictatorship

  • Michael L. Galaty
  • Charles Watkinson

In recent decades, we have come to understand that archaeology and archaeologists can be and often have been—to paraphrase Phil Kohl and Claire Fawcett—made to “serve the state” (Kohl and Fawcett, 1995b). In fact, we now generally recognize the profound effect political ideologies have had on our understanding of the past, and vice versa. Furthermore—and with this most archaeologists would also agree—a relationship between politics and archaeology develops to some degree in every nation, regardless of (and in response to) the particular political and economic circumstances (Hamilakis and Yalouri, 1996). That said, however, it does seem to us that the relationship between politics and archaeology is more intense, perhaps more intimately realized, in situations of totalitarian dictatorship, notably when a dictator seeks to create and legitimize new state-supported ideologies, often, though not always, in the face of organized resistance.


National Identity Archaeological Record Archaeological Research German Experience Archaeological Community 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers, New York 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael L. Galaty
    • 1
  • Charles Watkinson
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Sociology-AnthropologyMillsaps CollegeJackson
  2. 2.American School of Classical Studies at AthensPrinceton

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