Archaeologists

There is no doubt that archaeologists have done and continue to do a great and exhaustive work in Egypt… (yes, there is a “but” coming) But, while visiting several temples last week, I really got sick of seeing their signature in the middle of the statues, walls, hieroglyphics, etc…

Signatures from archaeologists ar various sites in Egypt.

Can you imagine that a conservator / restaurateur from the Louvre museum had just signed in the middle of La Gioconda while performing some work on the painting? Like: “L. Bernard, 1835” in the cheek or the forehead, where there is plenty of space.

I want to think that this was the norm in XIX and early XX century and that nowadays it is not happening, otherwise: archaeologists, please refrain from doing that!

As Luca put it: these were people who failed to understand their place in history. After all, to the general public Lecaros, Black, Hamdy Bey, Federici, Levinge, etc., are completely unknown names (luckily! imagine how many of their signatures and in what places would have been needed for them to be stars!).

Having said that… who knows, maybe around the year 5,464 someone visiting these places may find a plaque honouring these signatures, like the one that can be seen today in Saqqara outlining the first “graffiti” in history, yet another inscription from another archaeologist in the year 1,232 BC, Hadnakhte, who wrote, on the wall of an already then 1,500 years old building, the following: “on a pleasure trip west of Memphis”.

Hadnakhte's graffiti in the House of the South, Saqqara.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Archaeologists

  1. Amalia

    Las ciencias historiográficas han cambiado mucho en los últimos siglos. No sólo por las nuevas tecnologías y el inestimable apoyo que han supuesto los avances en otras disciplinas (química, geología, física…) sino también en su ideología. Cada vez es necesario destruir menos restos para obtener información y la museología y conservación han avanzado muchísimo.

    Por fortuna, cuando en la actualidad se excava en un yacimiento no se trabaja por completo, se cuadricula y se eligen algunas zonas significativas dejando lo demás para futuros investigadores y bajo la mejor protección posible, la tierra.

    Poco a poco.

  2. Pingback: Tweets that mention Archaeologists | The Blog by Javier -- Topsy.com

  3. David

    Pues cuentan que cuando se descubrieron los restos de la Domus Aurea en Roma, bajaron artistas renacentistas que, además tomar inspiración para lo que llamaron “grotteschi”, dejaron sus nombres grabados.
    Y en Santa Sofía de Estambul debe de haber una piedra en la que un guerrero vikingo de la guardia varega dejó su nombre escrito en runas.

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