Bryn Mawr Classical Review 94.01.02


Justus Cobet and Barbara Patzek (edd.), Archäologie und historische Erinnerung: Nach 100 Jahren Heinrich Schliemann. Essen: Klartext, 1992. Pp. 183. ISBN 3884740059.


Reviewed by Edmund F. Bloedow, University of Ottawa.

This book contains the contributions given in conjunction with two exhibitions: 1) Bilder und Bücher um Homer und Troia von der Ilias Ambrosiana zur Heinrich Schliemann in the Archäologischen Museum Altenessen, and 2) Heinrich Schliemanns Trojanischer Altertümer in the Essenner Ruhrland-museum, as well as within the context of the 100th anniversary of Schliemann's death in 1990. There are nine contributions by seven scholars. Two contributions by two additional scholars (M. Korfmann and W. Kukenburg) are published elsewhere.

In a short Introduction (9-12), Patzek, under the rubric, "Archäologie und historische Erinnerung," sets the tone of these contributions. Accordingly, in the popular mind, archaeology has in its achievements far exceeded what one can expect from history. Unfortunately, however, it has been elevated to the level of a modern myth. For this, Schliemann was chiefly responsible, so that in the popular conscience he is really the founder of what has actually become a mythological 'science'. As a child of the eighteenth-century, historicism led to a simplified view of what archaeology can achieve. Today, however, things are much more complex, and the ability to establish historical facts from archaeological evidence is virtually, if not indeed totally, impossible. This applies in particular to Schliemann's naïve object of attempting to prove that the Trojan War actually took