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Antonín Salač and the French School at Athens
Thea De Armond

Prague, though near the centre of Europe, is neither its geopolitical centre, nor the centre of Classics. How, then, might a scholar from Prague gain access to the Classical past or contribute to wider – particularly, European – conversations about Graeco-Roman antiquity? This chapter, drawing on archival research on the Czech classicist Antonín Salač (1885–1960), will consider some of the routes traced by knowledge about the Classical past in the Czechoslovakia of the first half of the twentieth century. Antonín Salač was a prominent epigrapher and archaeologist, who lived and worked in Prague for most of his life. But Prague – in fact, most of Czechoslovakia – lacked Classical material; certainly, it lacked in situ archaeological remains. Thus, Salač’s international bona fides were – and had to be – considerable. In his relationship with France, we will see how a scholar from a non-imperial nation might insinuate himself into what was, for the most part, a conversation between empires – through a savvy leveraging of geopolitics. The tragedy, of course, is that Salač’s relationships were never purely ‘political’. So, the loss of contact with his French colleagues after the 1948 coup d’état was also ‘personal’.

in Communities and knowledge production in archaeology
James Breasted’s early scientific network
Kathleen Sheppard

This chapter examines the importance of place in building and maintaining scientific networks for the field scientist by using James Henry Breasted and his early network as a case study. There are a number of important factors that go into relationship dynamics among scientific practitioners, such as age, professional experience, and gender; however, each of these factors also affected where and how Breasted met these scholars. Examining Breasted’s relationships with Flinders Petrie and Gaston Maspero will reveal the nuances behind the varying sites of knowledge creation and the effect that the urban institution or the rural field site can have on the development of scientific networks, their means of communication, and the scholarship that results from these relationships.

in Communities and knowledge production in archaeology
The permeable clusters of Hanna Rydh
Elisabeth Arwill-Nordbladh

This chapter discusses the Swedish reception of two articles that Rydh wrote after contact with French international research. We meet Hanna Rydh in the 1920s when she was establishing her position as an archaeologist. She had to navigate a male-oriented discipline, even though the archaeological scene was not explicitly homogeneous. Other Nordic countries, and to some extent Mediterranean and other European countries, were linked by scholarly discussions. However, few thematic meetings took place between Scandinavians and non-Scandinavians and few Scandinavians developed theoretical approaches, except for theories about culture and people. In these articles Rydh used Durkheimian ideas, for example that manifestations of group or community life may be connected to a more general social order, and that social structure and organisation can be observed and maintained on different levels in social life. At that time, such thinking was unusual within Swedish archaeology, and Rydh probably got her inspiration at St-Germain-en-Laye. The harsh reception of the articles is discussed from perspectives of intersecting axes of power such as profession, gender and economy, relating these to various social clusters of which Rydh was a part.

in Communities and knowledge production in archaeology
Open Access (free)
Anne Carol, Jefrey Gamarra, Carolina Kobelinsky and Bob Simpson
Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Antonius C. G. M. Robben

Thousands of people died in Rotterdam during the Second World War in more than 300 German and Allied bombardments. Civil defence measures had been taken before the German invasion of the Netherlands in May 1940 and these efforts were intensified during the country’s occupation as Allied bombers attacked Rotterdam’s port, factories, dry docks and oil terminals. Residential neighbourhoods were also hit through imprecise targeting and by misfired flak grenades. Inadequate air raid shelters and people’s reluctance to enter them caused many casualties. The condition of the corpses and their post-mortem treatment was thus co-constituted by the relationship between the victims and their material circumstances. This article concludes that an understanding of the treatment of the dead after war, genocide and mass violence must pay systematic attention to the materiality of death because the condition, collection and handling of human remains is affected by the material means that impacted on the victims.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Thomas Vaisset

On 25 September 1911 the battleship Liberté exploded in Toulon harbour. This tragedy is just one of the many disasters that the French fleet suffered at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth centuries and also represents the peak of these calamities, since it is undoubtedly the most deadly suffered by a French Navy ship in peacetime. The aim of this article is to study how the navy managed this disaster and the resulting deaths of service personnel, which were all the more traumatic because the incident happened in France’s main military port and in circumstances that do not match the traditional forms of death at sea.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Open Access (free)
Benoît Pouget
Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Martina Mercinelli and Martin J. Smith

The construction of an underground car park beneath the main square of Turin, Italy in 2004 led to the unearthing of the skeletonised remains of twenty-two individuals attributable to the early eighteenth century. At this time the city was besieged during the War of the Spanish Succession in a hard-fought battle that resulted in unexpected triumph for the Piedmontese, a victory that marked a fundamental turning point in Italian history. The current study assesses the strength of evidence linking the excavated individuals to the siege and assesses their possible role in the battle through consideration of their biological profiles, patterns of pathology and the presence of traumatic injuries. This article presents the first analysis of evidence for the siege of Turin from an anthropological point of view, providing new and unbiased information from the most direct source of evidence available: the remains of those who actually took part.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Benoît Pouget

Based on a study of intersecting French archives (those of the Val de Grâce Hospital, the Service Historique de la Défense and the Archives Diplomatiques), and with the support of numerous printed sources, this article focuses on the handling of the bodies of French soldiers who died of cholera during the Crimean War (1854–56). As a continuation of studies done by historians Luc Capdevila and Danièle Voldman, the aim here is to consider how the diseased corpses of these soldiers reveal both the causes and circumstances of their deaths. Beyond the epidemiological context, these dead bodies shed light on the sanitary conditions and suffering resulting from years of military campaigns. To conclude, the article analyses the material traces left by these dead and the way that the Second Empire used them politically, giving the remains of leaders who died on the front lines of the cholera epidemic a triumphant return to the country and a state funeral.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Walter Bruyère-Ostells

Mercenaries are fighters who operate under special conditions. Their presence, as shadow combatants, often tends to exacerbate the violence of their enemies. That’s why the analysis focuses on the singularity of the relationship to death and ‘procedures’ concerning the corpses of their fallen comrades. As a fighter identified and engaged in landlocked areas, the mercenary’s corpse is treated according to material constraints pertaining in the 1960s. After violence on their body, and evolution towards the secret war, mercenaries favour the repatriation of the body or its disappearance. These new, painful conditions for comrades and families give birth to a collective memory fostered by commemorations.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal