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Title: "Multiple historicities" on the island of Crete : the significance of Minoan archaeological heritage in everyday life
Author: Soloman, Esther
ISNI:       0000 0004 2719 5602
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2007
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This thesis seeks to investigate the manifold ways people, as members of different groups, understand, narrate and relate to the prehistoric past of the island of Crete, i.e., what is usually referred to as "Minoan heritage". It explores the various contexts in which Knossos, the best-known and most popular Minoan site in Crete, is "historicised" through experience and perception both inside and outside the boundaries of the site. The research focuses on the ways academic knowledge concerning the archaeological heritage is embedded in social practices. Its aim is to understand ancient Cretan monuments and museum exhibits as active producers of meanings affecting and being affected by current social relations. For this purpose, social anthropology and material culture studies in particular lent me the theoretical and methodological tools to bring archaeology, museums and people into the same field of inquiry. The making of a contested monumental landscape around the archaeological site of Knossos, the appropriation and conceptualisation of Minoan Crete through its official representations, the quest for authenticity during the tourist experience, the performance of local identity in relation to the archaeological heritage, the socially made distinctions between the local, the national and the global, and the diverse associations of Knossos with concepts of tradition and modernity are important themes in this research, all related to a heavily idealised conception of Minoan Crete, produced by the major excavator of Knossos, Sir Arthur Evans, at the beginning of the twentieth century. The thesis is completed with a discussion on Archanes, a Cretan village ten kilometres south of Knossos, where significant Minoan finds and buildings have been unearthed in the last decades. By connecting them to a recently completed conservation programme of local architecture and the "rediscovery of tradition" now occurring in the village, I have attempted to trace the diverse inscriptions of this "emergent" ancient past onto social memory and related identity discourses.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available