The British School at Athens and the Modern History of Greece
The archaeological sites that proliferate throughout the Greek landsconstitute a vast and incomparably rich resource for the study of antiquity. Over the years these have been the object of intensive study. But the politics of archaeology in the independent Greek state have as yet has been relatively unexplored. Given the importance of the heritage of the ancient Greek world to the formation of the modern Greek identity, this relative neglect is puzzling. A significant dimension of the politics of archaeology in Greece is the role of the foreign archaeological schools in uncovering the physical remains of antiquity. Their function is necessarily a sensitive, and sometimes a controversial, one and not only in Greece.1 Melina Mercouri, in the run-up to the 1981 elections in Greece that resulted in a decisive victory for Andreas Papandreou’s Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK), more than once called for the closing down of the foreign archaeological schools on the grounds that they were institutions for the training of spies. Such a contention is inherently implausible, but it is nonetheless unquestionably the case, as we shall see, that alumni of the archaeological schools served in the intelligence services of their home countries in both world wars.
KeywordsAssistant Director British School Greek History British Military Decisive Victory
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.