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Miranda Johansson

It is very interesting to me that Evans would call the complex in Knossos a “palace,” but scholars now believe that it actually wasn’t a home for royals. Instead, there seemed to live aristocrats there. I wonder if not Evans jumped to conclusions, and in a fit of passion, called it a palace because it would be more exciting to excavate something royal instead of “some aristocratic” family’s home. Same thing with Schliemann, as he discovered the funerary mask and claimed it belonged to Agamemnon, did he do so out of pure excitement? Fooling himself into believing the myths because they are more exciting than reality? What blows me away is the extent that Schliemann brought his methods to, with altering the mask to fit a story better and using insensitive methods for excavating areas. Did he do this with malicious intent for wanting to “look” good, or did he simply fool himself into believing the myths for pure excitement?
Either way, I think that the methods that both gentlemen had used has made us now understand the importance of ethical archaeology, and being sensitive for the culture and heritage that is being excavated. The passion for unveiling “magical” history that drove these men to want to prove mythology might have made a lot of people believe in the mythology rather than questioning what is actually history. Sometimes reality is not exciting, and making myths into history can be alluring because of this.