Social Values of Antiquities in Bulgaria: Anthropological Perspectives

Lazova, Tsvete (2018) Social Values of Antiquities in Bulgaria: Anthropological Perspectives. Open Journal for Anthropological Studies, 2 (1). pp. 1-12. ISSN 2560-5348

[thumbnail of Social Values of antiquities coas.ojas.0201.01001l.pdf]
Social Values of antiquities coas.ojas.0201.01001l.pdf


Official URL:


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.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:antiquities, national identity, politics of the past, history of archaeology, uses of culture-historical approach, theory of ethnogenesis, production of antiquities.
Subjects:History.Archaeology > Archaeology
History.Archaeology > History of Ancient Greece
History.Archaeology > History of Bulgaria
History.Archaeology > History of the Mediterranean region
History.Archaeology > Thracian history
Sociology.Anthropology > Anthropology
Sociology.Anthropology > Cultural anthropology
Sociology.Anthropology > Social anthropology
Sociology.Anthropology > Sociology of culture and civilization
ID Code:4110
Deposited By: Repository Editor1
Deposited On:23 Aug 2019 06:38
Last Modified:23 Aug 2019 06:38

Repository Staff Only: item control page