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Daniel J. Sherman
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Chapel Hill, NC 27599-1350)
Science and Spectacle in the History of French Archaeology, 1890-1940

A book-length study on the history of French archaeology from 1890 to 1940.

My project probes the intertwined histories of archaeology and French culture in the early twentieth century. It focuses on two controversies, over excavations at Carthage in the French Protectorate of Tunisia and about the authenticity of a supposed Neolithic site discovered in central France, as constitutive of a field suspended between scientific ambitions and media attention. Bringing together two sub-fields normally treated separately, classical archaeology and prehistory, the study offers a new ground-level view of the formation of archaeology as at once discipline and spectacle. I ask basic questions about the constitution of the archive and disciplines’ understandings of their own past that allow for reflection across history, my field of study, and archaeology, my object of study. The visual representation and display of archaeology, archaeological finds, and archaeologists receive particular emphasis as a connecting thread between discipline-formation and spectacle.

[Grant products]

Project fields:
Art History and Criticism; Cultural History; European History


Research Programs

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2019 – 6/30/2020