The exploited past?

Alan Saville, editor of the European Journal of Archaeology, writes in the Editorial of the new issue 8 (2):

A bare-breasted goddess holding snakes, based on a Minoan statueAnna Simandiraki, in her article Minoan archaeology in the Athens 2004 Olympic Games in this issue, takes prehistory right into the present in her analysis of the way in which the archaeology of Minoan Crete was used – and arguably abused – in association with the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. This active use of the cultural heritage in the contemporary socio-political process is a fascinating case-study. The focus here is on Greece, but is there any European country in which the past is not currently being exploited in ways to which we as archaeologists should be alert and about which we should be prepared to express our concerns?

Comments welcome.

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