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Pastfinders (Hardback)

The Danish roots of archaeology

Imprint: Aarhus University Press
Pages: 360
ISBN: 9788772193434
Published: 15th June 2024
Casemate UK Academic



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It is widely agreed that the birth of modern archaeology happened in Denmark in the 19th century. A particular set of intellectual and material circumstances came together in a small northern European country to forge the making of a new academic field of enquiry. The history of this event has been widely constructed from the vantage points of certain schools and subjects. This anthology aims to demonstrate that the early Danish pioneers saw little distinction between the study of classical antiquity, the middle ages, prehistory, ethnography and human evolution, nor between humanities and natural sciences. The contributions show how Danish scholars remained key actors and delivered pioneering achievements in the archaeology of Europe, the Mediterranean and the Middle East. In many cases, a full appreciation of their work has been blinded by the disciplinary boundaries of post-war academia. Rediscovering the intimate links between what was later to become separate subjects within the work of individual scholars, this book recasts the history of archaeology in the 19th and early 20th centuries as a joint quest for a global understanding of human history.

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