Welcome to Scribd, the world's digital library. Read, publish, and share books and documents. See more
Download
Standard view
Full view
of .
Look up keyword
Like this
3Activity
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
Dream Archaeology 2009

Dream Archaeology 2009

Ratings: (0)|Views: 92 |Likes:
Published by billcaraher
This paper is a diachronic study of dreams in the context of Greek archaeology.
This paper is a diachronic study of dreams in the context of Greek archaeology.

More info:

Published by: billcaraher on Apr 03, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less

09/05/2010

pdf

text

original

 
 1
WORKING DRAFTDreams, Excavation, and the Archaeology of Christian Greece
© William R. Caraher 2009University of North Dakota
 Introduction
 
Scholars rarely regard dreams as playing a key role in serious archaeological inquiry. Thisattitude, however, is a particular characteristic of modern, western archaeological practice. Fromantiquity until recent times dreams have occupied an important place in the archaeologicalimagination of the Eastern Mediterranean. In antiquity, the occasional dream directed anindividual to conduct an excavation or to discover a lost object. The Christianization of theMediterranean during Late Antiquity brought dreams into the emerging Christian discourse. Theexcavation of relics revealed through dreams played a central role in archaeological practicescommon to both Late Antique and Byzantine time. The Christianization of a "DreamArchaeology" set the foundations for its appearance in 19th and 20th century Greece where anarchaeology of dreaming formed part of what some scholars have identified as an indigenousarchaeology.
1
Lost and buried objects revealed through dreams not only challenged theuniversalizing tendencies of modern archaeological practices, but through a complex network of local, religious, and personal allusions formed a key component in the formation of Greek nationalism.Dream Archaeology offers a useful perspective on the interplay between scientificarchaeology and other archaeological methods for understanding the past. Dream Archaeology,in this paper, refers to any archaeological activity initiated by a dream or vision. This broadreading of dreams to include both waking and sleeping visions emphasizes the similarities between the two kinds of visions in the Ancient and Byzantine authors who regarded both phenomena as a means of bridging the gap between the sacred and the profane.
2
The figures

1
2
J. S. Hanson, “Dreams and Visions in the Graeco-Roman World and Early Christianity,” ANRW II 23.2 (1980):1396-1400.
 
 2
who appear in the dreams that are the focus of this paper typically demanded or inspired directactions, as opposed to communicating in abstract, metaphorical, or allegorical language or images, and in this way were largely identical to the experiences of waking visions whichsimilarly did not required distinct acts of interpretation. Artemidorus, the most sophisticated of the ancient dream interpreters, referred to such literal dreams as
theorematikoi
, and saw them ascoming “true just as they are seen” .
3
He contrasted these to more symbolic or metaphoricaldreams which he called
allegorikoi
. During the Byzantine period and later the most commontype of work dedicated to dreams, which made up a genre called Dream Books, focused on theinterpretation of allegorical (allegorikoi) dreams.
4
In fact, the tendency for viewers to beconfused by such dreams confirmed the need for subsequent interpretation.
5
In contrast, thedreams and visions that inspired archaeological activity almost always involve an easilyrecognizable holy person, and they generally did not require elaborate interpretive guides such asthat provided by Artemidorus. Moreover, the veracity of the images in dreams made themvirtually interchangeable with the experience of visions both in antiquity and through later Byzantine and even early Modern times. Thus, for the purposes of this study, dreams andvisions of the archaeological variety form a single basis for the analysis of DreamArchaeological in a Greek context.From Roman times, if not earlier, dreams of divine personages or saints have guided thehands of numerous excavators and formed a vital context for the material traces of the past in theGreek landscape. Following the guidance provided by sleeping or even waking visions, DreamArchaeologists uncovered sacred relics, lost icons, long-vanished churches and even occasionaltreasure. Descriptions of Dream Archaeology as much as the objects these practices produced

3
Artemidoros, 1.2, 4.1.
4
S. Oberhelman, “Popular Dream-Interpretation in Ancient Greece and Freudian Psycholanalysis,” The Journal of Popular Culture 11 (December 1977): 685-686; P. C. Miller, Dreams in Late Antiquity: Studies in the Imaginationof a Culture (Princeton University Press, 1994), 82.
5
S. Oberhelman, The oneirocritic literature of the late Roman and Byzantine eras of Greece : manuscript studies,translations and commentaries to the dream-books of Greece during the first millennium A.D., with Greek,(Minneapolis 1983); M. Mavroudi, A Byzantine Book on Dream Interpretation: The Oneirocriticon of Achmet andIts Arabic Sources (Leiden: Brill, 2002); A. Kazhdan and H. Maguire, “Byzantine Hagiographical Texts as Sourceson Art,” Dumbarton Oaks Papers 45 (1991): 1-22.
 
 3
forged a tangible link between the will of the divine, past human activities, a particular place,and the highly intimate experience of dreaming. In many cases, hagiographic texts (saint's lives) bound together the private dream, local act of discovery, and found object and translated theseevents into a kind of universal sacred history. These stories, then, marked the excavator as amediator between obscure knowledge and public knowledge and commemorated the act of excavation as evidence for a local aspect to the universal sacred.Dream Archaeology also provides a particularly useful point of departure for considering the performative aspects of archaeological research.
6
Applying a performative approach to DreamArchaeology has the advantage of shifting the source of archaeological meaning away fromobjects discovered or even the abstract criteria of methodological discourse toward therelationship between the archaeologist, site-specific practices, and objects. A performativecontext from Dream Archaeology places it among a whole array of so-called "indigenousarchaeologies" that typically would fall outside the traditional boundaries of archaeological practice as defined as a modern and explicitly modernist discipline.
7
This emphasis on performance highlights the act of discovery and the archaeologist's role as mediator between thethe past and present, the place of excavation and national or even transnational concerns, and a personal and sacred experience and the profane world of undifferentiated nature. This coincideswith recent readings of Greek archaeology which have stressed the close relationship in the public eye between archaeological field work and religious duty. Y. Hamilakis has pointed out,for example, that archaeological work is sometimes described as "leitourgima", which is alsoused to describe the liturgy at the church.
8
The interplay between the religious and performativeaspects of archaeology made it an ideal complement to the emerging rhetoric of nationalism in

6
M. Shanks, "The Rooms: Archaeology and Performance," Journal of Social Archaeology 4 (2004), 147-152;
7
M. Shanks and Mike Pearson, Theatre/Archaeology. (London 2001); Y. Hamilakis, "Decolonizing Greek Archaeology,: indigenous archaeologies, modernist archaeology, and the post-colonial critique," in D. Damaskosand D. Plantzos, eds, A Singlular Antiquity: Archaeology and Hellenic Identity in twentieth-century Greece.(Athens 2008), 273-284; S. Atalay, "Indigenous Archaeology as Decolonizing Practice," American Indian Quarterly30 (2006), 280-310. For a slightly different take see: S. Alcock, Archaeologies of the Greek Past: Landscape,Monuments, and Memories. (Cambridge 2002).
8
Y. Himilakis, The Nation and its Ruins: Antiquity, Archaeology, and National Imagination in Greece. (Oxford2007), 39-40.

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
scribd
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->