Pseudoarcheology in the era of Post-Truth: the search for Homeric Ithaca

Gert Jan van Wijngaarden

Pseudo-archaeology has become a mainstream form of infotainment and contributes to the public distrust of scholarly knowledge that has become a hallmark of the current ‘Post Truth’ era. In this article, I explore the relationship between professional archaeology and serious research that can be understood as pseudo-archaeology: the search for Homeric Ithaca. In the last twenty years, several proposals have been made for the location of the Palace of Odysseus in the Ionian islands. Whereas archaeological scholars and authorities have been ignoring these proposals, they gained widespread public popularity. According to Bruno Latour and others, a new epistemology is necessary to restore trust in academic knowledge. Following this, I argue that professional archaeologists should not ignore, or even ridicule research such as that into Homeric Ithaca. Rather than debating which facts are right or wrong, we should use it to better explain the backgrounds of knowledge about the past.

:download pdf:

Etruscans for all: Etruscan tomb reconstructions in the 19th century

Eline Verburg

In the 19th century, the first exhibitions of Etruscan objects took place in northwestern Europe. Many of these exhibitions contained not only Etruscan objects, but also reconstructions of Etruscan tombs. Visitors were invited to descend into candle-lit tombs to gaze at staged Etruscan funerary scenes, including facsimiles of frescoes from Tarquinia. These exhibitions were received with excitement and fascination, and many newspapers and magazines wrote about them. The frontier between fake and authentic, however, was not always clear: the archaeological experience was very important, and the question remains how veracious these reconstructions actually were.

:download pdf:

Illicit heritage at Allard Pierson. A closer look at the archaeological collection in the context of extensive provenance research

René van Beek & Rogier Kalkers

Despite increasingly stringent legal and ethical frameworks, the illicit trade in antiquities still flourishes. This concerns objects that have been illegally excavated, stolen or unlawfully exported from their country of modern discovery. The archaeological collections of the University of Amsterdam at the Allard Pierson include objects with a problematic or untraceable provenance. How did these objects end up in the collection and how will the Allard Pierson deal with this legacy? In this article we will take a closer look at the museum’s collection history, its changing policy with regard to the acquisition of antiquities, and the extensive provenance research project that it started in 2023. Several objects from the collection with problematic provenance histories will be presented to illustrate these issues.

:download pdf:


Misanthropology. Science, pseudoscience, and the study of humanity

Yannick de Raaff

:download pdf:

Old Stories and Contemporary Issues in Films about Antiquity and the Middle Ages. Idealistic Thinking, Sex, Lies, and Video Political Agendas

Frits Naerebout

:download pdf:

De huid van Cleopatra. Etniciteit en diversiteit in oudheidstudies

Roelie Kuijpers

:download pdf:

Architecture in Ancient Central Italy. Connections in Etruscan and Early Roman Building

Remco Bronkhorst

:download pdf:

Honorific Culture at Delphi in the Hellenistic and Roman periods

Sjoukje Kamphorst

:download pdf:

introducties op lopend onderzoek

Telling abnormalities: deformations on cattle and wild animal bones as indices of political economies in Hittite Anatolia

Audrey Crabbé

:download pdf:

Een nieuwe wereld op de muur: de Tweede Pompejaanse Stijl in een globaliserend perspectief

Nicky Schreuder

:download pdf:

The impact of Roman imperialism in western Iberia: settlement dynamics in central-northern Lusitania from the second century BC to the first century AD. A landscape archaeology approach

Daniel Sardinha

:download pdf:

The impact of Rome in central-western Iberia (second century BC – first century AD): a landscape archaeology perspective

Fernando Menéndez-Marsh

:download pdf: