Funerary Masks and the Geopolitical Use of Classical Archaeology in Nationalist Disputes
Funerary masks are a trans-cultural phenomenon that involves, in different ways and times, the whole ancient Mediterranean due to their particular power to showcase individuality, as concentrated in the face and head. The discussion on the origin of this custom in Ancient Macedonia during the Archaic Period has been strongly influenced by the identity narratives based on different national archaeologies. Previous and current interpretations are, indeed, deeply influenced by the quest for identifying the ethnicity of ancient Macedonians and their relationship to present nation states. Transformed into material evidence of ethnic identity, masks are involved in complex exegeses. On the one hand, Greek archaeology emphasizes an approach based on continuity theses, which can be summarized in the formula “memories of Mycenaean funerary customs” to emphasize a direct link between the Archaic and Mycenaean periods. On the other hand, masks played a key role in the construction of the modern Macedonian national myth and narrative, as proofs for Macedonian identity descended from the most distant past.
Copyright (c) 2020 Jessica Clementi
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Authors who publish with thersites agree to the following terms:
- Publishing in thersites is free of any charges.
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication.
- Users are allowed to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of the articles, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without asking prior permission from the publisher or the author, so long as the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes. The journal is published under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. More information about this license is available at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).