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.
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.
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.
The interplay between the religious and performativeaspects of archaeology made it an ideal complement to the emerging rhetoric of nationalism in
M. Shanks, "The Rooms: Archaeology and Performance," Journal of Social Archaeology 4 (2004), 147-152;
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).
Y. Himilakis, The Nation and its Ruins: Antiquity, Archaeology, and National Imagination in Greece. (Oxford2007), 39-40.