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Laura Barber

Everyone has biases that can seep into their work, but Sir Arthur Evans and Heinrich Schliemann allowed far more than simple biases to infiltrate their work. Heinrich Schliemann is believed to have altered The Mask of Agamemnon in order to make it fit the understanding of Agamemnon and Mycenaean art at the time. He also used dynamite at the site of Troy, which destroyed much that would have been carefully excavated under today’s standards.

Sir Arthur Evans committed less atrocious errors, but he did attempt to reconstruct The Palace Complex at Knossos without much attention to the actual historical indicators of how it would have really looked. Instead, he ultimately damaged the original version of the palace by overlaying it with his own ideas of how it looked in its prime. For example, he made the palace’s columns red, but it is now know that the Minoans used tree trunks for their columns.

In spite of how these two men altered the way ancient Aegean art is viewed today, they did bring the field of archaeology into public attention and begin its development into a more respected field.