In Search of Authenticity: The Formation of Folklore Studies
James, N., Antiquity
REGINA BENDIX. In search of authenticity: the formation of folklore studies. xi+306 pages. 1997. Madison (WI): University of Wisconsin Press; 0-299-15540-4 & 0-299-15544-7 hardback & paperback 43.95 [pounds sterling] & 19.95 [pounds sterling].
Most archaeologists' training has deafened them to contemporary local lore about the sites that they study. I. Holm, ed. GAZIN-SCHWARTZ & HOLTORF, concedes that traditions attaching to more obvious monuments tend to be less useful but argues that those about more modest features are worth listening to. This and the 16 other contributions to the book make a welcome case for considered archaeological attention. M. Bustrom's explanation as to how archaeology parted company from folklore studies in Sweden helps to open archaeological re-examination of what is left of the latter. D. Thoden van Velzen discusses long-lived myths about the Etruscans and E. Blake reflects on `learning from the local' among the nuraghi of Sardinia; but J. Murphy points out that archaeological interpretation of Pentre Iran, Wales, was misled by lore. K. Denning considers contemporary millennarianism alongside specimens of professional archaeological narrative. There are two papers on Catalhoyuk -- one on local lore, the other on archaeologists' (by D. …