By Eberhard W. Sauer
A few classicists nonetheless take care of the traditional international as though archaeological proof is of little relevance to their paintings. this may suggest that territories or topics for which there's little textual proof could be marginalised or now not studied in any respect. equally, many old archaeologists, disenchanted with their ancillary function, assert that fabric facts for the traditional global can and may be studied independently. even though efforts are being made - in a few quarters a minimum of - to erode those disciplinary limitations, in others they've got turn into more and more fossilized, and rifts inside of matters are resulting in ever extra remoted sub disciplines. whereas representatives of every various specialism may possibly think they've got came upon the trail to ancient fact, the true fact is that the straitjackets of disciplinary limitations - even if generations previous or fashionably novel - are stifling innovation, creativity, and the potential for illuminating the prior with the entire wisdom at our disposal. This selection of items from foreign participants explores the separation of the research of the human previous into background and archaeology, difficult its validity and asking how we will be able to flow to a holistic method. whereas the point of interest is at the historical global, relatively Greece and Rome, the teachings that emerge are major for the research of anyplace and time.
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Additional info for Archaeology and Ancient History: Breaking Down the Boundaries
There are many ﬁelds of research for which there has been hardly any new textual evidence for more than a century. Since there have been many excellent scholars in the past, the speed of progress in ancient history is not as rapid as in archaeology. If today one writes a conventional solely literature-based biography of a well-known ﬁgure in the ancient world, of Julius Caesar for example, it is increasingly less likely 35 EBERHARD W. SAUER to contain interpretations which revolutionize our perception of history and which nobody has ever thought about.
The risks of a necessity: specialization I have already stressed that no single individual will be able to deal with the history of humanity in its entirety and use all research methods at his or her disposal – unless in a superﬁcial way. This chapter argues against blindly following the rigid deﬁnitions of disciplines created in the past; it does not argue against specialization. The work of specialists who devote themselves entirely to the study of an extremely narrowly deﬁned topic is of fundamental importance, but it would be of none whatsoever if everybody followed their lead.
Furthermore, even before the forced abdication of the last western Roman emperor in AD 476, Germanic generals, whose power was based upon Germanic 27 EBERHARD W. SAUER tribesmen who served as soldiers in Italy, had gradually taken over the power in the state. We would not have the faintest idea of these developments without written sources. Archaeology would allow us to trace population movements from central and eastern Europe to western Europe and the western half of the Mediterranean in the ﬁfth and sixth centuries.
Archaeology and Ancient History: Breaking Down the Boundaries by Eberhard W. Sauer