- From tents to citadels
- Oriental archaeology and textual studies in Soviet Kazakhstan
- Book title
- Reassessing Orientalism
- Book subtitle
- Interlocking Orientologies during the Cold War
- Pages (from-to)
- London: Routeledge
- ISBN (electronic)
- Document type
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam School for Regional, Transnational and European Studies (ARTES)
This chapter explores how the political context shaped archaeology, and, in turn, how archaeology supported political interests. Oriental studies in the USSR was regarded as a huge umbrella discipline that comprised a number of academic fields concerned with the 'Orient'. Orientology was in the first place history and philology, but besides textual studies it also included art history, ethnography, and archaeology of the Orient. The German archaeologist Gustaf Kossinna developed the so-called settlement-archaeological method as the basis for nationalist interpretations of history. Archaeological cultures were regarded as the origins of the peoples known from historical records, and ultimately of modern nations. In the USSR, studies of ancient and medieval Oriental texts as well as archaeological excavations were deeply embedded in Soviet nationality policies. Orientology thereby created, by excavating ancient sites and analyzing historical literatures, a certain image for each of the respective Soviet nations.
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