Researching Biographies of Antiquities: The Case of Sikyon

This paper relies on material from an anthropological research conducted in Vasiliko, officially known by the ancient name Sikyon, in summer 2005 and 2006, in the context of an archaeological project. While the ethnographic research had an intertwined two-fold purpose, to examine both the agricultural life of the community and perceptions of the village’s archaeological past, in this paper I will focus only on the second part. In specific, I will discuss issues that arose in the process of investigating local perceptions and significations of the “antiquities”. In these perceptions I include both formal/public representations of the ancient past, as expressed in discourses and other practices of the local authorities, as well as informal views, perceptions and re-significations that local people hold about the antiquities and the archaeological past that surround their lives. The analysis will focus on the kinds of discourses that emerged in the course of the ethnographic research and will relate them to the issue of the relative ease or difficulty of acquiring access to them. By asking the question why in some cases the attempt to acquire information was met with success and in others with failure, the paper will attempt to sketch the corresponding “biographies” of the antiquities in local people’s lives.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s