Popular historiography in the 19th century: Motifs and Strategies of Archaeological Narrators

Published: 2010-03-24 | DOI: 10.54799/XPZM1653


Heinrich Schliemann popularized prehistoric archaeology by his spectacular excavations and inventions especially in ancient Troy. He attracted a lot of public attention by his articles in newspapers and by his monographs according to the most popular travelogues at that time. Travelouges wanted to entertain their readers, therefore it was common to tell stories within the story (e. g. stories about extrem strains or about mysterious and dangerous incidents). Schliemann acted similarly when he reported on administrative barriers, told his readers about his ›fights‹ with the bad weather, his workers or sickness. Obviously, he used various narrative elements in his archaeological texts. The popular work of the prehistorian Carl Schuchhardt on »Schliemann’s Ausgrabungen in Troja, Tiryns, Mykenae, Orchomenos, Ithaka im Lichte der heutigen Wissenschaft «, however, is quite different. Similar to Schliemann’s work this monograph achieved the aim to reach a wide and well-educated audience but arises from rather different motives. The paper discusses on the one hand strategies and motives of both protagonists’ texts; it illustrates on the other hand that these strategies and motives can only be understood if the particular biography is well known. Biographik, this is the hypothesis, cannot be conceivable without Narratologie.

How to Cite

Samida, Stefanie. 2010. “Popular Historiography in the 19th Century: Motifs and Strategies of Archaeological Narrators”. EAZ – Ethnographisch-Archaeologische Zeitschrift 51 (1/2):87-104. https://doi.org/10.54799/XPZM1653.
EAZ Cover Issue 1/2/2010, 51. Volume
EAZ Cover Issue 1/2/2010, 51. Volume
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