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Archaeology, Ideology and Society

The German Experience


Heinrich Härke

This volume explores the relationship between archaeology, politics and society in Germany from the later 19th to the end of the 20th century. The contributions discuss key aspects of this relationship in their historical context, beginning with the triumph of national archaeology over universalist anthropology, continuing with the exploitation of archaeology by the Nazi and Communist regimes, the widespread collaboration by archaeologists, and the political and intellectual aftermath of these two episodes. Other contributions raise no less important questions about the role of archaeology in democratic society, by exploring issues such as university teaching, public attitudes, gender, and research abroad. Contributors from outside Germany put this experience into a contemporary, European and international context.
Contents: Heinrich Härke: The German experience – Ulrich Veit: Gustaf Kossinna and his concept of a national archaeology – Henning Haßmann: Archaeology in the ‘Third Reich’ – Frank Fetten: Archaeology and anthropology in Germany before 1945 – Sabine Wolfram: Vorsprung durch Technik or ‘Kossinna Syndrome’? Archaeological theory and social context in post-war West Germany – Ulrike Sommer: The teaching of archaeology in West Germany – Martin Schmidt: Archaeology and the German public – Eva-Maria Mertens: Women’s situation as archaeologists – Sigrun M. Karlisch/Sibylle Kästner/Helga Brandt: Women in the underground: gender studies in German archaeology – Werner Coblenz: Archaeology under Communist control: the German Democratic Republic, 1945-1990 – Jörn Jacobs: German unification and East German archaeology – John Kinahan: Traumland Südwest: two moments in the history of German archaeological inquiry in Namibia – Tom Bloemers: German archaeology at risk? A neighbour’s critical view of tradition, structure and serendipity – Bettina Arnold: A transatlantic perspective on German archaeology.