ResearchBib Share Your Research, Maximize Your Social Impacts
Sign for Notice Everyday Sign up >> Login

Social Values of Antiquities in Bulgaria: Anthropological Perspectives

Journal: Open Journal for Anthropological Studies (Vol.2, No. 1)

Publication Date:

Authors : ;

Page : 1-12

Keywords : antiquities; national identity; politics of the past; history of archaeology; uses of culture-historical approach; theory of ethnogenesis; production of antiquities;

Source : Downloadexternal Find it from : Google Scholarexternal


This article analyses some aspects of the processes constructing values of the remote past and their role in the formation of national identity. The useful debate on “identity” provides a space to look at it not only as an analytical category but also as a practical one. As a category of practice it is concerned to be used by “lay” actors in some everyday settings to make sense of themselves and how they differ from others (Brubaker & Cooper, 2000). I focus therefore on antiquities – material and non-material artifacts – which play active role in everyday life as identity marker. They are seen as anthropological terrain where the “eye of anthropology” makes possible to evaluate the nature of discourses on antiquities as cultural products in the context of the imagined nation. This supposes to look not only at the rhetoric of the national(ist) discourse but also at its content. In a “longue durée” perspective it becomes possible to be traced the uses of antiquities in Bulgaria with its complexities and beyond the dynamics of transformations within the academic fields and their research agenda. This perspective is useful as it introduces the needed sensitivity to different intensities of nationalism across time and space as well as within the same space (Todorova, 2015). Rooted in Romanticism the academic and non-academic research practices of antiquities are coupled with the doctrines of cultural survivals and continuity of the 19th century and enriched by the German Altertumswissenschaft. These trends provide sound basis for the advent of the Soviet theory of ethnogenesis and thus the national continuum seems monolithic and never broken even by the strong political perturbations in 1944 (the beginning of the communist regime) and 1989 (the beginning of democratic changes) in Bulgaria. After the changes some archaeological sites interpreted through ancient Greek imageries entered the marketplace as culture-historical “authentic” heritage.

Last modified: 2023-01-08 02:30:07