The Congress of Anthropology and Archaeology in Copenhagen 1869 - Behind the Stage
Wiell, Stine, Antiquity
From the beginning, prehistoric archaeology in Denmark was aimed at an international forum and the Danish archaeologist worked in international languages.
But, as a consequence of the national-political situation after a war with the Prussians and the Austrians in 1864, in which Denmark lost two-fifths of the country (the Duchies) [ILLUSTRATION FOR FIGURE 1 OMITTED], national feelings called for national unity where the past was concerned and the course of the conference renders a contemporary view of the relation between an understanding of the national archaeology and the internationalizing of the profession.
The background for the congress
At the commencement of the 19th century, archaeology in Denmark established itself as two different disciplines - Classical Archaeology and Nordic Archaeology. Domestic/National archaeology became a tool in maintaining the historical continuity of the Danes back to prehistoric time.
The aim of this paper is to trace the roots of the first international archaeological congresses in the 19th century. The first conferences took place in Neuchatel (1866), Paris (1867) and in Norwich and London (1868). The fourth congress took place in Copenhagen from 27 August to 5 September 1869. The concern with prehistory was a consequence of the endeavours to establish a democracy after the French Revolution. The international congresses originated from the increasing self-understanding and self-confidence of the bourgeois in their own worth. The conferences were introduced in a century in which national states were created and established themselves within borders, and sought to create a unity of language, people and history.
A media event
The congress in Copenhagen became a media event. It was described in newspapers nationally as well as internationally [ILLUSTRATION FOR FIGURE 2 OMITTED]. However, much more went on behind the stage than is to be read in the press and also in the official Danish congress report, written in French (Schmidt 1875).
What really happened equals the experience of a theatre production behind the stage - in the wings. Here you can meet art as well as reality. Two main sources, kept in private archives, illustrate this situation. One is the posthumous papers of the …
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Article title: The Congress of Anthropology and Archaeology in Copenhagen 1869 - Behind the Stage. Contributors: Wiell, Stine - Author. Journal title: Antiquity. Volume: 73. Issue: 279 Publication date: March 1999. Page number: 136+. © 2008 Antiquity Publications, Ltd. COPYRIGHT 1999 Gale Group.
This material is protected by copyright and, with the exception of fair use, may not be further copied, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means.