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Several issues arise in this week’s unit surrounding the roles of the archaeologist, the museum, and the art and antiquities market. The Egyptian

Several issues arise in this week’s unit surrounding the roles of the archaeologist, the museum, and the art and antiquities market.

  • The Egyptian government is locked in battle with several western museums over the repatriation of prized treasures removed from their country under questionable circumstances.
  • Ancient Cycladic figures are often difficult to authenticate because archaeologists did not make proper records during their excavations, choosing to quickly turn these finds over on the art market instead.
  • While looking for the ancient city of Troy, Henrich Schliemann employed careless excavation techniques (including dynamite!), digging too far down and destroying many layers of the archaeological record.

With at least one of these issues in mind, consider the role of the archaeologist in art history.

  • What are some practices that you think should be adopted by modern archaeologists to ensure a future in archaeology that is safe, trustworthy, and equitable?
  • What is the best course of action to reverse some of the damage already done?

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